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8 easy mistakes to make as a self-publisher

20 February 2017

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8 mistakes

Much like being an entrepreneur or independent worker, the role of self-published author is a perilous one. Without acres of experience on which to call or trusted shoulders on which to cry, mistakes are incredibly easy to make when attempting to publish your own work.

Even the most experienced of self-published authors continue to make mistakes - but that’s fine. It’s how we all learn; for if you make a mistake once, you’re unlikely to do so again.

As a self-publisher, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your book stands the best possible chance of being read by as big an audience as possible. With support from New Generation, those countless hours spent developing plots and characters can be made utterly worth it - but there are one or two common mistakes it’s best to avoid, if possible.

In this post, we’ve going to list eight easy mistakes you could make as a self-published author. Avoid them at all costs:

1. Not setting up a dedicated email address

Email will likely become one of the primary ways you communicate throughout the publishing journey. For that reason, you need a clean inbox and professional address for the purpose of promoting your book. Don’t use your personal account - set one up solely for your author work.

2. Forgetting to check if the book title exists

You’re not necessarily breaking any laws if you happen to pick the same novel title as someone else, but in doing so it’ll be much harder to find during online searches. Do all you can to create a unique, engaging name for your book - you simply can’t spend too much time on this crucial stage.

3. Neglecting the importance of an ISBN

Think of the ISBN as your book’s unique ID - one which no one else can claim ownership of. Forgetting to grab one will put you at a significant disadvantage.

4. Forgetting to use social media

In the digital age, authors have a number of fantastic promotional tools at their disposal, and they don’t come as opportunity-filled as social media. Use Twitter and Facebook judiciously by promoting your finished book and the stores at which it can be purchased.

5. Forgetting beta readers

Proof reading has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and modern authors now rely on the very useful services of ‘beta readers’ to ensure their work is as strong and engaging as it should be. There’s a world of helpful beta readers out there, so dive in!

6. Not seeking endorsements

Depending on the subject on which your book focuses, gathering endorsements is a great way to lend credence to your writing. Seek out well-known figures and thought leaders and ask if they’ll endorse your book. The worst they can say is “no”, and you’ll be surprised by how many offer the opposite response.

7. Forgetting to start a blog about the book

Time to learn from Hollywood with this one. Trailers are generally the things that sell movie tickets. They whip up excitement by giving the audience a glimpse at what’s to come, and you can do the same thing as an author by starting a blog that focuses entirely on your book. Publish excerpts and pieces that describe your thought process behind the novel, and watch as your expectant audience grows.

8. Neglecting the local community

Think libraries are a thing of the past? Think again. By approaching literary-based businesses and organisations in your local area, you stand a fantastic chance of gaining a following that resides on your doorstep. Speak to libraries and independent book stores and ask if they’d feature your work - most will be delighted that you’ve taken the time to approach them.

Wrapping up

We hope this post has proved useful. You’ll never stop making mistakes as an author, but with the list above in hand, you should avoid the most common.

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