Self-Publishing a Book: 3 Rookie Pitfalls

Self-Publishing a Book Rookie Mistakes

Catch Self-Publishing Rookie Mistakes Before You Make Them

Self-Publishing a Book: Common Rookie Mistakes

By Deborah S. Nelson

So you are thinking of self-publishing a book! Bravo! Publishing a book is an excellent choice for a project that will stretch your imagination, patience, and fortitude. I have self-published 14 books and coached and taught authors to self-publish over 100 books. I can help you avoid the common rookie pitfalls. Self-publishing is similar to taking on the general manager role of building your own home. With that understood, get ready to discover mistakes that could sabotage your book publishing project and make you want to throw in the towel.


Mistake # Three: Hiring a “Self-Publishing Company”

Let’s get your thinking straight right away.  The term,Self-publishing companies” is one of the biggest misnomers of the twenty-first century!  If you truly want to master at the art of self-publishing a book, let me help you with terminology. Also see the Dictionary of Self-Publishing for basic terms. Self-publishing a book as defined in WIKIPEDIA: Definition of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by its author, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. A self-published physical book is said to be privately printed. The author is responsible for and in control of the entire process, including, in the case of a book, the design of the cover and interior, formats, price, distribution, marketing and public relations. The authors can do it all themselves or outsource all or part of the process to companies that offer these services.

What does this mean? It means you do NOT hire someone to “self-publish” your book-this is crazy! The ONLY  one who can SELF publish your book is YOU! I get questions and inquiries daily about “self-publishing companies to avoid,” and I say, “AVOID ALL OF THEM!” Having said that you will need to select a printer, most likely a print of demand printer (which often label themselves as “self-publishing companies”)

The reason for this is, since you are the author, YOU and only YOU are the publisher. You are responsible for the entire project. When you hire one of these so-called “self-publishing companies” you are putting a third-party in the middle, spending more money than necessary, while still needing to oversee all the work. This will not save you much time, if any.  These “self-publishing companies” are, are really print on demand printing companies. Yes, you will need a printer, but that is all you will need from these so-called “self-publishing companies.”

Solution: Subcontract your own workers. Hire a print on demand company for the printing only. Then contract experts in each area. You will need a book cover designer, an interior designer, content editor, proofreader and many other freelancers throughout the process. Many so-called self-publishing companies are happy to overcharge for these services. Read my article on Managing Self-Publishing Services.

Mistake #Two: Manuscript Written Equals Book Completed

Once finished writing your manuscript, you are done, nearly done, or halfway done. WRONG. You are one-third of the way to the finish line of your book project. I tell all my clients right away that you can expect THREE parts to the life cycle of bringing a book into the world:

  1. Write Your Book
  2. Publish Your Book
  3. Market Your Book

Keep in mind that once you have written a book, you are only 1/3 of the way to knowing the complete joy of self-publishing your book! Publishing or self-publishing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.

Solution: Keep this in mind throughout the entire process to build mental and emotional  stamina needed to make it to the finishing line.

Mistake #One: Including Friends, Family & Random “Experts” in the Process

This is the top mistake most people make when self-publishing a book that keeps them from actually finishing. However, if they do persevere through all the conflicting critical eyes, the book is likely to be a mish-mash of styles, looks, proofreading rules, editorial approaches, and your watered-down message.

Let me put it to you straight. Writing a book is about giving your readers a passionate message that only you know… a story that only you can tell. When self-publishing a book get a vision for your book, and stick to it. Everyone is a “so-called” expert, and when it comes down to it, most of the decisions in book publishing are personal and artistic preference. Don’t let everyone’s well mean opinion water down your passionate message to the world.

Solution: If you feel you must get feedback, do not ask for “feedback” to feed your ego–rather for the good of the book. Plan two focus group sessions, and carefully invite your key supporters, along with your book publishing coach to moderate. In the first focus group session, share your original unedited manuscript, and ask people to report back within 7-10 days with their ideas and positive feedback. After that, move on with your book publishing project. Self-publishing a book has a timeline, and you must stay on track to get it done. You may also create a focus group later, for the book cover, and again give people 7-10 days for their reaction, and then move on. This is the biggest mistake that rookies make when self-publishing a book. Looking for support, and complements, and an ego boost, can ultimately sabotage your book project.

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Real Self-Publishing Costs to Publish a Book. Reasonable—But it is NOT Free!

Financial Benefits You Will Receive as a Published Author​--and the self-publishing costs

So You Think You Want to Publish a Book

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

What a great dream! If your dream is a dream to publish a book, get ready for the most encouraging and truthful news. A key question you might have is: What are the real self-publishing costs to publish a book, and it is really free? On this site, I offer many tools, tricks, and tips to teach how to publish a book inexpensively, yet professionally.

First, let me explain why you may want to listen to me. Having immersed me in the brave new world of self-publishing for the past 10 years as an author/publisher, I can share a massive amount of experience, knowledge, and information on how to publish a book.

Why I am an Expert Book Publishing CoachDeborah S. Nelson, Author, Publisher, Speaker

If you understand both the long-term and short-term value of having a publishing coach, sign up for my complimentary coaching session. In my career prior to self-publishing, I traversed the printing, publishing, advertising, and marketing industries for decades. I ran a small ad agency that specialized in promotional items, printing, and a multitude of marketing and events projects.

While creating promotional campaigns, I learned printing and imprinting thoroughly and used some 85 printing processes onto hundreds of different surfaces—including glass, metal, plastics, woods, and papers of course—booklets, brochures, business cards, and books. Additionally, I worked for a traditional publishing house for close to three years and experienced book publishing from an inside perspective. Presently, I work as an author and publishing coach, teaching inside secrets to clients who want to glide through independent publishing smoothly, inexpensively, without frustration or embarrassment! I am well-qualified to teach a multitude of strategies about how to publish a book!

Publishing SOLO: DIY Publishing Kits Start at $97 with Deborah S. Nelson (how to self-publish a book)

How to Publish a Book & What are the Real Self-Publishing Costs?

I know the inside scoop on all the printing and publishing processes—both old school and new-tech ways. So let’s get to it. We are going to start with the good, the bad, and the ugly of the independent publishing industry.

The Good: Self Pubishing’s Lack of Rejection

Self-Publishing’s big plus is the lack of rejection letters. Hurray! You won’t get any of them; and you won’t waste time getting them, either! Self-publishing with print on demand is doable and affordable, but check the real self-publishing costs before diving in. See an informative article about the realities of the time-consuming rejection process: Top 10 Rejected Best-selling Authors.

The Bad: How to Sell Your Self-Published Books?

Maybe you should have gotten that rejection letter. Now that you have published your book, you don’t know how to sell it!

The Ugly: It is not Free to Self-Publish!

Although Self-publishing is difficult and time-consuming, it is no longer nearly impossible to become a published author. Carefully consider these three basic steps to publishing a book in physical form: write your book, publish your book, and sell your book. And it is NOT FREE! Get that out of your head right now. If a self-publishing company tells you it is free, they are not telling you the whole story. So read on to learn more details for what you can expect the real self-publishing costs to be.

Free Self-Publishing accounts are Free—But that is Where it Stops.

Click Here for Your Free Self-Publishing Toolkit

It may be “free” to sign up for a print-on-demand account, an ISBN number may even be free, but those websites do not actually teach you how to publish a book. That is left up to you! At some point, you are going to have to pay a piper, somewhere, sometime.  That won’t be a pretty sight if not prepared in advance. I want to help you avoid finding yourself stranded in the middle of a publishing project, hopes dashed; and unable to publish due to lack of time, money, and other resources.

I explain to my publishing coaching clients and students that to write and publish a book is not for the faint of heart. Compared to having a baby, in many ways it is more difficult. Compare self-publishing to having AND raising a child. If not approached with a clear head and an honest heart, publishing can be extraordinarily expensive, the technical details could cause you to lose your mind; and if not properly budgeted, could even cause you to go broke!

Having said that, knowing how to publish a book using print on demand printing is miraculous compared to the days when there was no choice but to go through a traditional publishing house; and use an ordinary printing press. In fact, it is doable and affordable. And becoming a published author is a dream come true, absolutely exhilarating.

Change Your Story Vision Kits by Deborah S. Nelson

What are the Costs of Self-Publishing a Book?

The following figures are ranges; assuming you would go through the same processes that a professional publishing company. However, various estimated costs of self-publishing are detailed as follows:

  • EDITORIAL: Three editorial phases, content edit, copy-edit and final proofreading.

TOTAL EDITORIAL COST is about $750-$2400, depends on the length of the book.

  • BOOK COVER: Three phases, including front and back cover graphic design, the writer’s bio with Author Photo, and the “sales synopsis” of the book on the back cover.

TOTAL BOOK COVER COST about $200-$1500, depends on the intricacy of cover design.

  • INTERIOR DESIGN: Three phases, including font, header, and divider page design, image and graphic element design and placement, interior digital file preparation to printing specification.

TOTAL INTERIOR LAYOUT AND DESIGN COST, about $500-$2000, depends on the length and complication of design and graphic elements included.

How to Self Publish on Amazon--What are Self-Publishing costs?
How to Self Publish on Amazon

How to Cut Self-Publishing Costs

Obviously, there are many ways to decrease self-publishing costs. At Publishing SOLO, we use tools such as Book Cover Design Template, and Interior Design Concept Worksheet. Thus, these tools completely plan the look and the placement of graphic elements, copy, and images before turning it over to the designer who charges by the hour. By using these tools thoroughly, the time the graphic artist takes to produce a digital file to print specifications can be as little as one hour for a book cover, and 5-10 hours for an interior design, depending on the size and complexity of the book.

RELATED ARTICLE: Necessary Self-Publishing Services

Publish your Book Blueprint by Deborah S Nelson

Have a Dream to Publish a Book—
But Lack the Time or Know-How?

Look no further. Indeed, this potent detailed DIY publishing guide grants you the time and know-how. Learn how to self-publish a book by doing it! Notably, once you become a published author, friends, family, and peers see you in a whole new light! Furthermore, this unique system propels both aspiring and seasoned authors through digital publishing step-by-step. Moreover, you won’t need your completed manuscript!

Includes downloadable template
Free ISBN number & POD account
10 steps to print on demand publishing
Displays book parts in chronological order
Publish your book blueprint proof in a week