Let’s be real!  Self-publishing is scary.  I have dreamed of publishing a book since I was a kid.  For years I only knew about traditional publishing and worried and fretted that I’d never make that happen.  That is when I learned about self-publishing.  I researched literally for years, took not one but three training programs on self-publishing before I pulled the trigger and actually published my first book.

In fact, that first book was written 4 years before I officially published it.  I was always afraid of making a mistake.  However, you can avoid those mistakes.  The following are some self-publishing mistakes which you can easily avoid:


Poor writing

Whenever we write, it is natural for us to miss a punctuation, make spelling errors, and other typographical mistakes. But to allow these mistakes to appear in our book will make us appear very unprofessional. Just imagine readers reading the blurb page and finding mistakes from it which could be avoided if you only had gotten somebody to review it for you before printing and distribution.

Another thing that you would have to consider is the flow of organization and thought. If your book is disorganized, then it can be difficult for some to read and understand. You have to make sure that you have a good and detailed outline to help you with the writing. If you are having difficulties writing and think that you need somebody to help you out, then you can get a co-writer or an editor to check your work.

If you are writing a story or novel, remember that continuity is important. There are some writers that would miss that out, for example: if they have hazel eyes, then make sure that their eyes stay the same color throughout the story unless it is significant for the story to change it. Avoid giving incorrect information and details. Also avoid putting wrong captions in pictures and graphs, if ever you will use some.

Inadequate book editing, formatting, and layout

You would have to invest on the formatting of the book. Book sales can be affected by a bad cover or bad title. You may need to get a book designer to do your book layout and your cover. Booksellers recognize that jackets and covers are very important in clinching sales. So do not sacrifice in getting a professional to do the cover design.

Aside from the cover, another thing that could affect book sales would be the format of its contents. There are different formats, you can check books from your shelf or you can go to the library to look at some. Things that you need to take note of would be the page distribution among the title pages, copyright pages, dedication pages, and the start of the first chapter.

Lack of promotion, marketing, and distribution plan

Okay, you have already produced a good book. It is already clean from mistakes, wrong spelling, and typographical errors. You would have to come up with a good marketing plan. It is important not to miss this out. Some self-published authors have overlooked this thinking that having a good book on their hands would be good enough. But how will a book sell if readers do not even know it exists?

You have to make sure that you have a well-planned advertising, marketing, and launching plan. If you think you cannot pull it off, then do not hesitate to get an experienced person to help you out.

Aside from marketing, some self-published authors also tend to make mistakes in distribution.

Make sure that your target audience gets to have a chance to buy your book. Some authors would also overlook online distribution. There are cost-efficient online distribution channels where you can have your book available. Internet is becoming a convenient place for people to buy stuff that they want and need.

Another thing that self-publishing authors should not forget is getting ISBN numbers. Actually, this is an easy thing to do. There are websites that could give you instructions on how to buy ISBNs from RR Bowker, this is the U.S. ISBN agency.

Self-publishing is a balance between everything. To be successful with the book, you do not have to only write an excellent book, but make opportunities for readers to be able to get acquainted and buy it.



I have a Facebook group for Christian authors, speakers, and coaches. It’s called The Christian Business Advantage, and each month I do a FREE training around the third Thursday of each month. Please come join our group, and you will learn tips and tricks for your business.


    2 replies to "Avoidable Self-Publishing Mistakes"

    • Wow! These are some great tips that I probably wouldn’t have thought of. I think it’s great that people are able to self-publish these days! That opens up a lot of doors for writers!

      • aavant

        Thanks Charlene!

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