Top 10 Kindle Publishing Mistakes
Publishing on Kindle is a lucrative opportunity that many authors swear by. It’s free to publish a Kindle book and creation is relatively simple. All you need to do is follow the instructions, submit, and you’re published. But, after that, there is more for you to do. Use this top-10 Kindle publishing mistakes to help you create your next book with Kindle publishing success.
Mistake #1: Skimping on Cover Creation
While people like to say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, this only applies when you’re not talking about books. People do judge a book by its cover. Follow the instructions on Kindle for the book cover design. If you’re not a graphic designer, add the cost of one to your budget.
It’s essential to ensure that your book stands out from the other books on Amazon. The best way to do that is to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Don’t just go for the cheapest option. The best way to find a professional book designer is to get recommendations from other authors, who have book cover designs that you like and the designers are proven sellers.
Mistake #2: Misidentifying Topics of Interest
It probably seems like such a great idea to write a book about the topic you are most passionate about. However, you should do some research about the topics that interest your niche audience. From those niche topics, choose the one that you’re most passionate about.
Remember who you’re writing for, who will be buying your books, and how it will solve one of your audience’s problems. You can make a huge impact on the number Kindle book sales when you write about only the topics your readers need and want.
Mistake #3: Editing Kindle Books Yourself
After you write your book, hire a professional editor. It may be tempting to get a friend or family member to edit your book. However, it’s highly discouraged for several reasons. Friends and family may not be as diligent as a professional editor and they probably won’t know all the ins-and-outs of the process, like an experienced professional would. Editing is not an area where you can safely cut production costs. Remember, your reputation will be on the line.
You can find qualified editors by posting a job on WriterHelpWanted.com or by asking other authors, in the same genre, to recommend a few people. It’s very difficult to edit your own writing objectively. In addition, you run the risk of getting poor reviews, if your readers find a lot of inconsistencies or grammatical errors in the books you publish.
Mistake #4: Enrolling in KDP Select Without a Plan
The way KDP Select works is that you promise to be exclusive to Amazon Kindle for 90 days. This automatically renews unless you leave the program. There are some added benefits for joining the program, such as the ability to offer your book free for a limited time. You can offer countdown deals and much more.
However, be sure to read all of the rules, terms of service, and the benefits. Research the pros and cons of the program. Find out how KDP Select authors feel about their experience, in retrospect. Also, look for authors who provide suggestions to other authors. When you know what to expect and get tips from more experienced authors, you can develop a plan for successfully marketing your book using this program.
Mistake #5: Not Promoting Your Book Everywhere
Just because your book is on Amazon, doesn’t mean you’re absolved from marketing your book. If you want to make a lot of sales you need to run ads, blog about it, write about it, build your email list, tell your current list about it, and more. Do everything that you would do for any other product. Just throwing it up on Amazon Kindle isn’t going to be enough to earn the kind of money you deserve from your hard work.
Consider throwing an online book launch party, especially if it’s only offered in a digital download. If the book is offered as a paperback or hardback, you may want to consider promoting it with a book-signing event, locally. There are many more ideas for book promotions online. Take several ideas that you like and put your own twist on things for a more unique event and additional exposure through the media.
Mistake #6: Misaligning Goals
As your business grows and changes, you adjust your overall business goals. Product goals are a sub-set of those along with marketing goals and other areas of your business. Everything you do should play a part in helping you reach your main business goals.
When you don’t have a clear goal for your products (ebooks), your business will suffer. In the planning stage, decide how the book can help you meet a business goal. For example, if one of your business goals is to increase your mailing list subscription rate by 15% this year, include a freebie offer in your Kindle book when readers signup. Of course, the freebie should relate to the subject matter of the book.
Avoid creating an ebook that doesn’t have a clear business related goal or purpose. Doing this limits your benefits. You only receive money when you could actually be gaining money, subscribers, traffic, authority status, or many other things. Create books that really work for you.
Mistake #7: Having A Skimpy Author Page
To market your Kindle book effectively, you need a well-developed author’s page. On this page, you can list all of your books. You must claim the book after you’ve created an author’s page.
To add a book, go to your Author Central account and add more books by searching for your published book. This is not an automatic process. You can also create a profile and connect your blogs to the page so your posts will show up.
Mistake #8: Not Following Kindle’s Formatting Guide
Because formatting best practices change often, always check Kindle Direct Publishing’s terms of service and formatting instructions before creating/publishing a book. Even if you’ve published previously, it’s important to check for changes.
You can find the simplified formatting guide here. It’s not difficult to format for Kindle using Word as long as your book is essentially a “picture book.” However, depending on the version of Word you use and the styles you have installed, you may have to create a more simple template than the one you normally use for other content.
Mistake #9: Waiting for Perfection Before Publishing
While you certainly want your book to be right, it will never be perfect. One amazing thing about publishing with the Kindle Direct program is that you can edit and resubmit it, if someone tells you about a major issue.
The book is “ready to publish,” when you’ve researched your audience and the topic interest, have a professional book cover, the book has been edited by a professional, you’ve had a few people preview it and they have provided feedback. If you stress over every single page you may never get it published. Nobody is perfect and readers are forgiving, to a point. Do your best and test. Then publish and promote.
Mistake #10: Failing to Build a Community
One way to ensure that your books sell well is to build a community surrounding the genre or the main niche topic. You may also consider pre-selling the book just before it’s published. Once published, you’ll have immediate sales. Under no circumstances should you pay for Kindle/Amazon book reviews. The best way to get reviews is through verified Amazon purchases. Just ask your list subscribers to add a review, if they haven’t already done it.
To build a strong community, start a Facebook group. Build your mailing list by blogging or posting about the topic. Create and share teasers about your new book. Keep some kind of buzz going before, during, and after the book release. This helps to keep potential buyers excited about the book as well as the events and activities you have planned.
Kindle ebooks are a great way to build authority status, make more sales, and reach more of your target market, among other things. If you’ve put off creating a Kindle book because you’re afraid of doing it wrong, use this list of top 10 kindle publishing mistakes to make sure your book is done correctly and sells like hotcakes.