How To Correct Your Self-Publishing Mistakes

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How To Correct Your Self-Publishing MistakesMistakes can happen when you first self-publish, but you can always correct them.

One significant aspect of self-publishing is that nothing is set in stone, so even though your book has been published, it is by no means the end of the road.

There are always many areas that can be continually improved, modified or corrected.

For new self-publishing authors, mistakes, misunderstandings or misjudgements are a normal part of the process.

However, correcting many of these mistakes as soon as they are apparent is not only imperative but also surprisingly easy. All you need to do is correct your mistake and then update your book publishing files and details.

Here is a quick 8 point checklist to get you started on your way to improving your book and recovering from some often made mistakes.

1. Your book price is too high.

New authors often overvalue their new books because they do not do pricing research before publishing.

Price is an easy fix. Look at titles that are selling in your genre and adjust your pricing accordingly.

At the same time, review your thinking about price and consider having a clearer understanding of ebook pricing strategies that you could adopt.

2. Your cover is not up to standard.

Using a poor quality cover is probably the most common mistake made by new authors.

Compare your cover to other titles in your genre, and then be very honest. If you created your cover, be super honest.

While almost everything to do with self-publishing can be accessed for free, a great book cover is not one of them. If you pay for nothing else, invest a little money is a professionally designed book cover.

3. You listed your book in broad categories.

It might not have seemed all that important at the time you published, but your choice of categories could be far too broad.

Researching your best possible narrow, niche categories is vital in attracting book buyers.

Check the ways that you can refine your category choices, particularly on Amazon, by using keywords to increase and more narrowly define your category selections.

4. You chose your seven keywords quickly when you published.

When you had to choose your seven keywords, you were in a hurry to get your book published.

Okay, so now take your time, do your research and select seven keyword phrases (not single words) that will help sell your book.

Along with your two categories, your choice of these seven keywords are by far the most important means for readers to find your book.

5. You wrote a very quick, short, book description.

Writing a book description that will hook potential readers is in some respects almost as difficult as writing your book.

Again, look at other titles in your genre and look to improve your text. If you have some reviews, you can add these to your book description by using your Author Central page to modify your book details.

If you think need help, perhaps it might be worth considering finding a good copywriter to help you.

6. Have you found those pesky typos yet?

It is indeed a rarity these days to read a book, self-published or otherwise; that doesn’t contain a couple of typos or errors.

What is far more common, though, is to read books that have more than just a few typos and errors. If it has been a few months since you published, it is the perfect time to re-read your book.

Take your time, enjoy it, but I bet you’ll come across more than one typo.

Errors and typos invite poor reviews, so always be on the lookout and correct yours when and if you find them.

7. There is a lot of blah blah at the beginning of your book.

Prologues, prefaces, forewords, introductions, credits or anything else that may be between your book title and the start of the first chapter all steal space from your online preview reads.

In other words, a potential reader gets a lot of irrelevant text to read, and may not even get to read any part of your first chapter.

Remove the clutter, and send it to the back of the book to make sure your potential book buyers can get to read a good chunk of your first chapter in the Look Inside preview.

8. You don’t have a book marketing plan.

While being meticulous with your categories and keywords is the best primary means of attracting book buyers who use Amazon search, selling books still needs some form of marketing or promotion. Some of the best ways to promote your book are free.

However, you might consider investing a little in some paid promotion. One advantage of paid promotion is that it helps you gain access to a new and far wider book-buying audience.

But, don’t spend a cent without first making a detailed marketing plan, setting a strict budget, and understanding how to monitor your results. A little can go a long way if you have clear goals and limits.


A long time ago, when a book was published, that was it. End of story.

Self-publishing and technology have changed that, and now a book is always alive, editable, adjustable correctable, and repairable.

Never think you have finished with your book because there are always opportunities to correct your mistakes and improve your product and your sales potential.

Self-publishing is a never-ending story.

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “How To Correct Your Self-Publishing Mistakes

  • I would add one more to the list:

    you uploaded the wrong file and published it. My first book on Kindle was the second to last draft that was published. I still have no idea how I made such a mistake.

    It made for a long weekend of fixing all the errors, as I lost the final file. I’ll not do that again.

  • That is not an uncommon mistake, Leslie. I did it once myself, and it caused me a lot of grief! So yes, maybe I should add this one to my article!

  • That Self-publishing can do definitely have mistakes, is a major notion contributing to the theory that Traditional publishing is the ever superior. But the Internet with its ever UPDATING features in real-time, challenges this theory.

    And self-publishers now just need to correct the minimum level of mistakes, if any, before the very 1st launch of their Books. E.g. in the database in a Non-fiction book: say Epilepsy was earlier written in the Manuscript as purely Neurological disease, but at the time of publishing, the new study revealed that it has mental origins instead, so a line-edit is done before the very 1st publishing. And in the next versions of the Ebook (say Ebook 2.0 & Ebook 3.0 & so on…) only the refinement-type improvements can be added.

    Only the modification-type improvements are necessary beforehand.

    And this creates a great flexibility for the self-publishers in the Modern era.

  • The most useful tips are certainly the ‘pesky’ typos and the front ‘blah blah’ bit which obviously prevent readers from getting their teeth into the narrative.


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