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Seven Ways To Sabotage Your Self Publishing Success

Aug 17, 2007
The book business is a billion dollar industry; however grabbing your slice of the pie will require skills far beyond simply writing well and conveying your message clearly.

So, if you're thinking about becoming a published author read this before you power up the PC and prepare to pen a masterpiece because there are a few (17 that I've found) landmines to watch out for on the road to self publishing success.

Following are seven of the primary reasons many authors fail. Is your book is positioned to fly or flop?

1. Publishing books with unprofessional covers. Despite of what your Mom might have told you, people DO judge books by their covers and if your cover does not look like it was professionally designed it won't sell as many copies as you'd hope.

Take the time and do the research on a quality cover designer who will help you bring your book cover to life professionally and affordably.

Here's a great way to get a surge of inspiration - even if you never intend to see your book in the bookstore - go to the section in the bookstore that you would find your book and get ideas from the covers that are already there. Jot down the titles and go online to see which of them are top sellers and then model their success for your book.

2. Printing in larger quantities then they have proven they will be able to sell. The book
business is more a marketing and promotion business than it is a publishing business. No matter how great your book might, you'll face financial frustration if you blindly print 5000 copies on the "hope" that they'll sell quickly.

Without advance marketing and pre-sales promotions it's very easy to overestimate the initial quantity for your first order. So as soon as you have a quality cover designed you want to use that visual representation as way to promote your book, generate buzz and best of all gauge your first print run size.

3. Paying large amounts for services upfront to "save" money. Many first time authors believe that they will save money by printing a large quantity of books all at once. In fact, that is only partly true. If you print 5000 copies of your book to "save" $1.00 per copy on printing but only sell 1000 copies, you may be loosing more than you save if you haven't factored in the additional money you need for marketing and promoting the remaining 4000 copies.

To keep your initial "savings" from actually costing you future sales, consider working with a Print-on-Demand printer that will allow you to purchase smaller quantity print runs. While it might seem like you're paying more per copy the reality is you're making a more financially sound business move.

4. Working without a coach or mentor. Information is great, but too much information can actually lead to inactivity. Have you ever been so blown away by a great idea that you didn't know where to begin; so you did nothing? It happens to the best of us. That's why most often it's not more information that will lead to your success, but a structured plan and accountability to see it through.

Tiger Woods is arguably the world's best golfer. He has broken records and sent golfers 20 years older packing. He's focused and determined to win, and despite all of his success he still has a coach. His mentor isn't necessarily a better golfer than he is, but a person who understands the game and can see things from a different vantage point to offer him tips, advice and coaching for maximum success.

5. Not testing a title before it's printed. Often when we have a great idea we can become so attached that we loose objectivity. When I wrote my book, "Teen Money Tips: Simple Steps For Banking, Saving & Making Money" my original title idea was "Get In The Driver's Seat: 7 Keys To Making The Most of Your Money" it was cute and cleaver but it didn't give the reader an instant indication of what the book was actually about.

After testing the title with more than 50 potential purchasers in my target market the results were in overwhelming favor of "Teen Money Tips," a title that I though was too boring. But I had to remember it didn't matter what "I liked" if the intended audience wouldn't buy it.

Boy, am I glad I listened because my market has rewarded me time and again with a steady stream of book sales!

6. Writing books they think people "should" read. The famous 12-step program operates on the sole belief that a person must first admit they have a problem before they will truly work towards recovery.

If your book addresses an issue that people "should" be concerned about, but that they don't know about, don't care about or are to afraid to take action on, then it might not be the best
investment of your time or resources to be the first one to write the book.

Writing for established markets that have proven to be willing to pay for information and a solution to their problem will enrich your life and theirs.

7. Waiting until the book is completed to market it. I'll admit that writing a book can seem like a single focus task, and it should be at times. But authors must never loose sight of the fact that books are written to be sold. If no one knows about, or anticipates your book's release, then your initial sales will be low and disappointing, making it difficult to cover the initial investment and even harder to play catch-up.

Movement encourages success, and very few things guarantee movement like having advanced marketing for your book. Book announcements, virtual book tours and bundled book bonus offers are just a few things that you can do in advance to market your book and boost your bottom line.

There are many other reasons that first time authors don't reach their full potential. I've been there so I understand what it's like to be long on enthusiasm and ideas, but lacking a full understanding of all the nuances to be successful as an author. That's why I'm passionate about helping aspiring (and even previously published) authors write, publish and promote their way to self publishing success.

By avoiding the "Seven Ways To Sabotage Your Self Publishing Success," you'll experience the upside of self publishing:
* Controlling your own work
* Pocketing more profit
* Credibility as an Author
* Expert status

And many more benefits much sooner; which is the whole reason you decided to become a self published author in the first place!
About the Author
Speaker and top selling author Sanyika Calloway Boyce, recommends Self-Publishing-Info.com as a great resource for coaches, consultants, speakers, authors or anyone who wants to write, publish and promote a book successfully.
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