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  • Common Book Publishing Mistakes

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    Books - Perfect Bound, Self-publishing

    Writing and publishing a book yourself rather than using a traditional publishing company comes with quite a bit of freedom for writers. Many people choose to self-publish because they simply want to have the final say in how their book is printed without the sometimes-strong voices about content and book design that often come with a publishing company.

    But authors that do it all themselves can end up with a book that doesn’t appear professionally created when small, niggling mistakes add up over the course of a publication. With all of the little details that go into crafting a beautiful, well-designed book, authors who know the common book publishing mistakes can ensure that their self-published book will look fantastic when it is printed and made available to potential readers.

    Why Small Book Publishing Mistakes Matter for Self-Published Authors

    So will a few small book publishing mistakes here and there really make a difference for a self-published author? The truth is, yes. Some book publishing mistakes are instantly obvious to anyone who picks up the book while others can become problematic as a reader turns the pages over and over, viewing the author’s misstep on every successive page.

    One or two small book publishing mistakes can quickly build to a large number of problems, but even if the book only suffers from a few book publishing mistakes with readability, formatting, or style choices, the end result is usually the same.

    Readers and potential readers will develop the impression that the book is cheaply or poorly done, and, unfortunately, will likely transfer that judgement to the contents of the book and the author as well. So nipping these common book publishing mistakes in the bud before your book is sent to the printer means that readers will be able to focus on your book’s amazing story or rich characters instead of how the book looks.

    Creating Books That Are Challenging to Navigate

    Readers start on page one and read until the final punctuation lets them know that the story has concluded. So how can navigation be a problem for a reader? When an author who self-publishes doesn’t pay attention to page numbers. Readers rely on proper pagination to navigate to their last page, to find past details, or to thumb through chapters or other segments of the book connected to the Table of Contents or other listed sections.

    How To Fix It

    • Even if you think that your book doesn’t need them, don’t make this book publishing mistake, use page numbers. Readers expect to see them as they are part of every professionally-designed and printed book.
    • Not only should your book’s pages be numbered, but they should also be located consistently throughout the book. If you have used a centered number in one location, it won’t work to switch up the page numbers to a corner spot later on in the book. A lack of consistency appears unprofessional and lets readers know that your book was not edited properly.

    Book Publishing Mistakes — Doing Everything as Inexpensively as Possible

    Authors may have to cut corners where they can, especially at the beginning. But refusing to invest in any part of your book other than writing it will ultimately result in a poorly printed book. Saving money is understandable but some small investments are necessary because if a book looks cheaply done, readers won’t find it appealing.

    How To Fix It

    • Plan to put money where readers will notice it: pay for a professional editor or format designer to ensure that small spelling or formatting errors don’t make it into the final draft of your book where readers will take note.

    Finalizing a Book without Market Knowledge

    Having creative freedom is part of the appeal of self-publishing for many writers. But even if your book is going to bust conventions or surprise readers with a surprising twist on traditional genres or another expectation, your book should still match up with the reader’s expectations on most levels.

    How To Fix It

    • Writers should always thoroughly research the market for their book before going to print. Your book’s appearance, including the cover design and color choices, formatting, book size, length, and typesetting and layout should follow genre norms and industry standards so potential readers can quickly identify your book as one they might like to read.
      Marketing strategies should align with similar books as well, and authors can implement familiar keyword and phrase descriptions for their books that match up with other popular books in the same genre or category so that book publishing mistakes aren’t made.

    Book Publishing Mistakes — Including Illegally Sourced Photos

    Finding just the right photograph to represent your book’s content or even to be featured on the cover of your book can be hard for writers who don’t specialize in photography. But using a photo you sourced from Google or grabbing a graphic you found online to feature in your book is a major book publishing mistakes.

    Because you assume since you found it online it is fair game can land you in legal trouble down the line, jeopardizing your book’s success, your credibility as an author as well as do some damage to your pocketbook.

    How To Fix It

    • Make sure all photos and graphics you use are legally sourced by getting permission from the original owner. Paying for the perfect photo to use is much less expensive than having to pay for using a copyright-protected image after the fact or even risk losing your book’s publication over an illegally sourced picture or graphic.

    Making it Hard for Retailers to Sell Your Book

    The best way for retailers to capture your book’s title for resale is through the use of an ISBN number or barcode. When self-published books skip this step or hide the barcode inside of a printed book, they make it more difficult for their book to be sold commercially or even picked up by library systems.

    How To Fix It

    • Anyone can request a unique ISBN for their book, but self-publishing authors need to take care of this step that publishing houses may do automatically for their in-house books. It is quick and easy to apply for an ISBN and authors can integrate this critical piece onto their book’s cover to align with industry standards to make sure their book is easily accessible by booksellers and carriers.

    Book Publishing Mistakes — Not Choosing a Printer Wisely

    The printing company a self-published author partners with should be chosen for their ability to make a book look fantastic by using quality materials that are delivered as promised to the author. Shoddy workmanship, poor or low-quality materials, and outdated equipment can produce books that don’t look professional and authors who entrust their books’ printing to them will be disappointed in the quality of their books, as will their readers.

    How To Fix It

    • Researching and checking out samples of a printer you want to work with can give you a good idea of the quality of work they will provide you and your manuscript. Partnering with a trusted printer like Dazzle Printing will ensure that your book will turn out exactly how you expect it to, on time and made with quality materials that you will be proud to present to your potential readers.

    Printing as Few Pages as Possible

    To save a few dollars on printing costs, some authors try to use as few pages as possible in their books, which is an important book publishing mistake you don’t want to make. Readers have a basic experience expectation when they read in relationship to how pages are laid out as well as how much visual white space is included in a book. Books that feel like the text is crammed to the edge of the page will look cheap, giving readers a poor impression.

    How To Fix It

    • Reducing margins makes reading the book difficult and doesn’t win readers over. Instead, keep standardized margins so readers won’t feel like the words are crammed on the page.

    Book Publishing Mistakes — Skimping on Graphic Design

    Most writers are not also graphic designers, but since self-publishing authors are responsible for every aspect of creating a book, many try to wing it with graphic design elements on their books, making classic book publishing mistakes. The result can be a cover that looks unprofessional or doesn’t match genre expectations or a cover title that is unreadable or too small to see easily.

    How To Fix It

    • Enlist the aid of a professional cover design expert.
    • Cover design experts can make sure that the title font is readable and large enough so it is appealing on the shelf and is effectively visual when the cover is reduced to a thumbnail.

    Using Inconsistent Formatting

    Formatting a lengthy book is challenging, even for experienced authors. But readers expect every page to look similar and formatting to be consistent throughout a book from cover to cover.

    How To Fix It

    • Hire a formatting expert, use book creation software, or enlist the help of a trusted experienced writer to go over your formatted manuscript for inconsistencies, so your book will look perfect from the first page to the last.

    To give your book the best chance of becoming a bestseller, don’t make these book publishing mistakes. Taking the time before printing to thoroughly review your book will help ensure you don’t make these book publishing mistakes.


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