Publishing Blunder, Blopper, Boo-Boo Cheat Sheet



  1. Make a sign: Perfection is the enemy of the author. Post it where you can see it. Perfection is a form of procrastination—if you keep trying to make it “perfect” … time disappears into a vacuum, as does opportunity.
  2. Opportunity Windows can close quickly—when you constantly edit, re-edit, rewrite, “re” anything, windows can close. Stay away from the “one for the money; two for show; three to get ready; three to get ready; three … to … get … ready practices that so many authors-to-be engage in.
  3. Don’t get swayed by someone dangling a “contract” in front of you—check it out. Contracts are usually written for the “best interests” of the person or company sending it to you. Make sure you have escape clauses. Don’t sign anything that uses a phrase like: “This contract can be terminated in 30 days if both parties mutually agree.” The phrase “mutually agree” is your deal killer.
  4. Book selling is highly competitive. If your book: 1- doesn’t visually compete with other books in your genre (cover and interior design) and 2-hasn’t been professionally edited … “they will know.” Who are “they”—your buyers and reviewers? And they tell others. Oh-oh. In other words, get book professionals in play from the get-go.
  5. Do the online and brick and mortar bookstore cover test. Go into any book store and go to the area your book would be carried in. Look at every competing book—how does yours compare/compete in looks and presentation? Now, go to the front of the store and check out all the new arrivals. What are the colors? Fonts used in titles? What do the interiors look like? Are there images? You are doing “competitive book spy” work. You want your book to look, feel, be like what the major publishers are putting out. In your spy work, is there anything that you love—take a picture and get it to your designer. Can he or she incorporate some of the ideas that “sing” to you for your book?
  6. You need Amazon. Get over that it takes a hefty percentage—so does any book wholesaler, distributor and retailer. Get over it. Join the program for publishers. Join Author Central—it’s the secret sauce to get a “live” person within seconds at Amazon for help.
  7. Get your “front matter” and “back matter” organized. Don’t bombard your reader-to-be with a page load of fillers in the front matter before your book content unfolds. Yes—you need a Title page, Copyright page, and Contents page if it’s a nonfiction book (dump the “table of”)—these are must haves. Nice to add Dedication page, “Praise” for your book from “names” who are giving short endorsements (you would do this in the first page or two when the cover is opened) and if there is a Foreword or Preface. Then STOP … roll into the contents of the book.
    It was common for Acknowledgments to be in the front—today it’s more common to roll them to the “back matter” … after your book has given its last bit of advice or ended your awesome story.
  8. Do the “ask for book review” in your book … as in writing … you want shout outs posted! Don’t be shy; tell your reader you need their support. Put your “ask” in writing, in the front matter if there is a “note from the author”; you could even wedge it in if they liked your novel, poem, solutions—even the design of the book—post it on Amazon and Goodreads.
  9. Don’t forget about YOU! Add About the Author and if you consult, speak—do any type of presentations, have a business, create a How to Work with ME page (please put your name here—not ME). Include short descriptors of what you do and don’t forget: contact info—website, email, phone number and include your preferred social media channels that you would like them to follow. And, add a photo … ideally a different one on each page.
  10. Put a hex on the RTP Syndrome. I know, I know … you want your book out. But the book you want out should be one that you have zero regrets about. Get the editing done; get a professional cover and interior designer on your team. Don’t rush it. The RTP Syndrome is the Rush to Publish scenario. If you put out something that is loaded with errors, “they” will know … the “they” being your potential Fans. Then “they” tell others … the book is mediocre.
  11. Before you finalize your cover design reduce it to a 25 percent size. The thumbnail that Amazon will post on its site. Does it pop? Can you see the title? The image? You want your book cover to pop out on the page.
  12. Commit, Commit, Commit. Plan your Launch Timeframe. Celebrate and take a bow!

Ashography Event Photography

Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-BoosGet your copy.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2016, the dates are June 23-25th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at


header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.