Today I released my novel Omnisicence to the world (cue trumpets).

This isn’t my first self-publishing rodeo, and after the writing was finished, I thought it would be a relatively easy journey to get to this point.

Sadly, I was wrong.

Here are some of the mistakes I made that you can avoid:

  • Don’t rush your cover design

If you have the software and skills, you can easily design your own cover and alter it as many times as you want. If you’re like me and need help, my advice is to wait until you’ve worked out your marketing strategy before getting a cover design.

When I ordered a cover, I didn’t even have a blurb written for the paperback. I also hadn’t fully committed to my new pen name. The designer did give me the ‘source file’ but I had no idea what to do with it, so I had to go back to my designer not once, but twice, to make changes. And pay for them of course.

  • Research editors and proofreaders

I made the rookie mistake of hiring the cheapest person I could find on Fiverr to ‘lightly’ edit and proofread my book. She had great reviews and looked honest, so I took the leap. To put it nicely, her editing and proofreading skills were not completely to my satisfaction.

It took me a while to realise that many buyers on Fiverr can’t recognise a shoddy editing job. Beware of all reviews on Fiverr. It can be a great platform to find genuine services, but you have to be careful. After doing better research, I found someone professional for a fair price. But I had to pay twice. Ouch.

  • Understand each platform’s requirements

Previously I only published my books through Amazon, which seemed easy (this was a decade ago though, so my memory might be fuzzy). This time I’m also using Ingramspark, which I assumed would accept the same formats. Instead, I discovered this platform has very specific PDF requirements for the paperback.

The problem is that the person I hired on Fiverr only formatted for Amazon. This meant I had to find someone else to format the PDF, and pay again. And it wasn’t cheap. This complete waste of time and money could have been avoided if Id taken more notice of the services offered and hired someone who formatted for both platforms (for the same cost!).

If you’re wondering why I didn’t just format the PDF myself, I know nothing about ICC colour profiles and embedding fonts.

  • Make the effort to build your brand

There’s so much emphasis on building your ‘brand’ through social media, and if you want to make a splash, unfortunately it’s true. I waited till I was almost ready to publish my book before creating a website and starting a Twitter account in my new penname. As a result, my book will debut without even a ripple.

I’m not upset about this because I know it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but I wish it could be more of a ‘moment.’ My launch date is also my 21st anniversary with my partner, so it’s a day to celebrate regardless.

If these errors to avoid seem like no-brainers to you, I’m happy you’re so much smarter and more competent than me. If you sometimes rush in and make dumb mistakes, I hope you can learn from my experiences.

In yet another financial investment in my book (gulp), I’ll be doing a 7-day book tour from March 7th with Xpresso Book Tours. I have a fairly good idea of what a book tour entails, and I’m really interested to see if it leads to sales.

Check back in for updates.