Ok, I've made a mistake. Actually, multiple mistakes. Big ones. Embarrassingly big mistakes. Learn from me:
I've always wanted to have one of my books published through traditional means. However, I recently self published my first novel A Light in the Darkness, a Christian romance / suspense.
After researching self publishing, I've learned many things.
I don't even know where to start on all the mistakes I've made.
First, let me just say that this book was written specifically for a dear friend of mine for her 30th birthday. I finished it about two weeks before her big day, frantically put it all together and ordered it as quickly as possible to make sure it arrived in time. The fact that it came in time was a great accomplishment.
After I gave it to my friend, I thought I could spice it up a bit. I fixed some spacing issues, redid the cover, those sorts of things and thought I was all set.
Um....no. I've been focusing so much time on learning the ins and outs of traditional publishing that I neglected doing the same thorough research for self publishing.
Here's what I learned:
1. No one cares. Not really, at least. Just because you've written a book doesn't mean that the world is going to flock to buy it. I can look at my lulu sales page and figure this one out. I didn't really give the reader a reason to buy my book, other than the fact that I've wrote it.
The book needs to have an eye catching cover, something that says what the book is about. (My mistake #1)
The little blip from the story needs to be really awesome. (I could have found a better blip. Mistake #2)
The author bio should prove that you can write. (Mistake #3 for me.)
2. Use social media. (I've done that) But don't be harassing. (Mistake # 4).
3. Do an e-book. (Mistake # 5) Getting an e-book together is a little confusing, but clearly not impossible.
4. Edit. Edit. Oh, and Edit. If you aren't good at editing, get a pro to help out. (Mistake #6 - I mean, I edited and had others help, but a pro would have been helpful)
Ok, my ego can't take much more. I've totally dropped the ball on my first attempt! Wait, that's nothing to be too ashamed about. It's a first attempt. We all make mistakes, right? Now I can go back to my book, fix my mistakes, and re-release it. That's the beauty of self publishing. Plus, I've learned a ton about self publishing and I'm only just beginning!
So please don't make the same mistakes I did when self publishing. Take the time, research, and do it right the first time.