Hindsight is a wonderful thing and after publishing a fair few books in my time, I think I’ve made every mistake that it’s possible to make as an author.
However, the biggest one that I’ve made, and that I see others doing, is publishing your book too soon.
This comes in 2 forms:
- publishing your book when it’s not ready
- publishing your book without marketing it.
1. Publishing your book when it’s not ready.
Your book is not ready for publishing unless it has been thoroughly proofread at least 3 times and by different people. As good as you are at proofreading other peoples stuff, when it comes to your own, it doesn’t work out as well. Yes, spellchecker and Grammarly will catch 99% of the mistakes made is spelling and grammar, but that still leaves 1%. And that 1% is the thing that you readers will spot and get annoyed about. Why? Because you don’t care enough to go the extra mile and get 100%. Everyone is familiar with spellcheck so they’ll expect you to have used it on your book.
2. Publishing your book without marketing it
As an author, I’ve watched other authors when they’ve published their book and I’ve noticed one thing that they do and that is they start marketing their book when it’s properly finished, and leave a period of time before they publish it.
The reason for this is to create a buzz for the book so that a lot of people buy it at the same time. Why?
If you’re like me and remember Top of The Pops, you’ll know that before a song was released, DJs were sent copies to play before the song was released to the public. If they liked it they’d give it air time, and if the public liked it, they’d request it and pre-order it. When the single was released, loads of people, in the same week, bought a copy and the song would go into the charts, sometimes straight into the no. 1 slot. This period of time might be several weeks, so the battle for the Christmas no. 1 starts many weeks beforehand. The X-Factor winner usually went straight into no.1 because they’d been marketing from the moment they showed the first episode of the series!
The same thing happens with books, however, on Amazon, the bestseller lists are updated hourly. Think about it. To get into the bestseller lists, you have to sell a lot of books in a short time. (You also have to keep an eye on the charts once your book is published to do a screengrab of when your book hit the top 10 or ni.1 spot.). The good news is that as a result, you don’t need to sell too many books in that short period of time, but if you do, it will have an impact. Amazon itself will take note and you’ll get featured in the new and interesting lists, thus making your book available to a bigger audience on Amazon.
So, whilst it’s really exciting to publish your book, it’s even more exciting when you can say that you have had a best selling book…