What Am I Doing Wrong? Part 1
Where did I go wrong? Let me count the ways
You spent a year crafting the perfect novel. Rewrites. Polishing. Editing. Proofreading. Finally you release your baby into the world and await the crowds of avid readers. But sadly, sales of your new masterpiece falter soon after your family members all have one. It is at this point that you ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong?”
During last weekend’s Just Write writer’s conference I was thinking about how writers get off track once their manuscript becomes a book. I was considering the big blunders, the global errors. I wanted to write about the worst mistake a writer can make. The longer I thought the more I realized there are LOTS of “worst mistakes.” I sorted thru my list to figure out the worst of the worst.
At the top of my list is failing to learn about the business. Just because you wrote a book doesn’t mean anyone is going to buy it. But if you write the right book you can improve the odds. So before you self-publish or send that manuscript off to a small press, do some research. Know who your competitors are and what they publish. Know how strong your genre is in the marketplace. What’s missing from the shelves right now? The better you know your market, the easier it will be to figure out a way to connect with readers, to get reviews, to build a platform and ultimately, to sell books.
Another big mistake writers may make is underestimating the importance of their book cover. I’ve even had authors tell me that since they’ve published an ebook the cover is irrelevant. It’s true that readers and book buyers often spend only seconds looking at book covers, and many of them are now viewing thumbnail-size images online. But I think that makes the cover more important than ever, and makes it more challenging to get a cover that hooks a reader in. That’s why we at Intrigue Publishing always invest in a professionally designed cover by someone who understands book design and the publishing industry and I think you should too. If you can’t capture people’s attention with a strong cover, you will probably lose potential readers and buyers. If you put a lot of work into writing your book, give your book’s cover the same level of effort.
That’s just a couple of the worst mistakes I think writers can make. Next week I’ll talk about a couple more.