10 Assumptions New Authors Make that Could be Causing Harm
We listen and learn from others and from this acquired information we make assumptions that may be correct or incorrect. It is very easy to be influenced by a person’s comments or ‘expert’ knowledge and make our decisions based on their advice.
When you read articles on ebookAuthor.com you will likely choose to take that advice on board or seek further information. Our goal is to provide unbiased advice that is of benefit to writers and authors. Fortunately, eBookAuthor.com is not influenced or dictated by any big company or by advertisers. The primary goal of our service is to help ‘empower’ writers and authors with the knowledge they require. It is up to you as to what advice, tips or tools you take on board.
The feedback and information we receive from all authors is what we value the most. It provides us with the information we require to help our members. Recent discussions have led to this post on the ‘Assumptions’ made by first-time authors with regards to writing and self-publishing an eBook. I made many of the following ‘assumptions’ and mistakes when I wrote my first eBook ten years ago. Back then, I did not have access to the information that is now available today.
Consider if any of the following assumptions may be causing harm to your self-publishing career. If you are making, or have made, any of the following mistakes and assumptions then you are not alone. The point of this post is to identify any mistakes you may still be making and to learn from them so you can continue to do everything you can to ensure the success of your eBooks.
1. Assuming Success is Guaranteed
It is just not possible for every author to become a best-selling author. Who would be interested in a ‘Top 1,000,000 eBook Best-seller List?’ Self-publishing takes a lot of dedication and effort beyond just the writing stage. As you will see from all the Departments listed in our Author Academy you must tick many boxes to achieve such high success. Becoming a best-selling author is a privilege and honor and is not a guaranteed right for self-publishing. Becoming a best-selling author is validation and reward for all the hard work you have put into self-publishing your eBook.
Your mindset is very important when you self-publish. Assuming that you will immediately generate thousands of sales once your eBook has been published will lead to disappointment. You may have established a significant following during your pre-publication marketing phase and as a result can achieve these sales upon publication, but without the hard work it will not happen by itself. Publishing your eBook is just one-step in the never-ending journey of becoming a successful self-published author.
2. You Assume Everything You Hear is Right
Not everything you read, watch or hear is correct. Sometimes you have to use your own judgment and decide what information to take on board and what you must ignore. I have heard many horror stories from authors who have given up their creative control to publishers or service providers knowing that what they were doing at the time was wrong but they felt pressured to do so. You will often hear the term ‘Empower’ on our site. Our goal is to ‘empower’ you with the knowledge so that you can make your own decisions.
3. Assuming that ‘Traditional Publishing’ is Automatically a Better Option than ‘Self-publishing’
Publishers still do retain that ability to promote and convince many authors that publishing with them is more prestigious. However, self-publishing has changed that view in many cases and on a daily basis we see how once traditionally published authors are moving to self-publishing. Again, you shouldn’t immediately reject a publisher’s offer as this may be the best option for you. What you now have though is the power and control to decide which option is best for you. You should no longer waste months or years waiting to see if a publisher will accept your manuscript for publishing. Thanks to self-publishing you can immediately get your eBook published in the Kindle store (and other stores) within days. Compare the two options and compare author royalties, restrictions, the service provided, benefits, and time to market for your eBook.
4. Assuming You Can Do it All Yourself
As a first-time self-published author you are not expected to know how to successfully plan, write, promote, distribute and sell your eBook. Nor are you expected to know how to build your author platform, brand or build an author website.
Assuming that it is in your interests to search the internet endlessly for hours for the information you require so you do not have to pay for it will only cost you in the long term. Your time is valuable, so it is OK to pay a reasonable fee for; professional advice, getting a professional eBook cover, paying for an editor or someone to help you format your eBook if it improves your eBook! Trying to do it all by yourself will only cost you in the long term when you find that you have committed some common mistakes that results in the failure of your writing career.
5. You Assume Selling Your eBook Exclusively on Amazon Will Lead to Success
Amazon does a lot of things right, but they also do a lot of things that will not necessarily help you as a self-published author. You have the choice to exclusively publish your eBook with Kindle Select for a period of time and there are advantages to this. What you must decide on is if you are willing to forgo the opportunity to sell your eBooks on other online stores or platforms while selling exclusively on Amazon. Assuming that Amazon will be your savior and that Kindle Select will ensure success due to its additional benefits is a mistake that may directly impact your eBook’s publication and launch.
6. Assuming that You Cannot Market and Promoting Your eBook Until it is Published
This is one of the most common mistakes made by first-time authors. Assuming that you cannot promote your eBook until published will cause you to lose a lot of valuable time in building relationships with your audience and building a ‘ready-to-go’ list of customers who will want to buy your eBook as soon as it is published.
Marketing and promoting your eBook ‘pre-publication’ is not about selling; it is about connecting, engaging, communicating and building a relationship with your audience. Once your eBook has been published then you move towards selling your eBook while still nurturing the relationship with your audience.
7. Assuming that More is Always Better
A longer eBook is not necessarily better than a shorter eBook. Longer posts that focus on ‘quantity’ rather than ‘quality’ is not always better. Posting in high volume on Twitter and Facebook is not necessarily better if you are just posting for the sake of it. The ‘more is not always better’ mantra also goes towards service providers who try to justify the value of their price by giving you more. All too often, I see service providers offering features, products and services that are just not necessary or justify such a high price. Only pay for the service you need and just maybe you can save yourself some money from the ‘upsell!’
8. Assuming Every ‘Self-proclaimed Expert’ is an Expert
Some of the most trusted and respected individuals I know in the industry are not best-selling authors. Yet, they have the knowledge and know-how to help authors become best-selling authors. Do you think every person who works for a publishing company is a best-selling author? Of course not, but they are employed to help their authors succeed. The problem often arises when some so-called ‘self-proclaimed’ self-publishing experts want to offer you their advice when they really have no place to be doing so. The same applies with some service providers. We all are familiar with one service provider charging authors ridiculously high fees, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars, for services they never delivered. So you must do your due-diligence on each provider and do not assume that just because they tell you they are an expert that they are!
9. Assuming Your eBook is 100% Ready When Publishing to an Online Store
You should purchase a copy of your eBook from each online store you have published it to. Assuming that everything has gone to plan during the ‘uploading’ phase can lead to a number if issues. You need to purchase your eBook once published to make sure the payment process works smoothly and that the product (eBook file) delivered to the customer is exactly as you uploaded it. During the publishing phase your file could be corrupted or the formatting changes. You should also read through your eBook description to make sure text has not been left out or that there are any errors you may have missed. You must also see how your eBook looks and reads on each reading device. See how it looks on the Kindle, your iPhone, tablet and laptop.
10. Assuming that there is Nothing More to Learn about Self-publishing
So you have written and self-published your eBook and now you are an expert who knows it all? Big mistake! Every day the publishing and self-publishing world changes and evolves as ‘once popular’ platforms no longer provide you with the benefit they once did and new and improved platforms and services come along that you need to take advantage of.
I have written several eBooks on all various aspects of self-publishing. I wrote my first eBook on ‘eBook Marketing’ many years ago and the information in this eBook is now outdated. As a result, I have removed many of these eBooks from sale as having an online website (eBookAuthor.com) allows me to provide immediate updates. Recently, Amazon announced their new Kindle Unlimited program. Twitter launched a new service #AmazonCart that can help you sell your eBooks directly via Twitter. Facebook is about to launch a similar solution.
My point here is that you must continue to stay on top of what is happening in the world of self-publishing and eBooks as what you do today may not work next month. The rules of engagement on social media are constantly changing so to ensure you continue building your relationships with your audience you must stay informed with what is happening.