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Understand Publishing: Why most Self Published Authors fail?

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Product issues:

Unedited / Poorly Edited books:

Most self published books are published with little or no professional editing. It is quite common for typos or grammatical and syntactical mistakes to be found in the final edition of a do-it-yourself book, no matter how many rounds of self-edits an author has done. This reduces a book’s readability, affects credibility and can make readers turn away from such books.

Even the most seasoned author needs a team of proficient professional editors to help enhance their work. The editing process also needs to be repeated multiple times by a team of editors and proofreaders to ensure an error-free final product and to polish the story and language for its desired effect.

Template Covers / Poorly designed covers:

Good covers attract readers and play a critical role in boosting the sales of a book. A good book cover is also an important marketing tool and can boost the virality of a book. Boring, poorly designed or misleading book covers hold back a book’s success. Several good books are ignored because of poor book covers that reek of unprofessionalism. Most self published books that have not invested in a professional approach suffer in sales due to covers which are poorly designed or which do not look unique.

Outrageously Priced Books:

The book market is price sensitive. Most traditionally published books are printed in large volumes, and can take advantage of economies of scale. In the US, a printed best seller of 300 or more pages, traditionally published, costs around $15, while many self published offerings cost over $20.

In the fastest growing paperback English book market in the world – India, a traditionally published best seller of 500 pages would cost INR 250 (e.g. Asura, Shiva Trilogy, etc.), i.e. achieving a ratio of MRP (Selling Price)/No. of pages of 0.5 while a self published book of similar length will usually retail at INR 800, which works out to a ratio of 1.6. This is not a sustainable price point and will negatively affect sales.

 

Marketing issues:

Limited to Nil Media Reviewing:

For a book to have a chance to sell, people need to know about its existence. This is a growing issue post the advent of the internet, where there are millions of books behind the search bar and only bestsellers on displays. Media reviewing and listing ensures that a book is mentioned in the sections devoted to them, which are then read by book enthusiasts. When positive reviews by the media or a well-known person are added to the book’s cover or inside pages, it adds to a book buyer’s confidence in the book. Self published authors often face an uphill battle to generate media buzz and professional reviews for their book.

Limited to Nil Consumer Reviewing:

Along with media reviews, consumer and book blogger reviews are becoming increasingly important to the average reader. Each book should be strategically sent to several book reviewers who can share their reviews on their respective blogs or to advance readers so they can share their feedback on book review sites. This process ensures that when a potential reader comes across the book listing and its reviews, they gain confidence to buy the book.

Availability issues:

Most self published books face issues with book availability and a restricted global presence, which leads to a loss of potential sales. Achieving uniform offline retailer presence is a challenge for traditional publishers as well, yet they manage to place their books much more successfully than self publishers and give their books a fighting chance. Getting a good order fulfillment system to service any order globally is necessary for a book’s success though self publishers often find this a difficult aspect of publishing to accomplish.

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