Hey first-time authors! If you never have self-published, there may be some things you are unaware of that may cause you to make a few errors. Many people say that you will make mistakes with your first book, which may be true. However, when you are being critiqued by avid readers, they may leave comments that infer you published a poorly written manuscript, which may hinder your success. Here are some common mistakes which you can easily avoid:
- Incorrect spelling and grammar
Whenever we write, it is natural for us to forget commas and misspell words. However, allowing these mistakes to appear in our published works will make us appear very unprofessional. Always hire an editor and a proofreader before publishing to catch all the mistakes you may have missed.
- Poor organization and thought
If your book is disorganized, it can be difficult for some to read and understand. Make sure that you have a good and detailed outline to help you with the writing. You want to make sure that all significant details stay the same throughout the book.
The physical characteristics of your characters should remain consistent. You should also avoid giving incorrect information. Make sure that you fact-check before adding statistics to your book. Avoid putting the wrong captions underneath pictures and graphs.
If you are having difficulties, there are individuals in the writing community who specialize in creating outlines and ghostwriting.
- Inadequate book editing, formatting, and layout
You will have to invest in the formatting of the book. Book sales can be affected by a bad cover or bad title. Covers are very important in clinching sales, so don’t cut corners.
Aside from the cover, another thing that could affect book sales would be the format of its contents. There are many different formats. You can check books from your at-home library or visit your local library to see some examples. Things that you need to take note of would be the title pages, copyright pages, dedication pages, and the start of the first chapter.
- Lack of promotion, marketing, and distribution plan
You have already published a good book. It is free of errors. You now need to come up with a good marketing plan. It is important to create your plan well in advance. Some self-published authors have overlooked this, thinking that having a good book on their hands would be good enough. But how will a book sell if readers do not even know it exists?
- Using a free ISBN instead of purchasing your own
Another thing self-publishing authors should not forget is purchasing their ISBN numbers. While there is a cost to this, it is very well worth it if you plan to have your book available on platforms other than Amazon. I know the free ISBN is tempting, but please consider going to www.bowker.com and purchasing your ISBN instead.
Self-publishing requires balance. To be successful, you must do more than write an excellent book; you have to also create opportunities for readers to become acquainted with your work so that they will buy it.
If you have never published before and need assistance, please check out I A.M. Editing, Ink at www.iamediting.com to get started. We look forward to working with you.
Adrienne Michelle Horn is the owner of I A.M. Editing, Ink. Although she has a full-time professional career in healthcare, she is also a South Florida-based editor, poet, author, entrepreneur, and mother of her beautiful daughter, Paris.
For more information about Adrienne and her company, follow I A.M. Editing, Ink on social media or visit https://linktr.ee/iamediting