5 Mistakes You Make as a Self-Published Author – Rachel Bartee | Guest Post

A good article, essay or book with a unique title and relevant content will attract an endless stream of excited readers and vice versa. The truth is, self-publishing requires more than just putting words together to impress your targeted audience. Unless you are planning to read your article or essay alone, you need to prioritize your targeted audience. In this article, I’m going to take you through five mistakes you can make as a publisher and how you can avoid them.

1. Thinking of your interests and preferences

Writing starts with passion. Ideas will invade your mind the moment you encounter something that seems interesting. As a self-publisher, you’ll probably want to turn it into writing. Unless you are writing to throw away later, it is likely that you’ll want others to read it. Unfortunately, what interests you might not interest your targeted readers. One unfortunate fact is, they’ll know this by reading the title and if it isn’t anything related to what they are looking for, there are small chances they’ll even read the first sentence. Being a good self-publisher means understanding what your targeted readers need or like. You are not only required to come up with an interesting title but also content that relates to what your targeted audience is looking for. For example, if you are targeting parents, it is vital that you give them content related to parenting.

2. Not hiring the editor

You might have in mind the content your targeted audience look for. However, if you can’t give them something readable, it is less likely that they’ll read the whole book. Unless it’s a draft that you’ll redraft later, it must have clear sentences that are easy to read and understand. Apart from having relevant content, it must also have flowing sentences, correctly placed punctuation marks and most importantly, proper grammar. This is one thing you can’t do alone especially if you have to come up with the whole content alone. You can save yourself lots of trouble by finding the right editor. Whether, it’s a short article, a five to ten page essay or a whole book, you’ll need the help of a reliable editor.

3. Presentation mistake

Sometimes readers need to be lured into reading the book. Just like advertising a new product or the first impression you work so hard to build so as to pass an interview, your targeted readers need to be impressed to pick your book. Never forget that not all readers spare some time to understand the whole content. In fact, a larger number will take a quick peek trying to find out if the book is worth their time and money. They will judge by the title, the front part of your book, the images on the back cover and those within the book and more. An excellent presentation will not only attract a good number of readers but will also keep them engaged, and the best part, motivate them to read the whole book. But it is never as easy as it seems. Just like doing the editing, coming up with a good presentation requires lots of experience. Unless you have done this before, you need a knowledgeable person to help you out. However, if you have to do it yourself, you need to apply a few tips and tricks used by professionals to come up with a book cover that will attract thousands of readers. Here are some of them.

  • Come up with a relevant and thought-provoking title
  • Create a unique design
  • Keep your targeted audience in mind
  • Consider the genre

4. Not getting social

The abundance of internet-enabled devices on the market has made communication much easier. Unlike previous years, almost everyone above 16 years owns either a phone, a tablet or a personal computer. What does this mean? Simple, you don’t have to waste a lot of time in public announcing your book or pay high fees so that it can be advertised. You can fetch more readers online. Just sign up for a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site and share your book with your friends and followers. Here are the benefits of doing this.

  • Time-saving and cheaper than other marketing options: You don’t have to spend hours and money to find your targeted audience.
  • Makes it easier for you to connect and interact with your targeted audience actually: Social media allows your targeted readers to ask questions expecting you to answer them in time. This will help you improve your book.
  • Allows you to work with other interested parties: Social media makes it easier for you to access and work with relevant parties that will help take your book to the next level.
  • It is a 100% guarantee that a good number of persons will read your content.

5. Hurrying: not planning your promotion, distribution, and sale campaign well enough

One mistake most writers do is hurry. After deciding what they want to write, they make hasty decisions forgetting the most important part of the whole thing that is, getting a good number of readers. Coming up with content that will impress many requires you to have a marketing plan. You must be well acquainted with your targeted audience, know how to access their presence and most importantly, know how to lure them into reading your book. Unfortunately, you can’t achieve this without a proper promotion, distribution as well as a sale campaign plan. In short, you need to be a marketer who knows that marketing is not solely about money making, but about building relationships with your customers, in your case, with readers.

Having a good idea isn’t a guarantee that your targeted audience will automatically read it once you put it in writing. As a self-publisher with hopes to succeed, you need to do more than just coming up with ideas, putting them in writing and hoping to get more readers. You must put their interests beforehand, work with qualified leaders, present it perfectly, get social and last but not least, plan how you’ll market it.



Rachel Bartee is a freelance writer and editor at Edugeeksclub. She would prefer to go without her lunch just to make her thoughts into worthy writings. She feels inspired by her morning yoga and creative writing classes she is currently attending. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter. 

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