Self-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid
Making a mistake when you’re self-publishing can at best cause you some embarrassment. At worst, it can make your buyers flee before they even have a chance to get to know your book. This results in lost sales and if you’re not aware of the mistake, it can leave you wondering why no one is raving about your book. Here’s what to watch out for:
Your cover isn’t readable.
You did the cover yourself or had a friend with a little bit of Photoshop experience make it for you. The result is a lackluster cover that’s not easy to read. Try viewing the cover as a thumbnail or about 150 pixels wide. Can you clearly read the title or does it blend in with the image? Do you know what the book is about based on the image or is the image too distorted to see?
If your cover looks terrible when it’s small, it’s time to take action. Most of your buyers will be viewing your book on a small tablet or smartphone. This means all they’ll see is your tiny preview and if that cover isn’t intriguing, they won’t click through. They’ll just buy someone else’s book.
Your author info isn’t available.
Readers want to get to know the author behind a book. That means you need to have a professional headshot and a bio uploaded to your book’s platform. You should also have a link to your website where readers can go to learn more about you.
Without a bio and picture, many platforms won’t promote your book as frequently. This can slow sales even more. If you absolutely hate writing about yourself, get a copywriter to help. Keep working on this task until you come up with a bio that captures who you are and what you love writing about.
Your book description is too vague.
When it comes to your book description, you need to have 2-3 paragraphs that capture what your book is about. If you’re too vague, readers will worry that your book isn’t all that interesting or that it lacks a plot.
Try looking at other books in your genre and read their descriptions. If you’re really struggling with this step, you could ask a fellow author or two for advice. Authors love supporting each other and will often share their own thoughts if you’re brave enough to ask.
Your book has too much filler at the beginning.
Your cover looks fantastic. You filled out your author info and your book description is fantastic. You’re getting a lot of readers that are requesting a free sample but no one’s buying. Now you’re left wondering where you went wrong.
Take a look at the front of your book and consider how much filler content you have. For example, a book that begins with a prologue, cast of characters, a dedication page, a map of your characters’ home town, and three pages of praise doesn’t leave any time for your readers to actually sample your work.
If you think the front of your book might have too much content, try downloading a sample. See how much of your book you actually get to read. If you only have 1-2 pages of book content, then you’ll want to move some of your information to the back of the book. Link to in your table of contents and trust that readers who are curious will use it if needed.