As a leader, entrepreneur, or specialist in your field, you know that publishing a book is key to your future success. Authors are held in high esteem by just about everyone; knowing that you were able to write a book and publish it is very impressive! Writing a book is proof that you’ve accumulated enough knowledge to fill a couple of hundred pages and have managed to achieve something that most people never hope to accomplish. People want to buy from successful people, and publishing a book is proof that you’re successful. Your book establishes you as an expert in your field.
But then you go and sabotage that success by making compromises.
We usually think of “compromise” in terms of a relationship with another person or as a part of negotiating the terms of an agreement, whether that is discussing where to meet for lunch or a negotiating a peace treaty. Someone gives something up so that an agreement can be made and everyone can move forward. Give something up for the greater good.
Sometimes people compromise themselves too by accepting something slightly different from what they really want because of circumstances or because they are considering the wishes of other people. People also compromise their desires, beliefs or standards.
As owner of a company that helps indie authors and publishers package up their life’s work (i.e., their books), I see people making compromises and sabotaging their success all the time. They consent to something different from what they really want or accept standards that are lower than desirable.
Authors may compromise their books in several ways. They don’t research their competitors’ work or other books in their genre. They try to save money by undertaking cover design or the interior layout themselves, or they farm out this work to the lowest bidder. They then ask their close inner circles – the ones who can be counted on for positive feedback – to choose the best cover. They skip editing, proofreading, or both, or ask friends or family to do it for free. Marketing efforts get short shrift. More often than not, the end result of these compromises is a substandard book that sabotages the author’s success.
You can avoid making these compromises by committing to the following simple steps.
- Be prepared to “fake it ‘til you make it”: According to research, this works! To be successful, you need to look and act like you’re successful. You need to look like you belong in the club of experts you are trying to join; in fact, you should try and look even better than everyone else! Doing so might mean investing in good clothes, a nice office, top-end equipment, a shiny website, and professional headshot photos. Look like the image you’re trying to portray and look like you care. Remember that you are establishing your “brand” and your book is part of your brand. Don’t let your book cheapen it. Not only that, you deserve to look and be successful, and your book is part of that too!
- Set goals: Be clear on what you want your book to accomplish. Are your goals monetary or related to your career or business success? How will your book help you achieve your personal or business goals?
- Set a budget: How will being perceived as an expert in your field impact your future income? What are you willing to invest, and what will be your return on that investment?
- Do the research: What books have experts in your field published already? What do the books look like? How will you make sure your book measures up? What providers of book publishing services can help you get the job done?
- Be businesslike: Approach your book like a product you’re developing for your business. You wouldn’t skimp on that! Seek out the experts to help you create the best possible end product. Get quotes from professional designers, editors, and other service providers. Make sure to ask designers for a few different cover concepts and not just variations on a theme. Compare the designs to the competitor books you’ve already researched.
- Be realistic: If you find yourself compromising on your book to meet a tight budget, then perhaps this is not the time for you to publish the book you need to publish. Consider instead writing a shorter eBook, or publishing the chapters of your book as blog posts or in eBook installments for now. eBooks must also be professionally designed, but perhaps you will need only budget for 30-page installments over the course of a year rather than the whole shebang upfront. Doing this will also help you confirm whether or not an audience exists for your material and allow you to tweak your book as you go, until you’re ready to publish the book in the manner it needs to be published.
By paying attention to these steps, you’ll avoid compromising your book and sabotaging your future success!
This post originally appeared on 1106 Design’s website. 1106 Design is an Indie Author Day 2017 sponsor.
About 1106 Design
Michele DeFilippo has worked in book publishing since 1972, first at Crown Publishers in New York City, then as the owner of a traditional typesetting business from 1980 to1993. She now owns 1106 Design, which helps authors produce beautiful books while providing customized indie-publishing advice and hand-holding every step of the way. Her mission is to cut through the noise, stay focused on quality, and simplify the publishing path for her clients. You can contact Michele and download a free copy of her book, Publish Like the Pros: A Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing at http://1106design.com.