Ten tips for a successful self-published book

Ten Biggest Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make

Mistake #10: I’m an Author! My Student Days are over!

I imagine you put a lot of research into writing your book. I know I did. I spent more time reading than I did writing. At almost every turn in my writing, I had to stop, research the topic, find a fact or confirm source before I could get back to the task of writing. When I had written the last line my first book and finally hit the ‘Save’ button, I was relieved that all my research had paid off and happily filed my notes in a box and closed the lid. I had made myself an expert in my field; it was time for me to do the teaching and my audience to do the learning. My ‘student’ days were over … or so I thought.


My ‘student’ days were just beginning! In addition to keeping up to date on my book’s topic and adding to my own knowledge (an expert only stays an expert by learning more), I had to begin learning about how to sell my book, who my audience was, where they gathered, what their interests were, how to reach them. I discovered that my student days had just begun. More than 99% of what I’ve learned about publishing and book marketing came after I finished my first book.

If you’re about to finish your book, or if it is already published, now’s the time to start learning in earnest about being a successful author. There’s a lot more to being a successful author than good writing skills. Some very successful authors are actually horrendous writers! But they’re very good at laying out their ideas, good at finding and employing excellent editors (even ghostwriters!) and very good at selling to their reading audience. My point is that your education as a successful author doesn’t end when your book is finished – it’s just beginning!

If you’re not already familiar with blogging or Social Media, this is a prime place to begin continuing your education. There is a free library of great beginning blogging and Social Media how-to videos at www.truepotentialmedia.com/blog. Remember that engaging with your readers and potential readers is really the smartest way to build your audience and sell more books. Internet technology and free blogging and Social media platforms are the easiest, most effective way a self-published author can build her audience.

I listen to popular marketing, sales and publishing podcasts almost every morning. Podcasts are audio (or video) programs delivered via the web to your listening (or viewing) device, like your smartphone or MP3 player. If you’re not familiar with podcasts or what topics are available via free podcasts visit http://www.apple.com/iTunes/podcasts/. There you can register for a free iTunes account, search for, discover, browse and download podcasts on almost any topic – all for free! As a publisher and marketer, my favorites include Dave Ramsey’s “Entreleadership,” Michael Hyatt’s “This Is Your Life,” and Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income” podcasts.

Of course, books – printed, digital and audiobooks – are the foundation of my continued life-long education. Your education as a successful self-published author just begins when you’ve finished your book, and it continues until the last book is sold.

What do you think about this self-publishing mistake? Any ideas? We’d love to hear from you, please comment.

About me:

I’m a self-published author. My first self-published book, Breaking the Treasure Code: The Hunt for Israel’s Oil sold about 20,000 copies … okay, I guess. Since then, between the self-publishing companies I started and bought, we’ve sold close to one million books.

Let me tell you, in the beginning, I didn’t know much about writing a book, and knew nothing about publishing, printing, marketing and selling books! If I had known anything, I might have walked away, overwhelmed with the whole process. Successfully self-publishing can, at times, seem hopeless. But I stuck to it, learned a lot about publishing, even more about marketing and selling, and, through lots of practice, sharpened my writing skills.

Even so, there are countless, land mines, booby-traps, dead-ends and just plain mistakes a self-published author can make. This is the tenth of ten weekly blog posts. They come from my e-book:  The Ten Biggest Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make. This little book captures ten of the most common, most detrimental mistakes you can make as a self-published author and, hopefully, how to avoid them. I wanted to put these mistakes out on a blog format so you can comment, ask questions and we can discuss ways to make your book as successful as it can possibly be. Please, feel free to comment and ask questions.