The Top 10 Big Mistakes That Self-Published Authors Make

By on August 10, 2015
The Top 10 Big Mistakes That Self-Published Authors Make - Writer's L

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During the recent Book Expo America in New York City, a friend of the Book Designer came across a document they quietly passed along to me.

It seems to have slipped out of the office of one of David Letterman’s writers, and follows a familiar “Letterman-esque” format and style. I can’t say any more about the origin of this document, but see what you make of this:

Top 10 Worst Self-Publishing Mistakes

10. You thought you could re-use that ISBN you paid so much for since the novel you put it on last year isn’t selling anyway.

9. Everybody knows the words to the song, so it’s okay to quote lyrics from it throughout your book, right?

8. The photos looked fine on your screen, and that means they will look fine when they’re printed, it just makes sense.

7. I picked Arial for my book because the name reminded me of my middle school girlfriend.

6. I know they’re charging me $6,000 to publish my book, but I get 10 copies, absolutely free!

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5. I thought it would sound more impressive if I wrote my memoir in the third person. All my sports heroes talk that way.

4. I really got the unit price down, but I had to print 10,000 copies. You have any room in your garage?

3. Sure, I included an invoice with all the books I sent to book reviewers. Hey, they don’t care, it’s just a big company paying the bill.

2. It was cheaper to print my novel as an 8-1/2″ x 11″ book because I got so many words on each page.

And the number 1 Worst Possible Self-Publishing Mistake:

1. What do you mean, I need a cover designer? Don’t books come with covers?

(Ed note: I have destroyed the original, so there will be no trace of this ever having existed!)

Planning on becoming a busy but rich self-published author? Ifso you might find The Get It Done, Writer's Toolkit  helpful to keep you on track. This is an ebook / aOudio CD combo set that teaches writers how to overcome writer's block and procrastination. It also provides tips and resources on how to find more time and inspiration to write, including how to keep yourself on track daily with your writing and self-publishing projects.

This post by Joel Friedlander was published with the title Top Ten List of the Worst Possible Self Publishing\mistakes at

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