Which mistakes not to make?
You may be wondering which mistakes not to make as a self-publishing author. Here is a list of things that you shouldn’t do.
1. Don’t forget about details
You probably noticed yourself some mistakes in the movies when during one scene the main character is wearing a red tie and in the next one – a blue one. It’s annoying, isn’t it? Be careful not to make the same mistakes in your novel. Writing a long story takes a lot of time, so pay attention to details. If your character broke an arm, don’t write about the broken leg. It sounds obvious, but during all the crazy process of self-publishing such things can get unnoticed. As you don’t have a publisher who could find those mistakes, you can only count on yourself or a careful proof reader. So keep it in mind!
2. Don’t write a story like many others
When you enter a bookshop and you read the book descriptions don’t you have a feeling that most of them are the same? Or that you’ve already read many stories like that? Keep that in mind writing your book. Try to make it interesting and unique. There’s nothing bad in using solutions from the other books that you’ve read, unless you do it in an innovative way.
3. Don’t start with a series
What always surprises me while talking to the beginning authors is their answer to the question: ‘Tell me about your book’. In 9/10 cases they say: ‘Oh, it’s the first book of a series about…’. A record was set by a young man who told me he was going to write a very complicated story made of 16 books. He hasn’t written even one at that time. I don’t say creating a series is a bad idea. But if you start writing with such a plan it can be a bit overwhelming. Also, let’s consider something else. Some time ago I was talking to my friend who told me she had this wonderful idea and started writing a book. With excitement I asked: ‘Great! Me too! I’ve already written 70 pages and I’m so proud of myself. How about you? How many pages have you written so far?’ ‘Well… 3’. Guess what? She still hasn’t written anything else, and I already have 200 pages. Do you understand what I mean? Many people start writing, but only few finish. Most people start writing having huge plans. But as a writer you know best how hard it is to actually finish a book, so why should you make your life even more complicated? Make small steps, especially writing your first book. When you actually finish one book, think about the next one or maybe even a sequel. Even the best writers usually start with a single story, like J.R.R. Tolkien started with ‘The Hobbit’ and Brandon Sanderson with ‘Elantris’.
4. Don’t write about too many technical aspects
You may be a scientist with a PhD or a specialist in mechanics. That’s great! Adding some details can make your book more realistic and interesting, but be careful! If you add too many scientific terms to your story, your readers may get bored or even frustrated! It’s like reading in a language that you don’t know. So do your best to keep everything understandable for an ordinary reader.
5. Don’t make spelling errors
This sounds absolutely obvious, but there’s never enough reminding about it. You can find errors even in the best books published by famous publishing-houses, so let’s just be careful about it, ok?
6. Don’t rush with publishing
Hurrying can be a huge mistake. Many writers want to see their ‘baby’ published so much, they don’t pay enough attention to the important details. Calm down. Make sure your book is well edited, the cover is perfect, you wrote everything that you wanted to write and there are no mistakes in your book. Of course, you can upload the corrected versions later, but your first readers probably won’t check for them, will they?