Author Topic: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing  (Read 15558 times)  

Offline Silly Writer

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Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
« on: April 04, 2014, 09:28:41 pm »
Maybe this will be helpful to those getting started. List your biggest mistake of self-publishing. I'll list two (although I've made many more):

1) Hitting the Publish button the day after the 2nd biggest holiday in the USA: July 5th. Duh.
And:
2) Throwing advertising money at my 1st book to try to keep the rankings up, instead of writing the second to create a funnel for buyers, and THEN paying for advertising. FacePalm.

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    Offline Silly Writer

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 09:34:16 pm »
    I was going to say I haven't made any mistakes...it's all a learning experience. :) But then I read your list and realized, yeah, I have one.

    I released my last new release January 1. Won't be doing that again!

    Yeah...that's probably not a big day for buying books either, lol.

    Offline Joe_Nobody

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 09:49:42 pm »
    I didn't start off in romance. Who knew?

    Offline MrPLD

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 09:53:28 pm »
    Investing time & money in to all the ancillary things in attempts to draw in interest, and ignoring the book itself.

    Offline Not Here

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 09:54:49 pm »
    Ditto on the holiday. Released one on Thanksgiving.  ::) Did not go as planned. Now I figure either before or after.

    Letting fans rush me. It's great to be wanted and I'm really glad they are so enthusiastic but I'm not going to kill myself to get something out anymore. Last time I did that, someone asked the very same day if I'd put out the next book early.  :-\ Not unless there's a padded room involved. 

    But the biggest mistake at all, having no faith in my own writing and not starting sooner. I loved editing but there is a reward in writing that I just never got in editing. It's given me so much more than I could ever express.  :)

    Offline MrPLD

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 09:57:16 pm »
    Ditto on the holiday. Released one on Thanksgiving.  ::) Did not go as planned. Now I figure either before or after.

    Letting fans rush me. It's great to be wanted and I'm really glad they are so enthusiastic but I'm not going to kill myself to get something out anymore. Last time I did that, someone asked the very same day if I'd put out the next book early.  :-\ Not unless there's a padded room involved. 

    Yes, a big one here.  We burned up a lot of money to make things ready sooner, and it was a mess  - now we try very hard to keep our cool and go with "It's ready when it's ready, not when the schedule says it should be".
    « Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 10:23:25 pm by MrPLD »

    Offline Moist_Tissue

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 10:08:20 pm »
    Allowing other people to convince me that self-publishing wasn't a legitimate option if I wanted to be a successful author.
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    Offline Lionel's Mom

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 10:25:38 pm »
    Not having a mailing list until almost 6 months in.

    Offline D.L. Shutter

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 10:48:18 pm »
    Not publishing at least two novels a year starting in 2010. Like I told myself I would back then.

    Offline Nymirra

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 11:03:47 pm »
    But the biggest mistake at all, having no faith in my own writing and not starting sooner.

    Yes!

    I live in a very small country where perhaps... 50-100 authors can make a living from traditional publishing. I never thought I would be one of those, mostly because I prefer writing in English rather than my native language. I had resigned myself to writing just being one of those weird hobbies. Then I discovered self-publishing. I still struggle with a lack of faith in my writing, but I have friends who (Truthfully or not) encourage me to go on regardless. At this point, I'm just kicking myself that I didn't start until mid 2013.

    The second big mistake also has little to do with the field itself. Due to RL circumstances, there was a 5-month break in my release schedule. Given that I publish erotic shorts, that pretty much dropped my fledgeling career off the map. Luckily it has picked up again very well after I returned in the middle of February 2014.

    There are other mistakes I know I am making, like not having a mailing list, but I can't afford a P.O Box right now. At least I'm aware of it and will fix it when I can, eh?

    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 11:31:16 pm »
    Overreacting to all the dips and snags, forgetting that an author's career is a long one and that ebooks are forever, feeling like everything was do or die.

    Also glad I didn't come to kboards until later, frankly, until I was already selling well, because it's so easy to compare yourself to others, to doubt your own process and progress. Of course, there's a lot of value here, too, but opinions can get very decided, it can get easy to second-guess your gut.

    Still working on both those things.

    Offline 31842

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 11:52:47 pm »
    Getting sidetracked with all sorts of random projects instead of placing my own career growth first and staying focused on my series.  That and not getting a treadmill desk sooner.  I don't know if I will ever lose these pounds from my first year as a full-time writer...

    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #12 on: April 05, 2014, 01:06:44 am »
    Maybe this will be helpful to those getting started. List your biggest mistake of self-publishing. I'll list two (although I've made many more):

    1) Hitting the Publish button the day after the 2nd biggest holiday in the USA: July 5th. Duh.
    And:
    2) Throwing advertising money at my 1st book to try to keep the rankings up, instead of writing the second to create a funnel for buyers, and THEN paying for advertising. FacePalm.

    OMG, the biggest mistake I made was starting and abandoning a teeny weeny mailing that I began back in 2001. I didn't start again until July 2013. I'm at 1003 now, I could have been at 3k, 4k by now? Then again, the ones I have are what I would call quality readers. Fans in other words. I don't do giveaways to get them. They sign up after reading my books using the link at the back. They want more books not gifts, so I am comfortable with those 1003 subs. Still, I can't help wondering you know?


    Online Lydniz

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #13 on: April 05, 2014, 01:09:04 am »
    1) Not self-publishing sooner.

    2) Not starting a mailing list until four or five months in.

    Offline CraigInOregon

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #14 on: April 05, 2014, 01:21:37 am »
    For me it was having my first three books all be different genres. Readers like to know what to expect of you when you're a new author.

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    Offline ChrisWard

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #15 on: April 05, 2014, 02:34:12 am »
    Not starting sooner, that's all. Everything else has been part of the learning process.

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #16 on: April 05, 2014, 02:39:38 am »
    1) Only releasing one book in my first year of self-publishing.
    2) Throwing away a lot of money on advertising that book, and there wasn't even a second book to buy.

    Offline von19

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #17 on: April 05, 2014, 03:07:58 am »
    This is very informative and helpful. :D

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    Offline NicWilson

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #18 on: April 05, 2014, 03:29:42 am »
    Saying "I work as a graphic designer; I can do my own covers!"
    I've had almost all of my covers redone, because the original covers were not at all targeted to the market.



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    Offline Zelah Meyer

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #19 on: April 05, 2014, 03:31:45 am »
    1) Spending a fortune on more web hosting than I needed.

    2) Not writing more.

    3) Not working on edits for more of my first drafts so that I can actually publish them.
    I do not consent to the Vertical Scope Terms of Service.  I joined under the previous ownership and have posted over the years under different Terms of Service.  I do not consent to my name, content, or intellectual properties being used by Vertical Scope or any other entity that they sell or licence my data to.

    Offline beccaprice

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #20 on: April 05, 2014, 04:25:25 am »
    Releasing my not-a-Christmas-story on Dec 17 with no advertising.

    asking a non-professional friend to do the cover for Heart of Rock

    not putting illustrations in my books earlier.

    oh, and I can think of so many more... I've learned so much from this group!

    Offline phil1861

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #21 on: April 05, 2014, 05:14:02 am »
    Not vetting our first editor - who did this professionally and was a college buddy. He had a business and a process but alas was not doing this for people writing books but for businesses writing proposals, etc.

    Not keeping up with this editor and allowing him to drag the process out waaay to long.

    Not reading through the final returned ms before accepting it and paying - many corrected mistakes were reintroduced due to his process of sending a chapter or several at a time for acceptance instead of the whole thing at once.

    Being late to the email list start. I did let the first year go by with only one book out but no way to have readers reach me or stay in touch. Facebook was where I poured all my energy and money into building a fan base that turned into half click farm generated.


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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 05:29:17 am »
    Overreacting to all the dips and snags, forgetting that an author's career is a long one and that ebooks are forever, feeling like everything was do or die.

    Also glad I didn't come to kboards until later, frankly, until I was already selling well, because it's so easy to compare yourself to others, to doubt your own process and progress. Of course, there's a lot of value here, too, but opinions can get very decided, it can get easy to second-guess your gut.

    Still working on both those things.

    Rosalind, I agree with Chris Vaughn.  I always enjoy reading your posts.  You inspire and encourage, and you don't get off on dissing people.         

    Offline nico

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #23 on: April 05, 2014, 06:26:37 am »
    Not having a mailing list until almost 6 months in.

    Seconded. Not having a mailing list when our first book shot up the rankings, never to recapture the same glory again (so far).
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    Offline Quiss

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    Re: Biggest Mistake YOU made in self-publishing
    « Reply #24 on: April 05, 2014, 06:28:48 am »
    I didn't start off in romance. Who knew?

     :D :D :D

    Not starting earlier (self-pubbing and mailing list)
    Paying someone to send queries to a bunch of reviewers instead of doing that work myself. (Money, meet drain)
    Moping over reviews (this is an ongoing mistake that I can't seem to shake)  ;)

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