3 Mistakes to Avoid When Self-Publishing

The introduction of e-readers and self-publishing outlets has kicked many authors into high gear. The self-publishing niche is experiencing unprecedented growth, offering writers an affordable outlet for getting their stories heard (or read) without having to jump through the hoops associated with traditional publishing.

There’s no question that self-publishing can be the path toward a bright and promising future for today’s author, but there are also mistakes that can delay success unnecessarily. Here are 3 incredibly important mistakes to avoid as you embark on your self-publishing journey:

1. Skimming, not proofreading.

It may seem like an obvious tip, but don’t settle for a quick glance over your work and move on. Since you wrote it, you’re less likely to catch your own mistakes. After you read through your work carefully, you should enlist the help of family, friends or others you encounter who might be able to lend a helpful eye. Local English teachers or professors in your area could be just what you need to steer your story toward a more polished conclusion. See if any local bookstores host writing workshops where writers can critique each other’s work (and check for errors). Who knows – you may gain some new, loyal readers in the process!

2. Not promoting your work….yourself.

The person who will be most passionate about your story is you, so you are the best person to sell it! Be wary of companies that offer marketing packages and promise you a bestseller right away. If it’s too good to be true, it is. You can organically grow your audience through the power of a good story and outreach work. You shouldn’t have to pay a premium to self-publish your book because of “marketing services” that may never pan out. Sell yourself!

Outreach is an incredibly important part of your self-publishing journey. Are there opportunities to do book signings and/or readings at local bookstores or libraries? Reach out to your local newspaper and see if it would be interested in reviewing your book (or even interviewing you). The more eyeballs you get, the more people with whom you are able to share your story.
3. Giving up.

You can do it. You have a story to write, and nothing is standing in your way. Motivation can sometimes be hard to come by when you’re both writing and publishing your book, but never give up. Nothing feels better than writing that last word, and knowing you’ve just finished a piece of literature that you’re proud of.

Self-publishing is an incredible tool for self-expression; it can be the key to your success if you are patient, persistent and motivated. Remember to sell yourself, and you’re well on your way to self-publishing success!

Kevin Osworth