As a publishing and book marketing firm, we at Authors Unite have seen it all. In our over three years of working with authors, we have identified the top three mistakes first time authors make, and we are sharing it with you so you can be prepared.
Forewarned is forearmed! It is always best to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes so that you can go out and make brand new ones instead of repeating ours.
Writing a book is an amazing accomplishment. As you may have heard, 81% of Americans alone have said they want to write a book in their lifetime.
It can seem like an impossible task, but we help you break the entire writing process down into manageable steps, making it easier and faster to complete your manuscript.
Then Authors Unite can take over! We have editors and book coaches to assist you in the writing process, but after the book is written, our team are the experts in publishing, distribution, and marketing of your book.
Many first time authors see self-publishing as the answer to their prayers. Low cost of publishing and wide exposure on Amazon feels like a dream! The biggest complaints we see from new authors is the feeling that their book is not getting the attention it deserves and their sales are very low.
This is unfortunately common for authors who have never been through the process before and are not sure how to create and implement a successful book launch.
Before you can be a best-selling author you need a plan.
The Top 3 Mistakes New Authors Make
Number 1: Not Using A Professional Editor
Your book is finished and you have reread it about 400 times. It is simply perfect. Besides, you know what you’re doing so you probably don’t need a professional editor.
There are a ton of reasons why you need an editor, but it truly boils down to this: An unedited book is not professional.
It is very difficult to self-edit to the standards of a professionally finished book.
For one thing, your brain will often read what you think you wrote or fill in details which either aren’t there or aren’t fully explained, and you simply may not notice if you’ve switched perspectives or from active to passive voice or use a lot of repetitive words.
We have professional writers and editors on staff at Authors Unite — and they still get their books edited by another professional.
Editing is absolutely necessary for a finished, professional, polished book.
The Job of an editor:
● Fix all grammar and punctuation mistakes.
● Identify inconsistencies, missing information or plot holes.
● Identify areas where more information or explanations are needed.
● Readability and flow — making sure it all makes sense in order and is a cohesive full story.
● Look for repetitiveness, such as using “very” or “big” to describe most things, when a different word would have a bigger impact or flow better.
Number 2: Doing The Cover Themselves
When it comes to book covers, people DO judge the books by them! You want a clean, professionally-designed cover by someone who knows what they are doing.
Unless you’re a designer yourself, you do not want to do it yourself.
Amateur book covers often feel unfinished and clunky. Your message and style is important and you need to be able to convey them to casual observers, online searchers, and readers everywhere.
In addition to a lack of of polish, an amateur book cover can give the wrong message to readers, can turn people away for fear of an unfinished or unedited book, and also has the potential to make it look like a whole different genre!
In terms of technicality, you need an book cover that includes a wrap-around spine and is made exactly according to the size specifications of your finished book, including how large the book itself is and page count. This is so that the spine of the book fits perfectly, instead of being too small or too wide for the physical printed book.
Your book cover is the first and main representation of your book.
Just as with editing, a professionally designed and created book cover is simply a part of the cost of writing a publishing a book.
Number 3: No Marketing and Launch Plan
Over a year ago, Authors Unite started offering a separate book marketing and launch plan package due to the demand from writers who had published their book themselves and were not happy with the lack of readers and sales.
Book marketing is an art. Unless you are a professional content, digital, or other type of marketer, you likely will not know all of the detail and back-end tasks that go into a successful marketing and advertising campaign. It is more than just Facebook ads!
Having a plan for your book launch, including media, publicity, advertisements, book promotion sites, and identifying your specific audience is important.
No matter how amazing your book is, if no one knows it exists how will they buy it?
Exposure to your potential readership is extremely important.
It comes down to identifying who you audience is, where they are, what they buy and search for, what they do, what they read, and how they buy. Once you identify those people, you must then reach them.
More than just sharing your book on social media, you want people to be looking for and searching for your book. This means picking the right categories and keywords for searches, writing a compelling description, and having a cohesive plan to bring it all together.
In the end, first time authors are doing what they love to do. We want to encourage and support you in reaching your goals of being a published best-selling author! So go forth and write! And don’t make these mistakes!
Tyler Wagner is the founder of Authors Unite where he helps people write, publish, and market their first profitable book. He has helped people create passive income, become leaders in their field, start businesses from their books, and much more. Since starting Authors Unite, he has helped 250+ people become profitable, bestselling authors. He is also the bestselling author of Conference Crushing, a book designed to help businesspeople and entrepreneurs maximize their ROI at networking events, conventions and conferences.