Five Mistakes Indie Author Should Avoid (that I made)

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Hey friends! I recently have been talking with some new authors that are looking to publish their stories.  I decided to share with you five mistakes that I personally made that other authors should avoid. 

Mistake #1: I used friends instead of a professional editor. I had a lot of people help me read books that were good at English. That isn't enough. I'm slowly getting my older works updated, but every book and short story needs to go through an editor that has experience working with novels/books. It makes a huge difference. Kelsey Bryant is my editor and is stellar. 

Why didn't I do this to start with? 1. It's expensive. Even with discounts, it can easily cost $200. I also didn't understand why I needed someone who edited books vs. someone just good with English.

Mistake #2: I failed to make an investment right off with some covers. People will judge a book by its cover, even short stories. Now, let me say that I knew the importance early on, but I cut corners a couple of times to speed up the process. Big things to avoid: Covers you've drawn (unless you are an incredible artist). Poor quality photos. You need professional-grade photos and high resolution. If you want to learn to make your own covers, make sure you get a lot of input from others.

Mistake #3: I said my book defied classification. I get it, some books are heard. I have one friend who has written a super sweet, near-future book. It isn't science fiction, it isn't contemporary, and it would be a stretch to call it dystopian. It's a hard book to classify. However, get guidance from authors and stick to a classification. Sometimes this may even mean tweaking your book. I made this mistake with my Taelis of Taelis series, they straddled the kingdom fantasy (non-magical/real world like) and the historical fiction genre and it caused a lot of confusion and disappointed readers. I'm working on moving them into the fantasy world. 

Mistake #4: I confronted some reviewers. When I published my first book, The Destiny of One (one of those books that really needs professional editing), I got a couple off the wall reviews that made comments about my family. I commented back and defended my family. Also a couple of times, people would get facts wrong (someone said I had said Patrick's hair was blond so they were upset I had a dark head model on the front) and I commented with a correction. As hard as it is, I've learned that it is never okay to argue or contradict a reviewer. 

Mistake #5: I haven't always taken the time needed before a book release. It's easy to get so excited about a book and rush it through the publication process. One of the things that I've learned is sometimes it is better for a book to be published a lot later than I really wanted it to then to rush it through the process and things not be done well. Take the time to release a book well and it will easier in the long run.  

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  1. A lot of "been there, done that" for me. :P Good points and I fully agree! The biggest mistake new authors make are cutting corners and rushing publication before fully polishing. As a reader, I've found myself not wanting to try an indie author again when I didn't like their debut novel, forgetting that "oh wait, maybe they've learned some invaluable lessons since their unpolished, rushed first publication." :)