1. Rushing to
Often times we as writers are so close to our own story that when we’re reading it we tend to fill in the blanks mentally and overlook typos, redundancy, minor mistakes, and grammar. The minute we finish writing and sometimes with one round of self-editing we’re already querying and emailing literary agents. And when that fails, we decide to self-publish through Amazon, iBook, Google Books, or Kobo and end up with no sales, no reviews, and no interest.
We then find ourselves marking our books down to .99 cents and when that doesn’t work, we give up on it feeling discouraged and angry at everyone for not liking our book or for not purchasing it.
Don’t rush the process. Rome wasn’t built in one day. Every good thing comes with time. Prepare yourself for your work. Don’t rush into putting your work out there before laying a good foundation for it.
Readers need to know who you are first. If possible, start freelancing or putting short stories out on Wattpad and let people read them for free and create a fan base.
2. Not letting your book sit
Once you think you’re finished with your book go enjoy yourself and do something other than read your book. Let it marinate and set your mind free from doing anything book related for a little while. Maybe a week or two or even for a few months if you can. This will let your mind forget the details of the story so that when time passes by and you get back to the story it will be fresh. You will have a better chance at catching mistakes and misunderstandings in the story once you come back to it with an open mind.
3. Not searching for beta readers
Multiple betas paid and free
Beta readers are people either other writers, editors, or readers that volunteers to read books and gives feedback from a reader’s perspective. Based on your needs, they will give you pointers on grammar, sentence structure, what they liked, if they can relate to the characters, on world building, and plot development. You can find them for free on Facebook or you can get paid betas through Upwork or you can Google for free or paid services.
Have multiple betas because they will all give you a different outlook on your story. Have betas on the different phases of your editing. Once you have self-edited your book after it had sit for a few days, weeks, or months, then find a few betas. After you have received feedback and corrected their constructive criticism, then you let it sit for another few days, weeks, or months. Re-read your work edit if you need to and go for another round of betas. Depending on what this round says will determine if you need more or less rewriting.
4. Not having an editor
Even if you’re the writing director in Hollywood or an English professor you will need a professional editor. A professional editor is a person who for a living edits manuscript for syntax, sentence structure, grammar, and cohesiveness in stories. There are several levels of editors in the writing community however, you will determine the level of editing that you need.
Having your friend or relative read your story and check for editing errors is not ideal unless they’re a professional editor. Professional editors can spot common mistakes in writing effectively and quicker. They usually take about two to three weeks and sometimes up to a month to revise your work.
They give it a professional polish and as well as feedback on your writing and what you can do to improve.
This step is the priciest in your writing.
Once you made corrections let it sit for a few weeks and then have another set of beta reader give you their take on the changes made. If the changes were significant enough then you will greatly benefit from another round of beta readers.
5. Not having a proofreader
Once you have let your book sit after the beta reading session has ended and have revised your work, let it sit again for another resting period. I suggest to print your book from the local printshop (Office Depot) so that you can read it as if you were a reader and correct anything that comes up when you read it in print. After you’ve done your revision while reading then correct the digital version. Again let it sit for a few days or week re-read it and do some more corrections if you need to and then hire a different person to proofread your work.
Proofreading is very light editing and should only be done after professional editing. This is an optional step but I highly recommend it after you have self-edited your story for the last time and before self-publishing. Querying is another different ball game.
6. Not having a professional cover
We all judge a book by its cover and if your book cover is not professionally done then the credibility and your story becomes questionable and people will not purchase or download your book even if it is .99 cents and even if it’s free.
7. Not having a social media presence
Join 1 FB group for writers or 1 online site for free beta read (give back)
Twitter or FB or Instagram or YouTube
As a new author, no one really knows who you are aside from your friends and family and the few people you managed to tell that you’re an author.
So it’s imperative that you start an author social media page and engage with other writers and readers in the writing community. Read my blog Which Social Media Platforms Should I use to Promote and Expose My Book to read about the different platforms to use.
8. Not running a pre-sale of your book
I did this for the launch of my first book and it was a success, however, I did not do it for the launch of my second book because I wanted to compare statistics.
I found out that it is best to create hype with your followers before writing, while you’re writing, while beta querying, while editing, while posting about your book pre-sale, and until the launch of your book. This will create at least a year worth of hype and anticipation for readers and your followers.
I realized that a pre-sale gives you the opportunity to give your book to more sources for feedback and it provides a sense of urgency for readers to get their hands on your book because it’s not available yet. Especially when bloggers have blogged about your book and raved about it on their site. It also gives your book a boost in the Amazon algorithm for new releases when people pre-order. Also, when readers pre-order your book once it’s live all those readers will get a notification at the same time and more than likely they will be reading your book about the same time frame which gives your book another boost once launch time comes around. In addition, comments will be generating around the same time from the bloggers who had an advance reader copy (ARC) and then from the readers who purchased your book. This is a win-win all around for you in the upcoming months leading to your book going live on Amazon.
9. Not running ads/promo/giveaway
One of the easiest way of getting hype for your book is promoting a free giveaway. People like free stuff and if you’re targeting the right people on social media then you’ll have a great turnaround with this tactic. The best way to run your giveaway will on Instagram using several giveaway hashtags pertaining to your book. Although, this will create a false sense of want on the plus side you’ll get more visitors to your Instagram account and more exposure for your book (if you’re using the correct hashtags).
Running ads for your book should be done after your book has launched to revive the hype and keep the momentum going. Run an Amazon ad through your KDP account. Follow the KDP guidelines or search for how to run Amazon KDP ads on YouTube or Google for a quick easy to follow tutorial.
10. Not posting about your book after launch
This tip is self-explanatory. Keep promoting your book consistently and regularly on your social media to keep it relevant.
However, not all posts should be about your book, and not all posts should be about buying it or reading it. Engage with your audience while also plugging about your book at least three times a week.
These are all the tips I have for you. If you feel as if I needed to add a few more please share them in the comments so that others can benefit from the tips. Thank you.