4 Things Independent Authors Are Doing Wrong!

4 Things Independent Authors Are Doing Wrong!

Reading time: 4 minutes

Writing a book isn’t just a personal journey: it can also be a possible income source if you treat it as a business. You spend months (and even years) focusing effort, time and money into a book which you hope to one day release to the masses.

Therefore to increase your chances of popularity with book-lovers in your market, you should consider avoiding these 4 things.

Don’t skimp on cover design.

Your cover is your first impression: don’t forget that. You may have a phenomenal writing talent but if your artwork doesn’t appeal to your audience, then you’re wasting your opportunity and possibly losing sales.

Research, plan and budget for your cover design. See what works well in your particular genre/niche and don’t over-think it. Scribble out what you see in your head (don’t worry about how artistic it is) and, over the coming days/weeks, you will begin seeing one stand-out idea that you cannot stop scribbling.

This is your cover. Use this as the brief when you contact artwork designers and let their creativity turn your idea into a visual masterpiece.

You think that your audience doesn’t matter.

Believe it or not, the most valuable piece of information you could possess is the opinions of your audience. They will be the people who make your book a success or a failure. Instead of making bold positive claims about your book, why not let others to do this for you?

You’ll get feedback on your style of writing, the story, your cover and even your prices. All of these things are priceless.  

Another great benefit of doing this is that your book will naturally pick up momentum because your ‘test audience’ will want to shout about your book if it’s worth the read.  

Don’t pay too much money for your print.

Historically, authors/publishers would predict how many books they would sell and pre-order their books in the hope that it would fly off the shelves. The reality is this is an ineffective and possibly costly decision.

If you are an independent author then forking out hundreds, if not thousands of pounds before you begin to sell your book could be the demise of your now short-lived career as a writer.

The solution to this: go to a print-on-demand (POD) model.

This works on an ‘order what you need’ basis: eliminating the need for holding/ordering stock. Your unit cost will typically be slightly higher than traditional short-run printing but it won’t be such a spike in cost that it wouldn’t prove to be beneficial in the long-term.

We have our own POD system which is designed to be your print-to-ship system. Allowing you to upload titles, manage your orders and even integrate our system with your own website. Check out more here.

You only care about self-promotion.

This is possibly the most frustrating part for your potential audience. They want to like you… They want to help you but you’re making it difficult by constantly asking them to buy your book. This isn’t the way to go about it.

I’m sure that you’ve had to deal with unwanted sales emails or social media promotions before. They’re in your face, they’re annoying and they achieve the opposite to what their purpose is. Any interest you may have had in a product is quickly ruined by excessive (and unnecessary) contact.

Give your audience value and engage with them on a personal level. Don’t guilt trip people into buying your book because, the truth is, nobody owes you a living. Even if it means you take an extra few months committing to building relationships with people, it’ll be worth it in the end.

What do you think? What other mistakes could indie authors avoid?