Five Common Self-Publishing Mistakes

Have you joined the ranks of aspiring authors ready to take the next step to self-publishing in the digital age of publishing? If so, congratulations! But wait, before you rush off to press, there are some things you should do to prepare your book for successful self-publishing. The preparation step of the self-publishing process includes everything you need to do to your book manuscript before you deliver it to the book printer. This includes deciding your publishing goals.

For example, is your book a personal family history book that you plan to sell to a few friends and family? Or do you plan to mass-market your book to the world? After deciding your market then you should avoid the following common mistakes:

1. Failure to write a business plan

This is where your book publishing journey should begin. You don’t have to start with a 15-page document. But do create an outline of all the costs that you will encounter in the self-publishing process.

Outline your costs before publication, after publication and everything from the beginning costs to the shipping price of mailing a book. This is the time you decide whether you should print a small amount of books for family or set up a small publishing company by buying a block of ISBNs.

2. Failure to get ISBN Numbers.

An ISBN number is what identifies you as a book publisher. Currently, it is the only way you can be considered a self-publisher in the publishing industry. At the time of this writing, no one can give, assign, or sell you ISBNs except RR Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency.

3. Failure to invest in book editing.

Don’t cut corners here. Invest in your book; get it professionally edited. Copy or line editing will bring your manuscript up to professional standard. Don’t settle for just having your family member take a look at your manuscript.

4. Failure to hire a book designer for book layout.

The book layout is what structures the content of your book and makes it look like a book. Again invest in your book project; this is not the time to settle for anything less than a professional look. If your book looks sloppy, it will limit its success in the market.

5. Failure to invest in cover design.

75% of 300 booksellers reviewed (half from independent bookstores and half from chains) recognized the look and design of the book cover as the most important part. They agreed the jacket is prime real estate for promoting a book. On that note, your book cover design has great importance. It can cause your book marketing campaign to fail or succeed. So, I encourage you to get your book cover professionally designed.

Are you ready to publish your book successfully? Did you consider all your options including a business plan and book cover design? Great! Now that you know how to set up your book for full speed ahead self-publishing, go ahead take the plunge. Don’t wait any longer. Start today. Your audience is waiting for YOUR unique message and viewpoint. Make it different. Make it count. Make it yours.

About the Author
Earma Brown, 14 yr author, book writing and publishing coach. Are you ready to publish your book successfully? Get FREE instant access to her Self Publisher’s eKit at http://www.selfpublishinghouse.net

Book Marketing Strategies for Self-Publishers

marketingstrategySo you’ve written your book, self-published it, and now you want to start making sales. Once each of your friends, family, and perhaps a few other interested parties  have purchased your book, what next? How do you get the word out that you have a  potential best-seller?

The internet has been shown to be an excellent way to promote self-published books. It allows you to reach people that you would never meet otherwise. Here are some suggested online book marketing strategies to get you started.

  • Create a web presence — This can be done by setting up a regular website or a blog. Choose a site name that will grow with you. For example, if you’ve written a picture book for children, you might be tempted to call your website “PictureBooksforChildren.com”. But what if your next book is for young adults? Some authors choose to use the name of their book, but again, this can limit you in the future if/when you write other books. Wouldn’t you rather be seen as an author of more than one book? Many authors choose to ‘brand’ themselves by using their own name.
  • Increase visibility — If you choose to use a blog platform (e.g., WordPress, Blogger, Typepad) for your web presence, it’s important to write regular postings. When you provide interesting, informative, and/or entertaining content, it prompts your visitors to come back to read more, plus it helps your placement in the search engines.
  • Draw traffic to your site — A good way to draw traffic to your site is to promote yourself (and your postings) through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Article marketing is also a great tool for bringing in more traffic. You might also want to consider writing a short e-book about your subject matter and offering it for free from your website. (Be sure to include links to your website throughout the book.) Free offers are an excellent way to funnel visitors to your site.
  • Develop a relationship with your readers — Did you know that only 1% of first-time visitors will buy your book? This is why it’s so important to develop a relationship with potential buyers. An excellent way to do this is by offering a newsletter in which you provide valuable information about your book’s topic. If you’ve written a fiction book, you might want to consider publishing chapter snippets to entice people to buy and read the entire book.
  • And last, but not least — ALWAYS be sure to include a BUY NOW button on your website. Sign up with a payment service like Paypal so buyers can easily make their purchase. Also be sure to post a Privacy Statement on your website to allay any fears about spamming.

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