Many authors today believe if they can’t get a publisher to publish their books, they’ll do it themselves. Most of the time this is not a good idea. Authors need to know honestly why their books were rejected. Was it the writing, the grammar, the story, or some other reason? I’ve sent book proposals to large publishing companies, and they never told me why they rejected my book. Now I know it was my grammar and punctuation. Probably the story line wasn’t thought through enough.
In the past I’ve bought self-published books. Unless I know the author well, I won’t buy it. There are too many errors, and I get frustrated seeing all the mistakes. Then the author wonders why her/his book isn’t selling. No one wants to buy a book that is full of mistakes. Let’s see what we can do to find more of our mistakes.
One thing each author should do is have their book edited by a professional. Yes, it costs money, but it’s money well spent. We do have editors on staff, but our editors should never expect to edit a book that has never been edited by a professional before. If I want my book to sell, I’ll have an editor look at it first. The editor will find all or most of the mistakes you’ve made. They can tell you where you need to go with the book, and how to fix those errors. When this is not done, we usually will cut out part of your book.
The next best thing to do is to read your book aloud. I think it’s better if you read personally. Some use a reader, but if you’re reading it aloud to yourself, you’re seeing your mistakes. Most of the time when we have a reader read for us, we can get distracted easily.
The best all over thing is to know the writing craft. Writing is like making biscuits. If you’ve never made them before, you’ll probably not make the best biscuits. You’ll roll the too thin or too thick. You’ll put too much milk in them or not enough. It’s an art, as is writing. If I never read a book on the writing craft, I’ll never write well. If I never practice making biscuits, I’ll never make them well. Study the craft!
The last thing is the cover. The cover is the first thing a person sees. It should be outstanding. The pictures should be the same size, or at least the continuity should be there. It isn’t easy. We have a cover designer that is an artist. She knows light and dark, shadowing, and does a wonderful job.
If a self-published author can improve on the above things, they can have much better sales.