6 Mistakes Beginning Authors Make and How to Avoid Them

November 19, 2014

header

My friend Sandy just posted her book cover to her forthcoming book on Facebook and I thought, “Shoot! I wish she talked to me before she did that cover.” The cover looks great, but there are a few tweaks she can make to make it so much better. Luckily there is still time! For some authors that’s not the case.

There are so many little mistakes first time authors can make. Here are a few of the ones I see the most often. In my Your Delicious Book program we make sure our new authors are successful by making sure they don’t get caught up by these classic pitfalls:

  1. Failing to determine who your ideal reader is, and if/where they buy books. Many authors try to make their book appeal to as many people possible. It seems logical. And yet more specific books tend to sell more copies and reach more people. Be specific about who you want to help and what you want to help them with.
  2. Writing what you want to write, as opposed to what your market wants to read. One of the exercises I do with my Your Delicious Book  clients is to get them to “get into character” as their ideal reader and get really honest about what messages they are ready to hear. You have to meet your reader where they are. Yes, I know you have found the answer, but your reader needs to make sure you understand the problem before they give your solution a try.
  3. Not understanding the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. This problem kills me. So few authors understand the differences between traditional and self-publishing and they don’t even know about the options in between. That’s why we have an entire class on this topic. You need to know what your options are before you pick a publishing approach.
  4. Believing if you write it, readers will follow or that marketing happens after a book is written. You have to plan the marketing of your book far in advance of writing the actual book. In fact actually writing the book is probably only 10% of the job of being an author. No publisher or publicist will ever be able to promote your book the way you can.
  5. Thinking you don’t need an editor.  Editors provide feedback, sharpen the focus, and turn an already strong piece of writing into a stellar piece of writing. While you might have a great story to tell or have incredible information to share with the world, you also might struggle with getting the words out of your head. Or, perhaps you’re talented at outlining your overall concepts, but you need some help fleshing out the ideas, or finessing the language to make it as clear and compelling as possible. These issues are nothing to be ashamed of ― but they are signs that you will definitely benefit from working with a qualified editor.
  6. Designing your own cover or having a friend design it for you. A lot of first-time, self-published authors, in an attempt to conserve money, forgo the investment in a graphic designer with book cover expertise. This is a HUGE mistake. The prime real estate for promoting a book is your cover. You need to work with a pro.

There is a ton more we cover in Your Delicious Book program including how to pick a topic to write about, how to write an outline, how to differentiate your book from the others on similar topics and a lot more. Best of all this is a program that just teaches you how to write a book that makes a difference.

There’s still time to participate in my next Your Delicious Book program. All the details are here: www.FinishYourFirstBook.com

Together, we can change the world one book at a time. I really want you in that equation.

P.S. Bored by websites describing a program? I’d be happy to just jump on the phone and walk you through it. You can set up an appointment by clicking the Apply Now button or just go straight to my calendar to find a time where we can talk – https://authorincubator.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?calendarID=95948.

Comments

comments