10 Essentials to Avoid the Author Merry-Go-Round

It’s reality check time … are you feeling a tad bummed as an author? Look in the mirror and ask: Are you disappointed with the flow of your book sales?

So … why do some authors fail … and merely limp along with their book sales?

Here are my top 10 reasons “why your book could be nose-diving” and caught on a book limp along merry-go-round.
1 Not doing the pre-work … discovering “WHO” they are really writing for. Not probing and determining “WHO” their competitors are and “WHAT” the competing books are. If you are just writing for YOU … then you have a very limited audience.

2  Not having a Platform for both Book and Author–there is a difference. Your Platforms are not just social media presence. They must incorporate your vision for you and the book; your passion; and your commitment to it in time, energy, and money. Platforms are essential—it doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published or self-published.

3 Not getting that authoring and publishing is a business. It has a P&L and a timeline. If you are a “hobbyist” … yup, you will have a limp-along book—guaranteed.

4. Not understanding why minimal editing by a non-professional could be the “kiss of book death.” Trust me … your friends and yourself are not the editor—you and they are just the first read-throughs.

5  Not getting an interior and cover designer on board from the get-go—your cover should never be a DIY project unless you do it for a living. And then, that could even get it the way. Remember, the cover is the magnet—it attracts the potential “buyer”. Too many authors want the cover to be for them. Wrong approach. 

6 Not marketing and drilling into the niche for the book. Only 10 percent of the book is the writing/creation; 90 percent is the marketing and support of it. It’s part of your Platform under “commitment”.

Not getting that you are the CMO—Chief Marketing Officer. Yep, you need to be using social media—but the right ones, not all of them; your need to be gathering emails (such as Mail Chimp); create a method to store their names and emails; and communicating on a regular basis—that’s how to build fans that you stay connected with and who will support you and your efforts.

Not saying NO … and getting sucked into one of the “pay to publish” quasi-scams. If you signed on with a pay to publish company –you MUST Google the name and put “complaint,” “scam,” “problems,” “lawsuit,” “con,” “rip-off,” behind it and READ, READ, READ PAST THE FIRST PAGE of Google. Xlibris (owned by Author House) alone has over 40 pages of complaints, yet people sign up right and left. Author House is loaded with grumbles. In fact, any of the subsidiaries of Author Solutions, such as Author House, Author House UK, Author Hive, iUniverse, Palibrio, Partridge Publishing, Trafford Publishing, and Xlibris.

And, that doesn’t include the many “partner” imprints such as Balboa Press via Hay House and Westbow Publishing via Thomas Nelson. Author BEWARE. These are all publishing predators and they lurk everywhere. Also, check out RipoffReports.com and PissedCustomer.com. If something looks too good to be true, then it usually is.?

All of the above are not publishers … you don’t pay a publisher for services to create your book. Do … not … get … in … bed … with … any … of … them.

9 Not avoiding the RTP Syndrome … the Rush to Publish. I get it, you are excited—you want this baby out. But, did you get the manuscript edited? Was it done more than once? Did you do your pre-work? Do you really get who your reader/buyer is and develop the book to meet their needs, not yours? Have you set up your marketing strategies?

10 Not realizing that authoring and publishing are WORK. Oh yes, it’s a lot of work. You need to plan for it, and you definitely need to get your family and friends behind you and onboard. Is this journey overwhelming and exhausting at times? You bet it is. Is it wonderful? Yes, it can be.

Your experience encompasses choices. By being smart, there’s less pain … and the rewards can be explosive. The choice is yours


Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and inspiration book coach. She is the author of 37 multi-award books that have earned over 40 national book awards. Judith has guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success. And, if you want to know more about Judith’s life, her book of “hope” is When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present. You can get it HERE

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©2020 Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd