I deal with authors every day of every week. I wake up to the frantic phone calls of author’s wanting to know how their books are selling on Amazon. I take lunch in open areas so that authors who need help can call and I won’t disturb my colleagues. My dinner is littered with the calls from publishing hopefuls who want to know how they can get their manuscript published, my advice is issued freely between mouthfuls. In short - I know authors.
I hope that this post might help those authors who are taking time to perform due diligence on the self-publishing process. If that is you, then thank you for taking the time to read the post on the top time-wasting habits of authors who publish online.
These are the mistakes that I see authors make most often, in order of occurrence.
These mistakes are not just a nuisance, they put the author’s manuscript at risk and often mean the process of publishing online will longer and even potentially cost the author more. Be a smart author, learn from the mistakes of others.
Be professional. Take your job (and responsibility) as an author seriously.
The #1 culprit, wasting your publisher’s time is...
Making numerous updates to your manuscript AFTER the publishing process has started.
This is easily the number one time-waster we suffer through and unfortunately it happens so often that it has almost become expected of the self-published author. Please have your manuscript finalised before you come to us.
Don’t say we did not warn you, we need the final version of your manuscript before we start the publishing processes. Late changes and updates to the manuscript can mean extra costs for the author.
Do your homework, be a professional.
#2 Avoiding the costs of editing.
Editing your manuscript will be one of the most expensive costs a self-published author sees. As a result it is often the one that they try and avoid. These are the most common excuses used to justify avoiding the editing process:
- My friend/ family member (who is a whizz at English) has read the manuscript and made some changes.
- I have had numerous friends and colleagues read the manuscript and give feedback.
- It is too expensive.
- It will change the meaning of my writing.
To answer these fears, I ask the author – Are you a professional and are you putting your best possible work forward for your readers?
While the cost of editing can be reduced, it will always be a pricey necessity for authors.
#3 The author bombards us with emails or phone calls.
I know this might be tempting, as your nerves are at and end as the deadline to publish your book looms. We know that you have spent many late nights working on this manuscript and we know how much sharing your unique message means to you.
Understand that every email or phone call we have to answer is time that we could be spending publishing your book.
Trust the professionals you hire to help you. Where possible group all your queries and concerns together rather than fire off an email per question.
#4 Multiple files for a single manuscript.
Although a book always consist of multiple sections known as front and back matter, these should always be delivered to the publisher in a single-file manuscript. Please don’t send multiple files for each chapter. This increases the chance of us misplacing a chapter or another bit of important text.
#5 You make try and make us meet your deadlines, but you are late.
We don’t rush our services and always aim to deliver the best possible experience to our authors. Make sure you plan your timelines appropriately and don’t attempt to rush your publisher. We know the time needed for the various steps of publishing and will always quote with appropriate time frames.
#6 You don’t own, or properly know how to use a computer.
This is a simple one, as a digital publisher our speciality is creating and publishing eBooks online. It follows that most our work is conducted online. Not only should you own a PC but you should comfortable using it.
At least be able to enlist the service of someone who can help you with tasks such as pulling monthly royalty reports from Amazon.
#7 You know better.
We have helped hundreds of authors publish their books online. We know what makes a great reading experience and the best places to sell your eBook. By all means offer your insights but understand that we are good at what we do and be willing to accept our advice.
#8 You pay us late.
It is not wise to upset a publisher who knows the password to your Amazon account :)
On a more serious note, chasing authors for payment distracts us from providing the best possible service to you. Be a professional author. As much as we try and give the best service so you to need to be the best customer possible.
Be a well-prepared author and do your homework. Once you have released your manuscript to your chosen publisher, let them do what they do best, publish your book. This will mean a faster publishing process with no extra charges for those last minute changes.
Does this sound like you? Do you think I have missed an important point? Let our readers know by sharing your wisdom in the comment section below.