Reasons Why Many Self-Published Books Fail and How to Fix That – Gary Peterson | Guest Post

Many self-published books fail because authors tend to overlook the basic rules of publishing a new book. Authors who are fairly new to publishing get many things wrong, and the result is typically low sales. Publishing your book and selling it on Amazon should be the last step in the whole process, not the initial one.

If you want your new book to succeed, you need to get your strategy, preparation, and hard work in place before bringing it to the market for sale. You must understand that publishing a book is always a gamble. Big publishers release tons of books in the market each year, and only one or two of them become bestsellers. Many titles fail, and that’s just how the business works.

It might sound shocking, but the same rule applies to self-published books; some will fail, while others will sell. To make your self-published book a hit, you must take the required time to produce an excellent piece of work. But you also need to understand how to promote, market, and build a solid online presence.

The journey to success for a new author is challenging, but it’s not an impossible task. Today, we’re going to show you five common mistakes publishers often make that you should avoid.


1. Ghost-Promoting

Ghost-promoting basically means promoting your book to nobody. Confused? Let us elaborate.

To be honest, self-promoting your book on social media is kind of a pointless thing to do, even more so if you don’t have many friends and followers. Publishing a new book and then assuming you need a Facebook page and Twitter account is a very common mistake. New accounts only have a handful of followers, and bombing them with your book will freak them out. You’ll end up losing every prospect. It is absolutely self-defeating.

Remember, building a robust social media presence requires time and effort. It needs to be done strategically and before publishing. Promoting a book has to begin well before the author decides to publish.


2. Publishing Poor Quality Books

Without a doubt, a book or eBook that’s badly written and formatted, poorly structured and proofread, and full of typos and errors will fail miserably. As a publisher, you should never rush into releasing your book. If your manuscript isn’t up to a fine standard, it will be a total sales disaster.

Make sure to check your manuscript correctly before you publish. There are many tools like Grammarly and Prowritingaid you can use to detect common writing errors. But having your book professionally edited is also important.

Let’s say your manuscript is decent, but the book cover is trash—this could be an instant sales killer. While you can create and edit your own book cover, if you’re not a design expert, chances are it will look cheap, which is something book lovers badly react to.

Book description is yet another crucial element. A 2-3 sentence summary isn’t recommended for book descriptions, nor is an extended, detailed preview read. You can either hire an expert or write the description yourself. Just make sure to keep it short, use compelling keywords, and write as the publisher, not the author.


3. One “Book” to Rule Them All

As you already know, no book is categorized by genre—for a good reason.

Certain readers prefer certain books. They have specific tastes when it is a question of what books to buy and what to read. You can’t just write a book about natural detox or diet control and expect kids to enjoy your work too. Similarly, trying to advertise and promote a romance novel to sci-fi and spy novel lovers will be such a waste of money.

If you want to profit, you need to know the audience and identify the kind of readers your book is aimed at. Understanding your market niche will help you with the promotion and advertising expenditure. New authors often ignore the importance of in-depth keyword research. It’s important to understand the effectiveness of Amazon Search Keywords as it helps readers find your book.


4. “I did all the hard work, so I should charge more!”

Pricing is where most self-published books fail as they are priced horrendously. We understand it’s not easy to write a book. You may think charging fifty bucks for your work is fair. Sadly, the market doesn’t work based on how you think or feel.

Book pricing is one of the most sensitive steps in the self-publishing process. If your book is way over the “purchasing range,” the odds of selling are very little. Before you come up with a price, consider other books in your niche and compare the prices. It’s better to sell 50 eBooks at $5 than none at $50.


5. “It’s Trending!”

New iPhone models come out in September every year. Anyone who is an apple fanboy or “iSheep” goes bonkers when Apple drops a new model of iPhone. Now, the reason we mention this is because following a trend is almost like being the last person in line for buying a new iPhone. You know for a fact that it will be sold out before you even reach the counter.

50 Shades initiated a soft erotica trend, vampires were a thing a while ago, and the next thing you know, there will be another new trend. And perhaps that’s the key to success. Don’t just follow trends, start a new one.

Do your own thing, and wait for it to become a trend. Remember, it takes a lot of time to write a good book, and 10-12 trends will come and go before you even get the chance to finish it.


Wrapping Up

When it comes to self-publishing a book, most problems occur from rushing into publishing. You need to ensure the book you wrote boasts topnotch quality, has a great cover and contains an engaging description. You must understand your niche market and create a robust social media presence. And you need to do this all before publishing.



Gary Peterson is working at NCSM.  He was born and raised in New York. Gary is a professional writer who specializes in SEO, social problems, email marketing, and healthcare. He likes traveling and taking gorgeous photos of nature. Rock music is something that inspires him. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter.

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