I’ll admit it, over a year ago I published my first eBook thru Lulu.com. Even though I devoured damn near every book on writing and publishing from the library I still put it out without hiring an editor, designer, or PR person for that matter to at least help with marketing my project or giving me some kind of feedback for a successful releasing of the novel. I know, I know I can hear you thru the screen tsk-tsking but my goal was to just get the book out everything else will fall into place. Well it fell into place alright, right onto the floor and shattered. No one bought the book, none of the friends who claimed to want to buy it did, it was just one hot mess that I truly do not want to relive again. I know that’s why I haven’t come out with the second one because of this little thing called fear. A week ago I even went back just to check it out and realized clearly why I haven’t sold shit.
The numerous e-publishing outlets online can be overwhelming. It’s extremely easy to publish now. And with that comes mistakes. The majority of them are fixable mistakes that if not corrected can put a damper on your credibility when it comes to producing a juicy and professional novel.
- Microsoft is NOT a design program. All that White Lies was on the cover was the title in white letters and the background completely black – all of it designed on Word. Having a terrible cover alone can make or break a sale or potential publisher wanting to work with you. That smell of unprofessionalism and urgency will reek all over that screen similar to a dog sniffing out fear. No one will take you seriously.
- Editors should be on your speed dial. A simple grammar check will not suffice when creating a novel. You need to have an editor help polish the manuscript until it’s perfect. This means have them check for structure, plot, possible unwanted consistencies in words really not needed and much more. Yeah it may run you a pretty penny but wouldn’t you rather have given your savings for a hot book that will sell and possibly earn twice of what you spent on the editor alone or be greedy and end up not selling a damn thing? Thought so. With all of the steps needed to get published please don’t skip this one. I don’t know what it is about Indie writers but they tend to skimp on this one the most and then we wonder why we are not taken seriously.
- Leave the attitude at the door. I know your mama said that to you before. There is nothing more worse than an author with a literary gold mine in their presence but their ugly attitude and mentality turns the publishers off. Unlike going through the traditional publishing house you will have to do the marketing because you’re self publishing. You will be the one to meet up with bookstores, libraries, distributors and etc so I suggest you conduct business like a professional because you can develop life long career partners with them, you never know. Get ugly if you want to and never be able to work with them. At least with traditional publishing houses you are given a PR person who will tell you how to conduct interviews and present yourself in business meetings or meet and greets. If you without a doubt know you need that then hire whoever.
One more thing, study the process of a traditional publisher. Email them asking questions so you will not end up with your first novel not selling one book. Make sure you thank them for their time because they really do not have to answer any of your questions with the schedule they have everyday. Do not be one of those writers who misrepresent Indie writers like I did.
Peace and luv!