What “Not” to Do With Your Book: Mistakes I Made

The decision to write a book is exciting. There are dreams of fortune and fame when your book becomes a bestseller along with the hope for a movie deal and reporters lining up to interview you. However, like many things, the decision to start a book and the actual completion are two very different things.

Finishing a book is such a relief. Some people see it as a celebration, which it is, but more so it is a weight lifted off your shoulders. You did it. You made it to the end. Nowadays with the self-publishing industry in full bloom people think all you have to do it write the book, hit “submit” and that’s it. Fame and fortune will be headed their way in no time. But it doesn’t work that way. Not at all. The process is long and painstaking. There are no guarantees regardless of how hard you work. It’s brutal.

My first book was released in 2008. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I wrote it quickly, made my own cover on Photoshop and sent it off into the literary world. Looking back on that first release I’m embarrassed. It was, and honestly still is, a brilliant idea – a monologue workbook for actors. However, my finished product was a train wreck. The text was riddled with typos and formatting issues. The cover was hideous, simply what I was capable of in a couple hours time without spending a dime. It was destined to fail. Yet somehow it didn’t. At its core it was a good book; one with real value for its market. I had a good idea but did poor execution. I’m lucky it wasn’t trashed by people in reviews. I’m also fortunate it’s still continued to sale all these years.

The problem was I was in such a rush to get the book out and have something to show for the idea that I skipped all the most important steps and dove in too quickly. I didn’t know what I was doing. I went in blindly and felt my way around.

Here’s my advice…

  • Don’t rush the process. Write what feels right and go with it.
  • Edit. Edit again. Then edit once more.
  • Have a professional cover made.
  • Develop a marketing plan.
  • Begin promoting the book before its release. Long before…if possible. (I’m still learning how to do this)
  • Send out screeners early in order to get reviews.
  • Create an online platform through social media, writing articles, blogs and more.

Last year I rereleased my first book Moments of Truth: Monologues for Teen Girls and Young Women. It is now fully edited. I didn’t change the cover and am kicking myself for this, maybe I will someday, time will tell. It has been selling quite well for a book that I hardly ever promote. It’s still a good product.

Which brings up some other news…I will have a new Moments of Truth book out this year – possibly two. I am making it into a series. This year you’ll see Moments of Truth: Monologues for Women and hopefully More Moments of Truth: Monologues for Teen Girls and Young Women.

I’m very excited to see what I can be accomplished this year.

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Comments

  1. tiffiny223 says:

    Sounds like good advice. I’m certainly not rushing the process…it’s still in the idea phase. Well, and I guess now the research phase has begun…yay, progress.

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