5 common things to avoid
when self-publishing your book
Select which of these statements apply to you…
1. I have designed my own cover.
Many self-published book covers are sunk by their authors desire to embody all the symbolism on the book’s cover, but it rarely works out well.
- Keep your cover simple.
- One graphic that expresses the tone of the book with strong and legible type for the title.
- Are you also planning an ebook? If so how does your cover look when it’s as small as a postage stamp on a screen?
2. I want my book to be unique.
There’s unique and then there’s awkward.
You need to be careful when choosing the size and shape of your book.
- There are good reasons why books are standard sizes in both the number of pages and their physical size.
- Printing costs, shipping costs bookshop shelf sizes, weight and shape for the reader to hold.
- Choose the size for your book early in your decision-making process so you can brief illustrators and gain printing prices before getting too far down the track.
3. I am planning a road trip, so I’ll take my book along and sell it to the bookshops
You need to spend some time thinking about who will buy your book, which retailers will sell it, and how you plan to reach these people. A road trip is not a good idea.
- Distribution is something you need to explore before you think of spending any money.
- What you find out might make a big difference in what you choose to include in your book and how it will look and what it will retail for.
4. I found a great image on the internet
Using ‘found’ images is a bad idea for a number of reasons…
- Photos that look great on screen only have 72 pieces of picture information per inch (ppi) of display space. This is fine for an ebook, but not for printing. To print you need 300 pixels per inch. So if you try to put your 72 ppi photo in your book it will look really fuzzy.
- There is also copyright issues to consider. It’s amazing where a printed book can travel and who sees it. Make sure everyone who sees yours is happy with it’s content.
5. My mum is an English teacher
Using friends and family to edit or proofread your book is a bad idea!
- When a reader buys a book they are investing not just their money, but also their time.
- It’s really important that you give them a good experience.
- An editor is a critical reader and a lover of words. So much more than a proofreader. They polish and refine while checking for inconsistencies, facts, grammar and punctuation.
- It’s a skilled profession and one that book reviews will pick up on straight away.