The number one biggest mistake is thinking the rules don’t apply to you. We can always think of exceptions because we feel our own books are exceptional. To overcome this, pay attention to the feedback you hear most often. Learn to view your book as a reader, not just a writer. And, most importantly (but probably the most difficult), be patient.
Common Mistakes: Covers
People say don’t judge a book by its cover, but not one persons means it. So, the first step here is to get over that frustration enough to think about actually making your cover. It’s just a first impression thing. For example, you hope a job interviewer will hire you based on your skills, not how you look, but you’re still going to shower and put on a nice outfit. Let your book get dressed up. It can actually be fun. Remember, the first thing everyone looks at is always the title and cover. If your book really is the next big thing, don’t expect everyone to just know that. Give your book what it deserves so it tells people (excuse me, shows people) I'm that thing you've been looking for. Again, learn to look at it as a reader.
Ah, the real reason behind all of our most common mistakes. This isn’t due to an “I’m better than the others” attitude, but an “I need to get out there now!” attitude.
“Be patient” is easier said than done, but take it from someone who wasn’t patient and is now paying for it. If I’d listened the first time around, maybe I wouldn’t have published so soon, but when I did, my book would have been a whole lot better. I certainly wouldn't be returning to it years later to give it a next-level makeover.
We as indie authors have a responsibility to uphold a high standard, showing the public we are just as good, and often times better, than traditionally published books. How might we be the better option? A well-established, traditionally published author can pretty much get away with anything. Once you’ve made it to the top, the rules don’t apply to you anymore. But those rules are there for a reason. We’re not allowed to stop trying. We will always be striving to be better.
Enjoy the process, especially if you’re new to it. It’s great you’re excited. You should be. Just don’t rush it. There’s nothing quite like the first phase of the journey.
Remember, keep writing. Keep reading. Be patient and persistent. Happy Tuesday!