Every self-published author makes mistakes when publishing their first book—it’s unavoidable! Even seasoned self-published authors sometimes experience a blunder or two during the self-publishing process.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare as best you can!

Learn about the most common self-publishing pitfalls and mistakes to avoid when publishing a book!

What’s the biggest tip to becoming a successful self-published author?

Read our list below to learn the most common mistakes and how to avoid them!

6 Most Common Mistakes That Self-Published Authors Make

Mistake #1: They fail to research the self-publishing process. 🤓

Self-publishing can be easy and fun, but it can be a complicated process too. Many new authors jump into self-publishing without learning how to self-publish a book and the best and worst practices. Ultimately, the success or failure stories of experienced self-published authors can be a valuable lesson.

This mistake can be easily resolved! Do your homework and learn about self-publishing. There are several resources available online to learn about self-publishing. The fact that you’re here reading this article is a good sign that you are well on your way to avoiding self-publishing pitfalls.

Mistake #2: They don’t use professional editing services. 😓

If you want to be a professional author, your book needs to look and read like a professionally edited book. If your self-published book is riddled with errors or plot holes, you’re not only establishing a negative reputation for yourself, you’ll also likely lose readers and future book buyers.

Many people assume that authors and editors are the same. This is false! There are plenty of editors who are also authors and vice versa. Nevertheless, editing and writing are two completely different skills! Don’t assume that because you are a writer that you are the best person to edit your book.

In fact, most self-published authors, even those with professional editing skills and training, fail to spot their own mistakes. It’s almost always a mistake to rely solely on yourself for editing services.

Mistake #3: They design their book cover, despite having no design experience. 😳

The first thing potential readers will see of your book is the cover! Make sure the design is professional, adheres to your genre’s style conventions, and fits the content of your book accurately.

If you don’t have the training and experience in design to ensure that your cover is professional, you should consider hiring a professional designer for your book cover. If hiring a designer for a custom design is out of your budget, consider purchasing a professionally-designed pre-made cover, which is generally cheaper.

Mistake #4: They don’t create a marketing plan to promote their self-published book. 😲

You’ve written a masterpiece, had it professionally edited and designed the cover. Then, you set your self-published book free into the world for potential readers to enjoy… but you left it up to mere chance that readers would find your book by not creating a marketing plan to promote its publication.

When it comes to book publishing, the phrase “if you build it, they will come” is a flat-out lie. You can write and publish an incredible book, but if your readers don’t know about it, they won’t come.

Sure, you may find some readers by chance, but why leave it up to chance when you can create a marketing plan to build an audience of interested readers and make sure the world knows all about your incredible newly-published book.

Mistake #5: Their book isn’t professionally formatted. 😩

This goes hand-in-hand with mistakes #2 and #3. Self-publishing a book that doesn’t look and feel professionally put together is a major turn off for many readers. Additionally, it can damage your reputation as an author and creator of quality books.

Book formatting is a skill that most self-published authors don’t already have. Nonetheless, while you can attempt to learn and do it yourself, it might not look very professional on your first try.

Working with a professional book interior designer or company that offers professional interior designing is the best way to ensure that your book looks professional and is easy to read, regardless of whether you publish an eBook or print book.

Mistake #6: Their book wasn’t listed for sale with all popular retailers. 😱

You probably have a favorite retailer that you prefer to purchase books from. Perhaps it’s because you own a reading device, or hold a membership with certain retailers. Your readers likely do too! Don’t exclude potential buyers from accessing your book by limiting the retailers your book is published with.

If you’re not sure how to get your book listed at all major retailers, let Gatekeeper Press do the heavy-lifting for you. We partner with all major book retailers to get your book into the hands of potential readers.

Need Help Self-Publishing the Right Way?

It can be a tiresome process to find the right editors, designers. It can be even more exhausting to determine how to get your books listed with all the major retailers. Self-publishing can sometimes feel like you’re wearing far too many hats. And, at the end of the day, some mistakes are inevitable.

With professional editing, design, and book distribution services, Gatekeeper Press can streamline the process and provide the support to make your journey as a self-published author an easy success.

Get a quote or free consultation with Gatekeeper Press to learn more.