One of the Biggest Mistakes in Self-Publishing: A Do-it-Yourself Strategy
The two biggest mistakes in self-publishing are putting no thought behind a marketing strategy and trying to do everything yourself. Self-publishing companies can help you from making these mistakes and guide you down a successful path.
A marketing strategy is so important that it should actually be done before your manuscript is ever written. Your marketing strategy should involve identifying the target audience, focusing the message that your audience wants or needs to hear, and what sales channels you already have access to.
The marketing plan is critical so that you know how the book will be distributed in order to help guarantee the book’s success. Not having a targeted marketing plan is like getting in your car and just driving without any clue of how to get to your destination. Oh, and you forgot to put your seat belt on. Not smart. A dangerous, deadly combination.
When an author tries to do everything himself, with no outside help whatsoever, encompassing everything from copy editing to graphic design, he pretty much just hung himself. Don’t find yourself in this pitfall.
Understand that if you are proofreading your own manuscript, you are short-changing yourself immensely. Knowing every word forward and backward, you will unconsciously skim quickly over the text. You cannot do the justice that the fresh eyes of professional copy editor with eagle-eye objectivity can do.
Many authors make the mistake of hiring their high school English teacher, or even a college student majoring in English to proofread their manuscripts. While that will get your spelling, grammar and punctuation checked, but what about the rest of it? Professional copy editors transcend those basics and go beyond to ensure smooth paragraph transitions and optimum overall organizational structure. This increases readability and helps to make the book a hit. Professional copy editors check every last word and ensure overall cohesiveness. You don’t want your reader to get so far into your book and then just put it down. You want the reader to finish it and spread some word-of-mouth advertising for you. Positive word-of-mouth, not negative.
Another realm best left to the professionals is graphic design. Don’t be tempted to use one of the easy-to-use graphic design software programs that are out there. Just because you can run the program does not mean you know the rules and the psychology that goes into creating effective designs. Professional graphic designs are skilled in manipulating space and images and they have a firm understanding of what attracts the human eye. More importantly, you don’t want just any professional graphic artist, you want a professional graphic artist that specializes in book cover design.
One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself as a self-publisher is to enlist the services of professional copy editors and graphic designers. They are paramount in ensuring the success of your book.