Self-Publishing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Hello fellow Indies!

Welcome to my brand new site. As some of you read in my last post, I’ve decided to shift focus away from writing for children, to writing for indie authors!

I’m happy to report that my book, Self-Publishing Your Books: A Beginner’s Resource Guide will be available very soon. As of yesterday afternoon, the book is now with the formatter, which is the very last step. I’m hoping to have some exciting news very soon!

See what I did there? I used vague and very non-committal language to tell you when my book is going to come out. Soon? When is soon? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month?

The fact of the matter is, I don’t know exactly when it’ll be ready. THIS IS NOT GOOD.

Now I know that it definitely should be ready by June 24th. This is the last possible day I have to upload it to the Amazon site. My goal was to upload it at least a week before that. However, I don’t know exactly when, and I should know. This brings us to the topic at hand. Publishing pitfalls and how to avoid them.

  1. My pre-order was cancelled because I didn’t upload my book on time. Unless you have an established and proven network of contractors, you shouldn’t set-up a pre-order. If you miss the deadline, or cancel the pre-order Amazon will revoke your pre-order privileges for a year. Also, I’ve seen it on many occasions, where people did upload it on the last possible day, but didn’t account for the time zone differences. How to avoid: Allow for a month delay when choosing a pre-order date. Maybe you got sick and couldn’t write for two weeks, maybe you accidentally send the wrong version of your book to your formatter or editor and they worked on the wrong one. Maybe you can’t find a cover designer with the availability you need. Planning to upload your book a month before you set your planned pre-order date, is the best way to account for any unforeseen delays.
  2. The person I contracted to do work for me, didn’t finish the job or defrauded me in some way. How to avoid: (notice I didn’t say prevent) Plain and simple is to do your research. Many affordable and reputable contractors/freelancers provide service agreements. While in many cases they aren’t iron clad, it’s at least something to work off of if they screw you over. Ask questions. Make sure you know what you are asking for, and what you are getting. Don’t expect comments on plot, and character development when you’ve only asked and paid for a proof read. Don’t expect a full wrap cover when you’ve only paid for e-book. If you are working with editors, read some of the work they’ve edited. If you are working with book cover designers, take a look at other covers they designed, ask where they source their images, do reverse image searches on their covers to make sure they aren’t stolen from someone else. ***Note: I’m talking entirely stolen cover concepts, not individual images. Many designers purchase from the same stock sites and you might see similar or same images used.*** If a freelancer is new they might not have all of these things in place. Therefore, I recommend paying via Paypal or another traceable method to protect yourself in case the person you hired bails entirely. In many cases, you will be asked for a deposit, and the balance when work is complete. This is a fair way to protect both author, and contractor.
  3. I’m losing my audience because I over promised and under delivered. Niki Morris, how do you plead to these charges? “Guilty”. I’ve announced book dates, and those dates have passed with no book, I’ve announced new directions, new plans and they never came to fruition, and due to this, people lost interest. Things happen, plans change, but the difference between now and then is simple. It’s planning. Now, I have to admit, me and planning do not mix. Mere mention of the word “plan” makes me itch. I like to just putter about and see how the day unfolds instead of scheduling every second of it. However, it’s a necessary evil. How to avoid: I’ll let you in on a little secret… my formatter got back to me while I was writing this post. She has scheduled me for this Wednesday. Typically, I would announce my book would be available Thursday. However, I’m going to wait. Now, I’ve worked with her before, and if she says Wednesday, she means it. However, Amazon’s review time has gotten a bit longer. So I’m sticking with “Soon” until I know for sure that my book uploaded successfully, and Amazon has processed it. For my next book, I won’t announce anything until it’s actually written. It’s ok to be ambitious and have big plans, but unless you get into a rhythm and can consistently produce reliable results, you don’t have a proof of concept (POC). If you don’t have a a POC then you shouldn’t be announcing anything definitive just yet.

Well, that’s all for now. My kids are whining that they want to go into the pool, and this day is just too beautiful to stay inside. I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions, please let me know!

If you are just starting out your self-publishing journey, and don’t know where to begin, please check out my new book coming out ‘soon’.

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