Self-Publishing a Book: 3 Rookie Pitfalls

Self-Publishing a Book Rookie Mistakes

Catch Self-Publishing Rookie Mistakes Before You Make Them

Self-Publishing a Book: Common Rookie Mistakes

By Deborah S. Nelson

So you are thinking of self-publishing a book! Bravo! Publishing a book is an excellent choice for a project that will stretch your imagination, patience, and fortitude. I have self-published 14 books and coached and taught authors to self-publish over 100 books. I can help you avoid the common rookie pitfalls. Self-publishing is similar to taking on the general manager role of building your own home. With that understood, get ready to discover mistakes that could sabotage your book publishing project and make you want to throw in the towel.


Self-Publishing

Mistake # Three: Hiring a “Self-Publishing Company”

Let’s get your thinking straight right away.  The term,Self-publishing companies” is one of the biggest misnomers of the twenty-first century!  If you truly want to master at the art of self-publishing a book, let me help you with terminology. Also see the Dictionary of Self-Publishing for basic terms. Self-publishing a book as defined in WIKIPEDIA: Definition of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by its author, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. A self-published physical book is said to be privately printed. The author is responsible for and in control of the entire process, including, in the case of a book, the design of the cover and interior, formats, price, distribution, marketing and public relations. The authors can do it all themselves or outsource all or part of the process to companies that offer these services.

What does this mean? It means you do NOT hire someone to “self-publish” your book-this is crazy! The ONLY  one who can SELF publish your book is YOU! I get questions and inquiries daily about “self-publishing companies to avoid,” and I say, “AVOID ALL OF THEM!” Having said that you will need to select a printer, most likely a print of demand printer (which often label themselves as “self-publishing companies”)

The reason for this is, since you are the author, YOU and only YOU are the publisher. You are responsible for the entire project. When you hire one of these so-called “self-publishing companies” you are putting a third-party in the middle, spending more money than necessary, while still needing to oversee all the work. This will not save you much time, if any.  These “self-publishing companies” are, are really print on demand printing companies. Yes, you will need a printer, but that is all you will need from these so-called “self-publishing companies.”

Solution: Subcontract your own workers. Hire a print on demand company for the printing only. Then contract experts in each area. You will need a book cover designer, an interior designer, content editor, proofreader and many other freelancers throughout the process. Many so-called self-publishing companies are happy to overcharge for these services. Read my article on Managing Self-Publishing Services.

Mistake #Two: Manuscript Written Equals Book Completed

Once finished writing your manuscript, you are done, nearly done, or halfway done. WRONG. You are one-third of the way to the finish line of your book project. I tell all my clients right away that you can expect THREE parts to the life cycle of bringing a book into the world:

  1. Write Your Book
  2. Publish Your Book
  3. Market Your Book

Keep in mind that once you have written a book, you are only 1/3 of the way to knowing the complete joy of self-publishing your book! Publishing or self-publishing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.

Solution: Keep this in mind throughout the entire process to build mental and emotional  stamina needed to make it to the finishing line.

Mistake #One: Including Friends, Family & Random “Experts” in the Process

This is the top mistake most people make when self-publishing a book that keeps them from actually finishing. However, if they do persevere through all the conflicting critical eyes, the book is likely to be a mish-mash of styles, looks, proofreading rules, editorial approaches, and your watered-down message.

Let me put it to you straight. Writing a book is about giving your readers a passionate message that only you know… a story that only you can tell. When self-publishing a book get a vision for your book, and stick to it. Everyone is a “so-called” expert, and when it comes down to it, most of the decisions in book publishing are personal and artistic preference. Don’t let everyone’s well mean opinion water down your passionate message to the world.

Solution: If you feel you must get feedback, do not ask for “feedback” to feed your ego–rather for the good of the book. Plan two focus group sessions, and carefully invite your key supporters, along with your book publishing coach to moderate. In the first focus group session, share your original unedited manuscript, and ask people to report back within 7-10 days with their ideas and positive feedback. After that, move on with your book publishing project. Self-publishing a book has a timeline, and you must stay on track to get it done. You may also create a focus group later, for the book cover, and again give people 7-10 days for their reaction, and then move on. This is the biggest mistake that rookies make when self-publishing a book. Looking for support, and complements, and an ego boost, can ultimately sabotage your book project.


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Is Self Publishing a Book Really Free?

self publishing a book seems to be free and magical, but not necessarily the case.

Self Publishing a Book Seems Magical & Free–but, Truthfully, it is Hard Work & Costs Some Bucks

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

Now that digital publishing has spawed the concept of self publishing a book–the book publishing industry has entered the field of the World Wide Web. Therefore, the obvious question rises on the horizon of online book publishing. Is it possible to make money when self publishing a book? In this article we address the question for those considering entering the ring of digital book publishing.


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History of Book Publishing

Book Publishing reaches back into history; and traditionally was an pricey venture. The printing press was an expensive piece of equipment in the first place, as well as the set-up for printing just one book. Consequently, this required an up-front investment for printing at least 10,000 books to make one book affordable. See the video below which explains in more detail the difference between digital publishing and traditional publishing.

Now that digital publishing allows any of us to print just one book affordably, that makes self-publishing doable for a one-person or small enterprise.

Money Required for Self Publishing a Book

Before we can talk about making money in publishing a book, we need to talk about the costs involved to get started. Since expensive printing equipment or set-ups are not required, anyone with a simple computer and an idea for a book can enter the field of book publishing. With no large investment required, the potential profit obviously skyrockets.

However, expect to put in some sweat equity, or pay labor costs to prepare the digital file for publication. For more details about costs involved in publishing a book read, Real Self-Publishing Costs to Publish a Book.

Millions Made by Publishing a Book with Digital Publishing

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How Much Does Self-Publishing Success Cost?

Digital publishing equipment has made a new self publisher era possible. No longer considered ‘vanity publishing,” many successful traditionally published authors are getting excited about the size of their royalties made by publishing a book themselves. Take Barbara Freethy, for instance, author of 34 novels including the Wish series and first author on Kindle and Nook to sell one million books. She has been writing for 20 years and was published through four different publishing houses. Freethly is now self-publishing. “Once I saw how well my self-publishing books were doing and how much more attention and focus I could put on my own books, it was a pretty easy decision [to continue self-publishing] because those books have been doing so much better,” Freethy comments.


Those who have completed Ms. Nelson’s Courses are raving fans. See Videos Reviews & Author Library.
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Amanda Hocking has made millions with her romance series on e-book platforms as well. Considering now, that the self-publishing industry is estimated as a 52 million dollar industry in 2012, there is big money to be made in publishing a book. Self-publishing figures appear to be eclipsing traditional book publishing numbers many times over.

Amanda Hocking and Barbara Freethy are just two of the most well-known millionaire authors. Indeed, this article just barely scratches the surface. Huffington Post Live has a comprehensive video interview with some of today’s most successful self-published authors. Therefore, with the publishing playing field leveled, they interview Hugh Howey, Darcy Chan, Bella Andre, Jasinda Wilder, all New York Times Best Selling authors, and all approaching 1 million or more in book sales. So, with royalties what they are in self-publishing, you can bet those sales numbers has brought each of these authors millionaire status.


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Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid & How to Detect & Prevent Author Scams

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

So many roads to take in publishing a book. Which are the Self-Publshing companies to avoid? Which are the best and worst print on demand services for printing a book?

Keep Your Dream to Publish a Book Alive. Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid

Get Educated: Wrong Turns with Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid Kill Dreams to Publish a Book!

As a self-publishing coach, I am often asked what are the self-publishing companies to avoid? What are the worst “self-publishing” companies? What are the legitimate self-publishing companies? How can I make money in self-publishing my book without spending too much money—or getting caught up with scam self-publishing companies?

Who Are Best & Worst Self-Publishing Companies? How You Can Avoid Self Publishing & Author Scams

If you have landed here, you are probably asking the same question–and that’s understanable. The problem with that question is it is an over simplified question. My quick and easy answer is to say that self-publishing companies to avoid are the ones which will not fit the needs of your self-publishing project. In truth a lot of problems with so-called self-publishing companies are with wrong expectations from the client. Your education could say you thousands of hours and dollars spend on a book project.

This article will help you select the best self-publishing companies for your book publishing projects and how to be aware of particular self-publishing companies to avoid. Some self-publishing companies are just scams and yet others are fine–but its us who must manage their services to get the most bang for our buck. All can be averted with the right questions and research! GET EDUCATED. This site provides self-publishing tips, tools, courses, books, to put you in the best possible position to publish on your own.


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Self-Publishing Toolkit to educate those who need to learn about self-publishing companies to avoid

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How to Be Successful in Self-Publishing a Book

If you are preparing to self-publish a book, this article will help you to properly prepare for success in self-publishing. I have worked inside of a traditional publishing and with offset printing for decades. For the past five years, I have worked extensively in the self-publishing industry and have a good grasp on the landscape of services available in the book publishing industry. In this article, we will tackle the questions of which self-publishing companies to avoid.  However, first, let’s consider the following:

  • So-called “self-publishing” companies are in reality, print on demand companies. Many offer extra services, but they are secondary. To get a more clear understanding of what self-publishing or print on demand really is and what other publishing terms mean, see the Dictionary of Publishing Terms.
  • Selecting a print on demand company or printer is only one step in the self-publishing process. If you have decided to publish a book yourself, understand that it is the equivalent of being your own general contractor for building your home. Selecting a printer to publish your book would be like selecting someone to pour the foundation, put on a roof, or frame up the house. It is but one piece of the entire picture.
  • Selecting the best printing company to print your book depends entirely on the type of book you are going to publish. So the “worst self-publishing company” will be one who least likely matches the requirements of your book project. If publishing a four-color hardback illustrated children’s book, you will want to select a different printing company (“self-publishing company”) than if you are printing a black and white paperback. To learn more about the basic steps of how to publish a book, read other articles on this site.

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Best Way to Avoid Worst Self-Publishing Firms and find Legitmate Self-Publishing Companies

To avoid the worst self-publishing companies, the best approach is to do an analysis of the requirements of your book publishing project. Ask yourself the following questions:

What is the purpose of my book project? Is it to sell lots of books, sell books online, sell books in person, enter the speaking circuit, give workshops using the books, or to leave a legacy for your family?

 Will you need a small or large inventory of books?

Is your budget tiny to small? If so, you will want to consider a print on demand method; books are printed as sold, with no inventory needed.

How important is the quality of printing and paper? If your book includes high-quality four-color illustrations or photos; you will need a different kind of printer, than if publishing a normal paperback book.

Make an Informed Decision to Find Legitimate Self-Publishing & Printing Companies

The trick to finding the best printer for your book publishing project is research. Therefore, take some time to define the specifications of your printing job first. To put together the specifications of your printing project answer the following questions:

    • Will my book be paperback or hardback? (hardback is more expensive and complicated to do)
    • How many printed pages will my book be? (roughly double the number of pages of a 12 point Word document manuscript)
    • Will I have illustrations inside the book? Will I need four-color inside the book?
    • What level of printing quality will my book project need?
    • What size will my book be? Will it be a custom-size or a standard book size?

Some of the Best Self-Publishing Companies

Click Here for Your Self-Publishing Toolkit. Learn about self-publishing terms, processes, and which self-publishing companies to avoid with our self-publishing toolsFor paperbacks, I recommend starting your research with legitimate self-publishing companies such as CreateSpace, LuLu, and Outskirts Press. These “players” have been around since the beginning of print on demand technology and they have their game down. Still, I get many comments about these self-publishing companies who sometimes are being seen as scam self-publishing companies. Keep in mind that although it is free to sign up for a print on demand account in most cases, extra services are often quite overpriced, and this is where the “scamming” comes in. People feel mislead when they discover the “extra costs” involved in self-publishing a book. I suggest reading my article on self-publishing services to learn more about this area.

For Small Quantities of Four-Color Books

For small quantities (or even just one published book) of four-color books (lower quality), I recommend starting your research with Blurb, and for larger quantities, I recommend starting your research with Lightening Source. These are just some suggestions as there are many thousands of self-publishing companies available for printing your book. But the very first step is to clearly define the goals and needs of your book publishing project. As for which self-publishing companies to avoid, I urge you to first do your research on your book project. Then you’ll understand which companies will be a better fit for your project. To learn more about the process of defining your book project, see the following articles:


FAQ-Self-Publishing Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the Best Self-Publishing Companies?

Top self-pubishing companies are those who have proved to be legitimate, have been around since the advent of print on demand, and have been proven to deliver. These include CreateSpace (now owned by Amazon); LuLu, and Outskirts Press. Lightening Source (Ingram) has also recently added a print on demand option. To learn more about self-publishing and self-publishing companies, read the articles: How to Avoid Self-Pubishing Scams with Your Dream to Publish a Book and FAQ-Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions.

What is Self-Publishing?

Self-publishing is when the writer or author of creative works takes on the role of publishing their own works. The job is similar to that of a general contractor who builds a house. Both roles include project management, budgeting, scheduling, and overseeing sub contractors doing the various aspects of the book project. Printing the book is the most obvious aspect of the job. However, editing, book cover design, proofreading are just a few of a multitude of other aspects involved in publishing and self-publishing. To learn more details about what self-publishing is read the article, The Real Definition of Self Publishing by Deborah S. Nelson

What is the Difference Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing?

Traditional publishing has been around for hundreds of years. Traditional publishing companies use offset printing to print books. There are many differences between traditional and self publishing, but the primary difference is in the printing. Offset printing requires an expensvie set up, which makes it necessary to print at least 10,000 books. Many pubishers print 25,000 books to make a book affordable to the general public. Generally, but not always, self-publishing uses print on demand printing, which allows an initial print run of just one book, making book pubishing affordable for first-time authors. To learn more details on this question read the article Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand came into being about a decade ago. It is a revolutionary technical advance in the field of printing and publishing. In a word, print on demand is digital printing. With ophisticated digital printing presses, once the set up is done properly, it is extremely less expensive than offset printing. The quality is also quite good, with only experts able to tell the difference. Print on demand has given rise to the easy and inexpensive ability to self-publish a book. For further reading, click on my article, FAQ-Self-Publishing Frequently Asked Questions


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Those who have completed Ms. Nelson’s Courses are raving fans. See Videos Reviews & Author Library.
Hmmm … I am not quite ready—just send me the Free Self-Publishing Toolkit

Click Here for Your Self-Publishing Toolkit

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