How To Correct Your Self-Publishing Mistakes

Correct Your Self Publishing Mistakes

One significant aspect of self-publishing is that nothing is set in stone.

Even if your book has been published, it is by no means the end of the road.

There are always many parts of a book that can be continually improved, modified, or corrected.

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

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 of the most common self-publishing mistakes.

They will 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 price your book accordingly.

At the same time, review your thinking about your book price.

Consider having a better understanding of ebook pricing strategies that you could adopt to help your book sales.


2. Your cover is not up to standard.

Publishing a book with a poor quality cover is probably the most common mistake new authors make.

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

Almost everything to do with the self-publishing process can be done for free.

But a great book cover is not necessarily one of them.

If you pay for nothing else, invest a little money is a professional book cover design. This is a must if you are publishing a print on demand paperback version of your book.

But you could try Canva as a free ebook cover creator to help you improve the quality of your ebook 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 your target audience and potential 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 too 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 you sell your book.

Along with your two categories, your choice of these seven keywords is by far the most important way 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. read the descriptions and look for ideas 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 assist 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 and enjoy it. But I bet you’ll come across more than one typo. If possible, ask some of your friends and family if they can help you by reading your book again.

If you didn’t use a reliable grammar and writing checker before you published your manuscript, it might be a good idea to use one now.

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.

This is a bad idea for your book promotion.

Remove the clutter. Send it to the back of the book. This will 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.

Being meticulous with your categories and keywords is the best way to attract book buyers who use Amazon search,

But selling books still needs some form of marketing or promotion. Some of the best ways to promote your book online and on social media 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. Set a strict budget and understand 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 by traditional publishers, that was it. It was the end of the story.

Self-publishing and technology have changed that.

Now published books are always alive, editable, adjustable correctable, and repairable. In other words, you can always fix your mistakes.

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

Self-publishing is a never-ending story.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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

  • November 24, 2019 at 10:57 am

    What do I do with my self-published book error after the book has been on market?

    • November 24, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Correct your errors and upload the new version of your manuscript and then re-publish.

  • December 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Shortly after publishing my book, I found there was a misspelled word on the blurb on the back. KDP was very helpful taking me through steps to correct it, and it was changed, but only after 20 books were purchased on Amazon. I have my book launch planned for a week from today and found a typo in the book. I know I can correct it now, but people have already bought the book. I feel terrible about it.

  • November 20, 2016 at 9:17 am

    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.

  • November 14, 2016 at 3:32 am

    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.

  • November 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    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!

  • November 6, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    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.


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