In order to succeed on the Amazon platform, new Kindle publishers should avoid making some of these mistakes.
Getting published by Kindle is surprisingly easy. Amazon’s self-publishing and e-publishing program lets authors format and upload their own books and other literary works.
However, the challenges of self-publishing are that few authors have the expertise or inclination to deal with the intricacies of getting published or marketing their work.
When a book is released, they sit back and wait for the royalties to roll in. That is not an effective approach to self-publishing.
Although many authors enjoy a successful publishing career with Kindle, others fail due to making the following common mistakes.
Here are a few things kindle publishers often get wrong. Make sure to stay to the end to avoid these costly mistakes!
#1. Weak Writing
Many writers are so excited to publish their work that they rush to complete a book. Their ideas might not be clearly formed, and the writing style is sometimes unorganized.
With more time and effort, they could produce a strong, more coherent and compelling book of interest that would have a better chance of selling.
If you want to attract readers for your Kindle book, take time to craft a solid structure with thoughtful content that will appeal to those who are interested in the topic.
Spend time revising the first draft possibly two or more times to produce high quality content.
#2. Incomplete Editing
Another common mistake made by online authors is that they short circuit the editing process. Successful books published by trade publishers may be edited three or four times before the final proofreading.
The author should expect to edit a manuscript at least two or three times. A professional can be hired to review the book as well.
The final draft deserves another read-through to ensure no weaknesses or problems were overlooked. Never fall in love with your first draft.
Use it as a springboard to give further thought to your ideas. Then carefully go through the manuscript to find incomplete ideas, sentence structure issues, and mechanical errors related to syntax.
These include problems with awkward parallel structure or unnatural repetition of phrases and key points.
Read successful books in your genre as examples of how your published book should come together with smooth and crisp style.
#3. Poor proofreading
A hurried proofreading can be the kiss of death to a published book. Have you ever read something that contained so many errors you did not want to finish it?
Multiple careless mistakes will cause readers to post negative reviews and advise friends not to read a book.
A self-publishing author is responsible for proofreading the final draft of the manuscript before uploading it for publication.
In addition to correcting grammar and punctuation mistakes, the author should check facts, dates, and organization.
The book’s layout and format should also be analyzed to ensure it is correct and neatly arranged for a professional look.
#4. Generic cover
Self-publishing platforms usually offer a choice of several book covers at no cost. However, these are typically common and nondescript with few elements that grab readers’ attention.
It is worth the cost of working with a graphic designer or book cover artist to design your own cover to aptly represent your book’s theme.
Choose colors that are currently popular on bookshelves. Use a font style for the title that will be easily readable instead of a cursive or overly artistic font.
The book cover’s goal is to attract readers’ interest with hints of exciting content inside the book. The back cover can include either a blurb about the book of about 150 to 200 words or a couple of dynamic reviewer statements.
Alternately a paragraph about the author is fine.
#5. Wrong title
Some authors use a book title that is so vague that readers don’t know what the book is about and won’t spend time trying to find out.
Other titles may seem too exotic or specific for a broad reader base. Publishers recommend using a book title of no more than five or six words, although a subtitle can be added to clarify the topic.
Avoid using vague or inactive words. Choose bold nouns and action verbs. The title can be centered across the middle of the book or down the side.
Some adventurous authors choose a diagonal display. Design the title in bold, readable letters that won’t force readers to squint to read.
#6. Inconsistent formatting
When preparing your manuscript for self-publishing, use the Kindle format, which will be very helpful with the layout and format.
However, you will need to check the page numbers for accuracy, the correct placing of elements like the Table of Contents and Index, and paragraph indentations if used.
You should also check for proper arrangement of each new chapter whether they follow immediately in sequence on the same page or if a new chapter begins on the next full page.
Errors in formatting are the hallmark of an inexperienced and unprofessional author. Readers may not want to read subsequent books that you publish.
#7. Copyright violations
Plagiarism is not restricted to students, unfortunately. Authors in many genres have been found guilty of plagiarism, which had a damaging impact on their careers.
Sometimes copyright violations and other forms of plagiarism are unintentional. Still, authors are responsible for securing legal rights to publish extracts from other published works.
The general rule of thumb is that a small amount of public text or content can be used with attribution.
This means you must cite the author’s name and the publication details to let your readers know where the source of that information is.
Never be careless in borrowing other authors’ material. You could end up owing royalty fees or having your book blackballed by readers if word gets out that you plagiarized some of your content.
#8. Lack of visuals
Fiction books typically don’t incorporate graphics or visuals. Some might include a map of an imaginary locale or a historical lifeline if the story is based on real events.
Drawings, photos, and paintings are not normally included.
However, nonfiction books often include charts, maps, chronologies, drawings, and other artwork, to break up the content for easier reading. Graphics or visuals also add interest to the book.
Like other quoted content, you must include the publication information for these additions unless you create the visuals yourself or pay someone to design them for you.
Check Kindle’s policy on the inclusion of visuals for information about size, quality, and whether black and white or color prints can be used.
#9.Limited Web exposure
Before and after publishing a Kindle book, authors need to establish a popular Web presence. This can be done in countless ways.
One effective method is to review other writers’ books on Amazon or other platforms where books are featured.
You can also start blog about your book and post weekly updates about the writing, publishing, and review phases of your authorial experience.
Guest blog posts are another way to get known as an author. Offer to write a post for other authors about their book topics or the publishing industry in general.
Comment on others’ social media post and use your book’s title as part of your byline.
#10. Marketing non-involvement
The best marketing expert for your self-published book is the author. No one will love your book and promote it as effectively as you can.
While it is fine to hire a publicist or work with an advertising agency, you can also do many things on your own to spread the word.
Check out the many helpful books and videos on how to promote your book for literally hundreds or thousands of tips.
Here are some of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to do your part as the author. Craft an email message introducing your book to libraries, gift shops, and agencies that may want to buy copies.
Libraries often carry two copies of a book, and when one gets worn, they order a replacement if the book is circulating.
Get a library mailing list and interest them in your book to potentially sell numerous copies. Do the same for gift shops at hospitals, airports, and museums.
Donate copies to schools, where students may want to buy their own copy. Much depends on the topic, of course, but there are countless ways to make potential buyers aware of your book.
#11. Failure to brand
As a self-published author, you need to build a brand that will become instantly recognizable. If you plan to publish more books, your brand can attract existing and new fans to increase sales.
Create a business card in digital and print format that features your name, any titles, your book title(s), and a slogan or logo in selected colors or a design.
Identify with something about your book, such as the theme or topic, to help readers link you as the author of your publications.
Authors who don’t brand are easily forgotten. Have a brief statement that emphasizes the powerful point of your book in case anyone asks.
#12. Refusal to network
Some authors prefer to write in seclusion. While understandable, it helps to connect with fans and colleagues through your promotional book website and professional organizations like national authors’ societies corresponding to specific genres.
Authors who don’t make a name for themselves with other professionals are missing a huge opportunity to share the ranks of established writers and make valuable connections with people you can learn from.
#13. Scarce PR
Reticent authors fail to do enough to publicize their book. As a result, the title could get lost in the thousands of books available online.
Contact local radio stations and TV talks shows to offer an interview about your book as a local author.
Find Internet book sites that will let you host a webinar on a topic related to your book. Write a guest editorial for local newspapers and trade publications.
For example, if your book is based on a mental health issue, use the research you did to share insight with others while reminding them you are not a medical expert.
#14. No local connections
Reclusive authors miss out on valuable local connections. Communities love discovering authors in their midst. Schools, book clubs, and libraries like to host host authors for discussions or reading of their book excerpts.
Business groups welcome authors and sometimes offer them writing work like a company history or trade articles for newsletters.
Connecting with local professionals encourages them to let others know about your book, which may help to increase sales.
Number 15. No book reviews
Be sure to request book reviews in advance of your book’s publication. Uninformed or busy authors might not take time to get reviews of their book.
When it is released, the public won’t know much about it and may bypass it.
Getting at least two or three reviews from experienced reviewers can significantly attract reader attention to your book that it would not otherwise get.
Number 16. Use social media
Take advantage of free social media to tell others about your book.
Without bragging or too salesy, use your author’s byline when posting comments on your contacts with accounts at Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Register a Twitter account and build a following to keep fans up to date about your book’s progress as well as your next book’s development.
So What’s Next?
Looking to launch your Kindle Publishing business? Be sure to check out this program that walks you step-by-step on how to become a published author and make money with Kindle Publishing.