Self-publishing has opened up opportunities for countless aspiring authors all over the world.
In the old days, having a book published was a combination of luck, skill, and personal connections. These days, anyone who really wants to is able to learn how to write and publish a book.
This means that readers have more choice than ever. The increase in book supply means that readers have to make quicker judgements about whether a book is good or not and worthy of their time and money.
Sadly, many authors shoot themselves in the foot. They make glaring errors that repel readers from checking their work out further.
Here are three mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Make Your Cover Appropriate
Sadly, many authors go along with the myth that readers don’t judge books by their covers.
In fact, your cover is probably the most important thing, in terms of making a favorable first impression on a potential book buyer. Put yourself in the person’s shoes. When they are browsing on their Kindle or other device, they are scrolling through a large list of book covers and titles.
There’s no need to overthink your book cover. Instead, aim to ensure it fulfills two basic objectives –
- Looks professional and high-quality
- Sends the signal that your book belongs in your genre or niche
Each genre has its own tropes and traditions when it comes to elements of book cover design, including the types of images, the colors used, and the style of the font.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, send a strong signal that your book is a quality offering and it belongs in its genre or niche. This will encourage potential readers to check you out further.
Ensure Your Work Is Edited
Too many authors cut corners when it comes to editing their work.
Many writers wrongly feel that they are able to catch all of their own errors, and that editing is an avoidable cost they can save money on.
In truth, we all have blind spots as authors. We will have errors and foibles that are impossible for us to spot. A fresh pair of eyes is essential.
However, not all editing is created equal. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your editing experience is as positive as possible –
- Become familiar with the different types of editing out there. Know what you need, and how much you should be paying for it.
- Ensure your editor has experience in the genre of work you are writing. You need someone who has a feel for the niche you are in.
- Considering using editing software such as ProWritingAid as either an initial self-edit option, or if you truly can’t afford a human editor. It is far favorable to leaving your work unedited.
If you choose to cut corners when it comes to editing, it will definitely hurt you. Readers are quick to leave a negative review if they notice too many errors in a book. Protect your reputation and your long-term prospects of success by making editing a non-negotiable investment.
Make Your Author Brand Credible
Readers are interested in more than your book – they are interested in you as well.
In the age of self-publishing, credibility can be thin on the ground. Therefore, you greatly help your own chances of author success if you are able to present a credible author brand. Some of the most effective ways to do this are –
- Take control of your online presence. This means ensuring people see what you want them to see when they google your author name.
- Having an author website. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just choose a clean looking WordPress theme and get it online.
- Come across as likeable. Taking the time to engage with your fans via platforms such as social media and blog comments greatly enhances your author reputation.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you, or authors in general, don’t need a brand. Everyone has a brand by default. Isn’t it better to take charge and leave potential readers with the impression you want them to have?
First Impression – Final Thoughts
By now, you’ve seen three tried and tested ways to make sure your next book leaves a positive first impression.
To recap –
- Ensure your book cover is high-quality and genre appropriate
- Don’t skimp on editing
- Take control of your author brand to boost your credibility
Writing a book is no easy endeavour. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to give potential readers every reason to check out your book ahead of the countless others out there.