Do you enjoy learning things the hard way? Of course you don’t; none of us enjoy that. But do you know that’s exactly what happens if we don’t learn from the mistakes of others. We can discover easier ways to do things from our peers, our friends, our competitors and even our enemies. On that note, in this article I reveal 5 mistakes in my first print publishing venture. Make it easy on yourself; avoid these self publishing mistakes and prosper:
1. Failed to write a plan
This is where your self publishing journey should begin. There’s no need to start with a 10-page document. But you need to at least create an outline of all the costs in the self-publishing process.
You should outline your costs before publication and after publication. Include everything from the beginning costs to the shipping price of mailing a book. Also, this is a great time to decide whether you plan to print a small amount of books for family, a business niche or set up a small publishing company by buying a block of ISBNs.
2. Failed to invest in book editor.
Don’t count pennies 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 a family member look over your manuscript.
3. Failed to hire a proofreader
Proofreading is not the same as editing. It is only done after the book designer formats your book into pages. The proofreader looks for word breaks and sentence layout. Some small corrections missed in the first line edit may also be made.
Like most beginner publishers, I decided to skip this step in preparing a book for publication. Mistake; professional publishers know not to skip this step. A book full of errors will cost you in sales later on, including loss of respect for your important message. I got a scathing review from one of my peers. Yes, I know; it’s not the end of the world. But my point is it cost me sales and it could have been avoided.
4. Failed to create bound galleys for reviews.
Invest in bound galleys and/or limited run book proofs. They are often unedited and used to get book reviews before the publication date of your book. Also, bound galleys do not have a laminated full color cover. Reviews will afford your book a level of professionalism not gained any other way. Not to mention extra sales gained because of your professional reviews.
5. Failed to hire a book designer for book layout
The book layout is what gives the content of your book structure 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.
Don’t limit your publishing success; avoid all of the above blunders by learning from my mistakes. Now, go make your publishing venture a successful one. Happy Publishing!