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7 Common Mistakes That Stamp Unprofessional On Your Self Published Book And How To Avoid Them

Jul 23, 2008
Have you joined the ranks of aspiring authors ready to take the next step to self publishing in the digital age of publishing? If so, congratulations! But wait, before you rush off to press, there are some things you should do to prepare your book for successful self-publishing. The preparation step of the self-publishing process includes everything you need to do to your book manuscript before you deliver it to the book printer. This includes deciding your publishing goals.

For example, is your book a personal family history book that you plan to sell to a few friends and family? Or do you plan to mass-market your book to the world? After deciding your market then you should avoid the following common mistakes:

1. Failure to write a Business Plan
This is where your book publishing journey should begin. You don't have to start with a 15-page document. But do create an outline of all the costs that you will encounter in the self-publishing process.

Outline your costs before publication, after publication and everything from the beginning costs to the shipping price of mailing a book. This is the time you decide whether you should print a small amount of books for family or set up a small publishing company by buying a block of ISBNs.

2. Failure to get ISBN Numbers.
An ISBN number is what identifies you as a book publisher. Currently, it is the only way you can be considered a self-publisher in the publishing industry. At the time of this writing, no one can give, assign or sell you ISBNs except RR Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency.

3. Failure to invest in Book Editing.
Don't cut corners here. Invest in your book; get it professionally edited. Copy or line editing will bring your manuscript up to professional standard. Don't settle for just having your family member take a look at your manuscript.

4. Failure to hire a book designer for book layout.
The book layout is what structures the content of your book and makes it look like a book. Again invest in your book project; this is not the time to settle for anything less than a professional look. If your book looks sloppy, it will limit its success in the market.

5. Failure to create bound galleys for reviews.
Bound galleys, limited run book proofs, are often unedited and used to get book reviews before the publication date of your book. Also, bound galleys do not have a laminated full color cover.

6. Failure to get your book proofread.
Beginner publishers skip this step in preparing their book for publication. Professional publishers know not to skip this step. A book full of errors can cost you in sales later on--including loss of respect for your important message.

Proofreading is not the same as editing; only done after the book designer formats or lays out your book into pages. The proofreader looks at word breaks and sentence layout. Some minor corrections missed in the first line edit may also be made.

7. Failure to invest in cover design.
75% of 300 booksellers reviewed (half from independent bookstores and half from chains) recognized the look and design of the book cover as the most important part. They agreed the jacket is prime real estate for promoting a book. On that note, your book cover design has great importance. It can cause your book marketing campaign to fail or succeed. So, I encourage you to get your book cover professionally designed.

Are you ready to publish your book successfully? Did you consider all your options including a business plan and book cover design? Great! Now that you know how to set up your book for full speed ahead self-publishing, go ahead take the plunge. Don't wait any longer. Start today. Your audience is waiting for YOUR unique message and viewpoint. Make it different. Make it count. Make it yours.
About the Author
And now I would like to offer you free access to 1 of my FREE Reports Self-Publishing Made Easier when you subscribe to iScribe, a free twice a month newsletter on book writing, publishing and marketing tips. You can get your instant access at http://www.selfpublishinghouse.net

From Earma Brown - The Book Writing & Publishing Coach, Write to Win Series
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