Let’s be honest, people often get lured into the pipedream of having their book on the Best Sellers List or being on Oprah’s booklist. They get scammed by publishing company promises or simply are sweet talked by the hype of having their story read. The research that needs to be done gets missed and they end up with bumps, bruises, broken hearts and crushed dreams. I’ve compiled a list of the top seven mistakes that Authors make when deciding to publish a book.
- You don’t have a budget
Things have changed from the days when you paid thousands and thousands of dollars to publish a book. That being said, there is still is a cost associated with publishing your book. People who don’t do their research find that things like promo videos, graphic design and editing still have a cost. What happens is someone will quote you a fee and you will immediately respond that it is too high. You won’t do the research to see what the cost of this item is elsewhere or even compare prices. This will discourage some people from publishing their book at all. Other people will attempt to do the whole thing on their own in order to cut cost.
Word to the wise……whatever you invest in your book is an investment into your business. That is how you need to look at it because when you publish your book you are now a business owner. Yes, these are things that you can write off and use as deductions on your taxes. (Talk to a Certified Public Account to find out what deductions you can use)
2. You only plan to sell the book
So honestly, you are thinking way too small. Most times Authors believe that publishing the book is the end result but it is only the beginning. You will be able to create a fulltime revenue stream if you learn this lesson early. Books can become classes, workshops, speeches, journals and so many other things as well. Don’t get so attached to just wanting to publish the book that you don’t see the possibilities available to you.
I learned this the hard way when I saw just how much I would get from a book sell on Barnes & Nobles or Amazon. You make more by selling the physical book yourself or by setting up another way to sell your book. If you plan accordingly you will be able to create the revenue you desire.
3. You didn’t build a community/tribe
One of the books that changed my mindset was Tribes because it opened my eyes to the power of community. That coupled with how communities like the BHive (Beyonce’s followers) interact and engage showed me that by not having one I was missing out. A community supports you and everything that you do with a devote loyalty. Without one, you will struggle to get the word out about your book.
Look at the success that Beyonce had when she did the Lemonade album. This was tribe behavior loud and clear. So how do you build a tribe? Well, that takes consistency, engagement, and content that a particular audience enjoys. If you’ve got that then you are well on your way to accessing the support and success connected with having a tribe.
4. You expected family and friends to buy your book
I almost want to laugh at this one. We get so excited about our accomplishment that we believe that everyone should be just as excited. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Some will support and others may not but you must remember that your family is not your target audience. Yes, it is important for you to know who your target audience is even when writing a book.
By outlining who your target audience is you will save yourself disappointment when people don’t show interest in your book. It just may not be something that they are interested in. You have to be okay with that. Knowing this information will serve you in other areas as well.
5. You don’t have a marketing strategy
This is the one that ruffles my feathers…..a lot. I see so many Authors that don’t know how to market themselves or their book. So they resort to sending inbox messages with links to everyone on their friends’ list. (Very ineffective) Oh, the other option is doing a post and tagging 99 people. Sigh! Having a marketing strategy is vital to your success as an Author.
What does a good marketing strategy include? There are so many simple ways to promote your book. Ultimately it will include you doing some networking and collaborating. Below are just a few ways to promote your book.
~ Bulk Sales
~ Live events
~ Book Tours
~ Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram & Twitter Ads
6. Your first book published is an anthology
So I always have mixed feelings about Anthologies mainly because of the promise of an easy way to be a published Author for new Authors. So many don’t fully research what goes into being a part of an Anthology. The fact that any sales on Amazon go directly to the person that put together the Anthology or that you end up paying extra to get your name and or headshot on the cover of the book. These are not always discussed upfront.
Is it a bad idea to be apart of an Anthology? No, but you should do the research BEFORE saying yes to the opportunity. That way you can budget accordingly and get the best ROI (Return on Investment) for the money that you put out. Anthologies are a great way to gain experience and begin building up a network of authors.
7. You didn’t plan to travel
I know you wish that you could just publish the book and then stay at home but that is not how any of this works. Now you have to be social. Networking events, author expos and vendor tables will be a part of your future. These are the ways that you build a brand and business around your book. That people need to know who you are and be able to connect with you offline.
Is this something that scares you? Is it something that excites you? The sky is the limit at this point. There are Author awards, Author expos, and events where you can get a vendor table. Finding these opportunities is as easy as doing a google search, a search on Eventbrite or doing a search of events on Facebook. Be willing to do the research and you will always find events.
Below you will hear from a few Authors who learned a few tricks of the trade when they published their first book. You can find replays of their interviews on my #SpeakEasy podcast by going to YouTube or Spreaker.
1. Simene Walden
Facebook, Periscope, and Instagram @simenewalden
One thing I learned from writing your first book was that you do not have to have a lot of money or expertise. What you need is your story in your own voice and do not try to mimic or copy someone else because your end product will not be the same and your audience will be able to spot out the lack of authenticity, I learned not to lose my voice.
What signature statement or quote do you live by? Outdo the best you from yesterday.
What makes you an expert in your industry? I have 14 years of public school teaching with middle schoolers. I have thousands of hours of professional development, training, and coaching that has helped me cultivate the skill set that I have in addition to my own personal time of reading and researching.
How does your book hit the pulse of your reader? It challenges adults to think about the message we send to the youth with our lifestyles. It encourages parents to be aware of who is in front of their child daily at school. It encourages educators to make sure they are operating within their best self in order to leave a positive thumbprint on the students they encounter.
2. Melissa Jakes
@rescue_events (Twitter & Instagram) Facebook (Rescue event planning)
I’ve learned that sharing my gifts with others can help influence them or push them to the next level, which shows me that I’ve made the right decision writing my first book. I’ve also learned that I now have to continue to push myself as an influencer and
“Life is not about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself- George Bernard Shaw”
I’ve planned multiple events from weddings, baby shower, and sweet sixteens, however after planning conferences, book signings, grand openings I learned that my best success is when my clients can reach their success. I’ve mastered how to bring marketing techniques, budget-saving tips on how to create an epic event on a shoestring budget. The passing year I’ve assisted influencers to reach their goal by hosting a live event while building their brand.
Live Events help influencer create income, exposure, publicity, increase their following, establish credibility, and move their businesses to the next level. As a busy influencer or entrepreneur it is hard to keep up with the logistics of creating the timeline, organizing vendors and speakers, negotiations with venues and caterers, or most importantly missing out on the value due to lack of knowledge and industry experience. This book helps influencer organized themselves with the full services of an event planner or coordinator.
3. Valawaugn Blackmon McCain
https://www.facebook.com/Valawaugnthesurvivor/ Author page
https://www.facebook.com/spokenwordpoetrywithatwist/ Founder spoken word event
I have learned that there are not many opportunities for marketing and selling books as a self-published author. Authors have to go to vendor events to sell their books. Trying to get your name and book out there is the hardest thing, however, faith without works is dead.
My life is one of faith because God has given me life after doctors had given me 3-5 years. if I was to say I live by anything or to tell anyone it would be: No matter what your situation may be fighting for your life and never give up!
I am an expert in talking to people that have faced unbelievable challenges and offer them motivation and hope. Most have been given a death sentence or an incurable illness. Living 22 years as an Astrocytoma brain tumor survivor I can identify with them and that is why I wrote my book about my life and will write much more as my book is one of a series. I feel that people do not have hope because all they see and know is life expectancy but I am living proof that you can live beyond a death sentence if you trust God and believe his word.
The person that reads my story will be impacted by the very life story itself, as it takes you on an emotional roller coaster that you can envision as you read it. It gives you affirmations to speak about your life that if it is implemented will change your mindset of death and give you hope to a better doable life.
4. Dorothea Robinson
Twitter & LinkedIn: @itspossible2do2
Facebook: business pg: The Butterfly Experience-1 more butterfly free
Facebook: Dorothea Thea Robinson
I’ve learned from my readers and clients how to elevate my listening skills. We know that there are a lot of people that listen just to respond instead of listening to understand. That can be dangerous when it comes to Domestic Violence.
My favorite quote is “Seek Peace Pray for Peace and He will give you peace”.
I am an exit strategist making plans to get clients to safety safely. Women come to me for assistance in getting out of their intimate partner relationship. They usually come when they are at the point of hopelessness. I inspire as well as give them some hope in their state of feeling lost. Because I planned my own escape from an intimate partner abuse relationship, I can understand the state of mind of a victim. I was married to my abuser for about 30 years. Having experience every category of intimate partner abuse a.k.a Domestic Violence, I sought out to become a Life Coach to abused women, professional speaker, and have written policies and procedures for companies to use as standards in helping in the effort of Domestic Violence and the workplace. I have also written books, founder of The Butterfly Experience support group and The Life After Domestic Violence (LADV) membership group. I host a weekly Livestream: Declare2Live, LADV-Live, and Hidden. There is also a Youtube Channel – The Exodus. I can be found on all social media platforms and very well known to my targeted audience.