More Author Mistakes (Part 3)
There is no end to the mistakes you can make. It’s best to know in advance where you can go wrong
After my first two blogs about the biggest mistakes writers make when they get published, or self-publish, other writers have been giving me their suggestions. So here are some real biggies I didn’t mention before:
Ignoring the timing is a huge gaffe. If you want reviews from good sources you need to build it into your schedule, which is why you have to have a marketing plan. Magazines, newspapers and other major review sources want copies of your book four months before the release date. There are, in fact, lots of things you should do before publication, and timing is important to all of them. There is a best time for cover reveals, character interviews and sample chapters, and it takes time to get a distributor if you’re self-publishing. You need to examine your market and set the dates.
Yet another big blunder is not giving your website the attention it deserves. Facebook and other social media engines may get all your attention and web sites might seem passé. But remember, social media posts are transient. Your web site is your standing billboard, every hour of every day. And if you learn enough about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or hire the right web site builder, you may well learn how to “convert” web visitors into buyers. Done right, your web site can help your ranking in Google Search, and even sell books.
A couple of friends mentioned that being isolated was a big mistake new writers often make. They mentioned how important conferences and places like The Writers Center in Bethesda, MD are to their careers. To be successful, a writer needs to be part of the writing community and build relationships. You will get more (and better) interviews, reviews and author blurbs if you remember to send those thank-you notes. Read and comment on other writers’ books. Comment on their blogs too. It is a networking business.
As a small publisher I want to throw in one more error authors make: failing to trust their publishing team. Believe me, no one wants you to succeed more than your publisher. If you’re self-publishing, the cover artists, editor, and designer you hire all want to use your book as part of their resume so they want it to be the best it can be. Either way, check those people out before you decide to work with them. Once you make the decision, trust their expertise. Publish with (or hire) people with solid track records and then TAKE THEIR ADVICE!
I don’t know if anyone can avoid all these mistakes, but if you do it will certainly make writing success a lot easier to attain.