Tell Your Story: 5 Pitfalls You Must Avoid When Publishing Your Book

For some people, writing a book means completing one of their dreams. Others see authorship as a path to financial gain.  One thing is for sure, writing provides the perfect medium for “telling your story.”

There are plenty of mistakes to be made along the way. If you are not careful, these can easily mean the difference between a successful publication and a total bomb.

Here are five tips to successfully publish a book, while avoiding some of the pain.

1. Targeting the Wrong Audience

Think about exactly who you are writing for, then use vocabulary and language which will appeal to them. If you are writing a fun, upbeat vacation planning book, making it read like a research paper isn’t going to help it sell.

2. Understand Your Limitations

Deciding to write a book doesn’t automatically qualify you as a talented writer. In fact, many authors spend quite a number of years fine tuning their talents, before they even attempt to write a book.

Mistakes which go (relatively) unnoticed on a blog will stand out like a sore thumb. This means spelling, punctuation and grammar all need to be spot on.

The key message here is to know and understand your own limitations. If you don’t feel you possess the skills to be able to put together a full length manuscript, then you must consider seeking some assistance. Choosing an experienced ghostwriter will serve to disguise any obvious flaws in your writing

For more information on ghost writing, read What a Ghostwriter does and Why, an article on Andrew Croft’s website.

3. Poor Design Cover and Copy

First impressions count. This is why it is vitally important your book stands out – for all the right reasons.

A poorly designed cover or a lackluster title will work against you. The time and energy spent creating your masterpiece could well have been a waste.  You face enough competition just to get read, so why make things harder by pushing potential readers away with a lackluster cover?

Hiring a book cover designer will really help to give your book the head start it needs. Remember: there is no substitution for experience, when it comes to book publishing.

4. Missing out on Online Distribution Potential 

The thought of your book adorning the shelves of Barnes & Noble or Waterstone’s is a nice idea. However, very few authors will ever be able to realize this dream; such is the level of competition.

Therefore, it is vital you tune into the likelihood of online distribution. Nowadays, many people use an e-reader or similar device to display their reading material. As a result of this, you should never underestimate the power online distribution can provide.

There will always be people who favor a hardcover book. However, you only have to look at the pressure many of the High Street retailers have come under to understand how powerful the likes of Amazon and the others are in this sector.

5.  Failing the Publicity and Marketing Campaign

Writing a best-seller and getting it published are only parts of the story.

One aspect you should never overlook is the work required to publicize and market your book. Put simply, failing to tell your potential readers about your new book is really bad business. You would never see Chevrolet launching a new car and forgetting to advertise it, would you?

Okay, so you might not have the budget of a multinational; however this shouldn’t stop you from doing all you can. Think about how social media can help to spread the word. Leveraging Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can make a real difference in your bid to get your book launch off the ground.

Creating a separate landing page on your website is another way to generate interest. Start off with a teaser message and then as you get closer to the launch you can build things up.

Writing a blog post or series of posts can also be a great way of spreading the news. Talking about your experiences with the writing process can really work to get people interested in your forthcoming offering.

If you want additional information, I would recommend reading 5 Low-Cost Social Media Marketing Strategies for Authors, an article on the Mashable website.

Conclusion: Publishing Pitfalls You Must Avoid

Steering clear of some of the pitfalls when publishing a book isn’t always easy, especially if this area is new to you. Design, content and marketing all play important roles in the success of your book.

By avoiding the pitfalls shown here, you will be giving yourself the very best chance of publishing the next best-seller.

About the Author

Helping writers publish their own books is something your author (Tony Tingle) is immensely proud of. Tony has amassed over 25 years’ experience in the publishing industry, working for the likes of Eaglehead and Memoirs publishing, where he can be found today.


About mereobooks

Mereo Books is part of Memoirs Publishing - a UK based independent self-publishing company with an unrivalled combination of professional know how and the personal touch. We publish a wide range of genres including memoirs, fiction, fantasy, travel, true crime, romance and self-help. We provide editing, ghost writing, sales, marketing and distribution support as required.

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