Although self-publishing offers many benefits and rewards to authors, it also presents a few challenges that authors have to face when they choose to publish their books using their own resources. Besides writing the book, self-published authors also have to take on the role of editing, designing, packaging and marketing their own books. The following is a list of common problems authors face in selfpublishing their own books and how to solve them. Once you overcome these problems you will find success as a self-published author!
Problem #1: Finding Ideas to Write a Book
To be successful at self-publishing, you need to find profitable ideas that will make your book sell. New authors may have trouble finding bestselling ideas to write a book about. This may also happen to established authors as well. There are a lot of ways to find ideas to write your next book.
Solution If you lack ideas to write a new book, one of the things you can do is read anything with openness to new ideas that contribute to what you want to write. Secondly, do research in your niche. Find out what problems your potential customers have and start writing a book on how to solve them.
You can also use Google, social media blogs and forums to gather ideas for your book. And finally, visit Amazon and check out bestselling books similar to what you want to write about to get ideas.
Problem #2: Writers Block
There are times when new and even established authors may experience writers block. This happens when you sit down to write and no words come to mind. You may have difficulty completing a chapter or trying to start a new book but you don’t know what to write. There may also be times when you may not even be in a writing mood. But there are things that you can do to overcome writers block.
Solution If you’re having trouble writing your book, it may be possible that your brain has been working overtime. What you need to do is give your mind time to rest. Take a break from writing and do something you enjoy. Watch your favourite TV show or go for a walk in the park. A little exercise may also help to stimulate your creativity. You should also try reading more. Read books, a magazine or your local newspaper. All of these ideas can help you to overcome writers block.
Problem #3: Finding a Professional Editor to Edit Your Book
As an author you need to ensure that your book gets edited correctly. Nobody likes to read a book filled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. But authors face the problem of trying to find a professional editor that they can afford to proofread and edit their manuscript.
Solution It is so important for you to get your book edited properly, but hiring a professional editor can be very expensive. Fortunately, you can hire an editor at Fiverr.com where they will edit your book at the starting price of $5.00. If you don’t want the expense of hiring a professional editor, you can always ask a family member or a close friend to edit your book for you. If you use social media you can also ask your social media contacts if they know of any proofreaders who can proofread your book for you. As long as the person you choose has a good understanding of grammar, then that person is capable of editing your book.
Problem #4: Finding an Affordable Graphic Artist to Design Your Book Cover
In spite of how the saying goes, people do judge books by their covers and it is very important for authors to have a professional eye-catching cover that grab the attention of their readers. However, it’s not always easy to find a graphic artist who will charge a reasonable fee for their service, but there are ways to overcome this problem.
Solution If you know how to use PowerPoint and Paint then you can design your own book cover. Just look for titles similar to yours and note down the background colour, position of the image if there is one, and the size and font style of the text on the front cover. Design the artwork for your book in PowerPoint and save it as a JPEG image. Open it in Paint and adjust the borders of the image.
Select Resize and change the width and height to the appropriate sizes and save your work. If you do not feel confident to design a book cover yourself, you can always ask a family member or a close friend to do it for you.
There is probably someone you know who has experience or has a degree in graphic design who can design an eyecatching book cover for you. You can also find affordable graphic artists online to design your book cover. At Fiverr.com you can find professional graphic artists to design your book cover at the starting price of $5.00. If you are not happy with the initial design they will make changes to the artwork for free.
Problem #5: Not Sure Where to Submit Your Book to be Published
If you are new to the world of self-publishing, you may be wondering where to submit your manuscript to be published.
Solution There are several online publishers that you can use, but the best ones, in my humble opinion are Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, Smashwords, and most recently I found out about Draft2Digital. Each of these publishing platforms have their own requirements for book submission and provide many benefits to new and established authors. You can do your research on each of these self-publishing services and choose the one that you find most suitable to your publishing needs. You have the choice of publishing your book in print format or digital, or both.
Problem #6: Unable to Identify Who Your Audience is
As an author, it may be difficult to identify who your audience is and where to find them. This is a mistake that many new authors make. They write a book and then look for a market to sell their book to. Because you are self-publishing your book, you not only have to think like an author, you also have to think like a marketer. You have to think about who your target audience is first before you write your book.
Solution The best way to find your target audience is to spend some time on social media. You need to be very active on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can share interesting articles and blogs and you can also share your work. Join groups that focus on the topics you are interested in writing about.
You can also join forums and ask them questions to find out what their interests are. Read and comment on the work of others. If you are signed up with Facebook you can engage with people who visit your page or profile. Additionally, you can write more blogs and articles and share them on social media.
Problem #7: Not Knowing What Genre Your Book is
In addition to writing a book for your target audience, you also need to know what genre your book is. A genre is a specific type of writing that fits into a particular category. For example, the genre of a book could be science fiction, romance, finance, or education. It is important for you to know what genre your book is so that you can place it in the appropriate category when you publish it and so that people can find your book.
Solution If you need help in determining the genre your book is in, you can do a search on Amazon. Look for books that are similar to yours. Scroll down to the section that contains the product description. In this section you can see what categories the book is listed in. This will help you to determine the best genre your book should be in.
Problem #8: Getting People to Review Your Book
Another problem authors face is getting people to review their books. Reviews are very important because people tend to buy books based on the reviews they receive. If you have no reviews, people may not buy your book. As an author you need to remind readers how important it is to leave a review.
Solution A great way to get reviews is to ask your friends and social media contacts to leave a review. You could also offer your book as a free gift in exchange for honest reviews. Additionally, you can include a link to the customer review page at the end of your book. That way your readers can click on that link which will lead them directly to your book’s review page so they can immediately leave a review. There are also groups on Facebook which you can join to get book reviews. In these groups you can connect with other writers and do book review swaps.
Problem #9: Convincing Readers to Buy Your Book Over Someone Else’s
After going through the whole process of publishing your book, you expect to generate a whole lot of sales once it is available in the online marketplace. However, this is not always the case. There may be hundreds of other books similar to yours and you want to make sure that your book stands out, that the title and cover image will grab the reader’s attention and make them choose your book instead of other competing titles. But how do you convince readers to buy your book over someone else’s?
Solution There are several ways that you can convince readers that your book justifies them pulling out their credit cards. First, you can make sure that your book is available in different formats. You can format your book for Kindle, ePUB, Mobi, in print, as a PDF or as an audible book. This can give you the upper hand over your competitors. Secondly, you should include on your sales page the problem your book solves for the reader. You should know what your target audience’s problem is so that you can tell them how your book solves it. And lastly, don’t leave your readers trying to figure out how to buy your book. If you made a sales page for your book on your website, then you should have clear identifiable order buttons on your page. If the page contains links to your book’s sales page on a different website, e.g. Amazon, then your page should contain a clear call to action and direct link to the sales page where customers can buy your book.
Problem #10: Not Knowing How to Effectively Market and Promote Your Book
Because authors self-publish their own books, they have the responsibility of marketing and promoting their books as well. This can become very costly, especially for those who do not have much experience in book marketing. But this is a problem that can be easily solved.
Solution There are a lot of ways that you can promote your book without emptying your bank account. If you published your book using Kindle Direct Publishing, you can schedule a day when your book is available for free. The best days to have a free book promotion are Wednesday and Thursday, the middle of the week. By scheduling these two days for your free book promotion often leads to sales on the weekend. Saturday is also a good day because you will get a lot of downloads of your book which will increase exposure. If you have a Facebook account you can join Facebook groups that allow you to also promote your book on your profile page and on your Facebook page if you have one.
There are also other social media sites where you can promote your free book such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You can also create a book trailer and post it on YouTube. Make sure that you include links to your book’s sales page. Additionally you can submit your book to book submission sites for free.
You can do this during your free promotion days. Some book submission sites include Author Marketing Club, Free Booksy, The Reading Sofa, and Book Baby. If it is within your budget, you can pay to have your book listed. There are some book sites that allow you to list your book for a fee. If you do decide to use these sites, make sure that you pay for the ones that will keep your book on for life. You should only pay once for this service.