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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Writing from Your Heart?

Are You Writing from Your Heart or from Your Head?

By Deborah S. Nelson

Writing from Your Heart or Head, which is better? When teaching, I speak of two writing methods–The Art of Writing, which is writing from your heart; and The Craft of Writing, which is writing from your head.

To be a good writer, you only need one method–writing from your heart. I urge clients, writers, and students to spill their passion. First pour your heart out. Once you tell you story on paper (or computer) it is easy to clean it up. We can hire editors, copy editors, and proofreaders to smooth the rough edges. Most importantly, tell your story authentically with passion.

Most of my clients and students are afraid their writing might be “bad writing.” This fear is a culturally shared fear dating back hundreds of years when publishing houses held the key to the printing press. They defined what was “good” writing and “bad” writing, often based on self-perpetuating factors. Today we enjoy print on demand which allows us to print just one book affordably. We can publish our own works now. We need not be scholars, or celebrities, or part of the elite to be published. Democracy has come to publishing. We do not need anyone’s permission write and to publish.

writing from your heart is the best direction. Warning Sign says watch writing with your ego.

Is My Writing Good or Bad Writing?

No system to filter good writing from bad writing is yet in place on this new playing field of self-publishing. The system inside traditional publishing houses is based as much on the book’s monetization potential as writing quality. I have seen this in action. Yet, we are all likely to agree a difference between good and bad writing is a reality.

Self-Publishing


After working in both traditional publishing and self-publishing, I realize the real distinction between good writing and bad writing boils down to writing from your heart. Too often writers are writing for the attention of being published. They are like people who talk to hear themselves talk.  Similarly these writers crave seeing their name in print. When you write self-consciously like this, it is not writing from your heart, this is writing from your ego.

Writing from Ego Likely to Create “Bad Writing”

To coax the best writing from your heart, drop the idea of appearances. Transcend them memory of your high school or college English teacher. You are telling a story, or teaching something to your readers to help them. You are entertaining, teaching, or providing valuable information. Feeling the connection between what you share and who share you it with, will automatically create good writing. Writing from your heart will cover up a multitude of writing sins when you engage readers with your passion. Next time you write, forget about grammar, spelling, vocabulary. Let it rip! Writing from your heart breaks the spell of writer’s block, and eliminates the quest for writing discipline.


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Writing Discipline-Beat Writer’s Block by Trading Discipline for Inspiration!

Once Upon a Time Inspiration for your Book. But how to motivate writing

How to Overcome Writer’s Block & Finish Writing Your Book. Get Beyond, “Once Upon a Time!”

Need Writing Discipline to Conquer Writer’s Block?

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

As a writer, and in the role of writing coach, I am often asked,  “Do you have certain place and time that you make yourself sit down and write?” My answer is NO.

It is rare that I make myself write or struggle with “writer’s block”. But how can you quickly get yourself into that I love to write state?

Click Here for Your Free Self-Publishing Toolkit by Deborah S. Nelson from Publishing Solo

Many writers wrestle with feeling they need to make themselves write. They may even create a writing discipline, such as writing at a certain time and place. Yet, the pressure is often too much and they fight to get something written. This may spark early symptons of writer’s block. Next, comes a struggle with the ensuing guilt for not being able to write. Go easy on yourself–writing should be fun!

Disciplined or Inspired Writing? Don’t Force it!

Definition of Inspiration. Instead of using Discipline to write, use inspiration! Publishing SOLO

Inspiration Goes a Long Way for Conquering Writer’s Block!

This method makes take a little more time upfront, but will ultimately have you passionately searching for 15 minutes segments to write. This is what I call inspired writing. I am an inspired writer, and I never “make” myself sit down and write. In fact, I often need to make myself stop to take a stretch, food, or bathroom break! My writing projects seem never-ending and my biggest challenge is completing one project, so I can tackle the next. How can you do this? Prepare and nurture the creative soil of your heart and soul. The best writing comes from deep inside, and if you have not prepared the depths, you might find yourself sitting at a desk with all the nice tools with nothing to say–and serious case of writer’s block.

Making a Book Cover-Ste[ 7 Self-Publishing a Book an 7 Tips for Eliminating Writer's BlockDeborah S. Nelson’s Top 7 Inspired Writing Secrets to Stave off and Completely Eliminate Writer’s Block

  1. Never force yourself to write against your will unless you are in a job and have a deadline and your paycheck an livlihood depends on it.
  2. Nurture your creative spirit with daily meditation, walks, prayer, and quiet time. Breathe in and breathe out. Contemplation is what feeds your writing.
  3. Make a book cover first. When writing a book, formulate your concept, find a compelling image, and use Createspace Cover Creator to make a free book cover.
  4. When an idea comes to you, grab a laptop, a journal, or a paper and pencil and write it down immediately. These inspirations will fuel inspired writing.
  5. Banish guilt. Replace feelings of guilt with ideas to inspire. Guilt is a negative motivator, and the best writing comes from inspiration. Guilt can work, but for a limited time.
  6. Fire the Critic: Get the real passion and real story on paper/in computer. Later, hire an editor or proofreader, or even do that yourself; but keep the writing critic away from your writing process. The critic stifles free flowing creativity.
  7. Read this Psychology Today Article: Five Ways to Get Yourself Writing Today

Experience the exhilaration of BOOK COACHING during a trial session with Deborah S. Nelson. Click to schedule a complimentary half-hour—available Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12p.m.-6p.m. EST.

COMPLIMENTARY BOOK COACHING

Replace Writing Discipline with Inspired Writing

There are those who advocate creating writing discipline by organizing the perfect writing area, and these make sense, too. If you are writing for a living, these strategies may not immediately apply. You may have a deadline and turning your article or story in is key to keeping your job. However, if you adopt these strategies gently over time, you may find that you are writing that article or book project before it is actually due, because you are inspired and not forcing yourself to write. Internal inspiration can take your writing much further than motivating yourself with negative consequences. Give yourself time and be gentle when implementing some of these strategies. I write thousands of words almost every day, because I am inspired, and can’t wait to get them on “paper.”


writing tips by Deborah S. Nelson. First, Make an Intent to Publish Agreement with Yourse.f!

Sign an Intent to Self-Publish Agreement with Yourself

Intent to Publish Agreement

Are you ready to get started? Are you ready to take a leap of faith and make that commitment to publish your book? Then sign an Intent to Publish Agreement with yourself. Once you do that, or if even you aren’t quite ready … continue reading this article to get going; as this website also covers all the frequently asked self-publishing questions and more! 


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