The road to becoming a published author is winding and long and emotional. We get it. It’s easy to stumble and lose your way. And if you’ve made a few mistakes along the way, hey, don’t worry about it. You’re in good company. The best thing you can do is learn from those mistakes, and share what you’ve learned so others can take heed. Here are a few of the top mistakes our authors discovered on their road to publication:
Going “Wild Wild West”
Deciding to figure things out as you go and wing it (otherwise known as going “Wild Wild West”) is a sure-fire way to stunt your book sales. Do your homework and study everything from the publishing process to author branding to social media strategies before you publish. Your study time will pay off in the form of book sales (and fans).
Believing that traditional is the only way to go
Authors can languish for years trying to find an agent and publisher in the hopes of securing a big publishing deal. Choosing to traditionally publish is a noble goal, but if you’re not getting any interest from agents and editors, don’t let your book become a doorstop. Don’t limit your publishing opportunities by ignoring self-publishing.
Not hiring professionals
We get it. If you decide to self-publish, it’s hard to think about spending money on your book before it’s even published, when you have no idea how many copies (if any) you’ll actually sell. But failure to hire professional designers, formatters and copyeditors is probably the biggest and most damaging mistake an author can make. Cheap-looking covers, glaring grammar and punctuation errors and formatting oddities are sure to cripple your sales (and your reputation as an author).
Celebrate your finished book. It’s an accomplishment few people will ever achieve. But never forget that the long-haul career of a successful author involves always working on the next book.
What about all you authors out there? What's the worst mistake you've ever made? What do you wish you could do over? What did you nail perfectly? Have any advice you’d like to share with the class? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Leave a comment or drop us a line.