It's next to impossible for newbie Author's to make a name for themselves especially if they are indie Author's, and they are unscrupulous companies that prey on newbie writers dreams and aspirations by promising them the sun, moon and stars if they just sign up to an expensive publishing package and so on. As Indie Author's we have to do everything ourselves from building our platform to marketing as well writing the damn books and editing. I've made a lot of mistakes in my time as an Indie Author and here are my five terrible mistakes, well more like Cardinal sins in the publishing world, that I made and would strongly advise anyone NOT to do this so here's my list of five stupid things that I've done.
1. Never ever pay for book reviews. There are many sites out there on the world wide web that promise you mass reviews for your book, but for a price let's say, $50 for five reviews, it sounds like a deal too good to be true so you get taken in by what I call the stars in your eyes syndrome, you pay the money and a few hours or day later you check Amazon, and there are your first five star reviews that praise your book to the high heavens and you get a rush of adrenaline and your heart skips a beat with the excitement of seeing those 5 stars. Well here's the problem, those five star reviews may look great and your ego may get a boost but ask yourself this, would these same people have given you such praise and stars if you didn't pay them for their opinion? Would they have given you five stars if they had to purchase the book from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle and actually read it from cover to cover? The answer is probably not. Money is the main motivator for these reviews and the sites that offer these services should be closed down immediately as they are doing more harm than good to Author's trying to get themselves noticed in an ocean of novels. YES I HAVE DONE THIS!!!
2. If you are like me you have probably read books on marketing and building your social media pages also known as platform. You are told that you need to have a presence on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram Snapchat or whatever other site is flavor of the month. So, you set up pages on all these sites and only a few of your friends are following you and your page likes are nothing like the established writers that have tens of thousands of followers and likes on their posts. I know it really got to me when I started out, seeing other pages with all these followers and likes, and I will admit that yes I was jealous and this brings me to point number two. I was looking for answers on the net and discovered that you can actually purchase followers for your social media accounts. WOW! I thought I'm onto a real goldmine here ha!ha! so I paid something like $15 to add followers to my Facebook page and low and behold 24 hours later I had over 4,000 followers, I did the same for my Twitter page. It may look cool and you may feel like the bees knees with all these followers, but here's the proverbial pin to burst your bubble. All these followers are nothing but fake accounts, that's right, your posting content that no one is actually seeing or reading, these so called followers are just ghosts. You could write a post that is out of this world and then you post it to your social media pages and wait to see peoples reactions and see all the likes and reposts, then nothing happens. This is what you get when you pay for followers. They do not exist, they will not react to your posts and they will not like or comment. Don't do what I did and just grow your pages organically.
3. You might have heard about Book trailers? They are just the same as movie trailers except for books and some people swear by them and others say don't waste your time or money. I'm with the one's that say don't waste your time. You can find services out there that promise to make you an awesome book trailer that will guarantee sales and catapult your book into the best seller ranks. Well, don't believe a word of this spiel, because they will rip you off and I mean big time. Sure they might be able to create a kick ass trailer that has some wicked graphics and killer music but at what cost? I've seen companies charge as much as $5,000 for a basic package and up to $12,000 for a silver package. If you're one of the lucky ones that can afford these kind of services then good for you, but your money would be spent on other marketing efforts and materials.
4. Don't ever use cheap services for anything to do with editing or cover design because take it from me, it will reduce you to tears not with joy but with complete an utter shock and disgust. I used one such platform and it was the biggest mistake of my life. First off I wanted some help with editing so I scanned through the site and found a woman who said she was a professional editor and for $20 she would edit my manuscript, that was all fine and well, sent off the manuscript and a week later received it back. I was delighted until I opened the damn thing and found it was worse that when I sent it off. It was like she had used Microsoft words auto correct to edit the book, it was just terrible. The next thing I would advise against doing is using these sites for book covers, there's shortage of people claiming to be professional book designers and their resume may look brilliant and they may talk the talk but they're just there to make a quick buck and at the end of the day you get what you pay for a cheap and nasty rag that's supposed to be a book cover so avoid cheap sites like Fiverr
5. The fifth and last thing to avoid are vanity presses. A vanity press is a company that parades itself as a legit publishing company and believe me there's no shortage of these assholes out there. They want nothing more than to get as much money out of you as possible using every trick in the book to play on your ego. They'll tell you that your book is the best thing they've ever read and that if you choose them to publish your work your book be available in over 26,000 stores world wide and that you will be a house hold name. It's all Bull shit designed to get you to sign up to their extortionate packages that start at anywhere from £3,000 to £10,000, no bookstore will stock a self published book, these presses have a really bad reputation check out predators and editors
I used one such company and I truly regretted it, after paying £3,000 for them to publish my book (Stars in their eyes syndrome) what I ended up with was nothing more than pamphlet with a terrible cover, and as for the editing it was never carried out so I had to pay them even more to sort it out, and another £100 to get the Amazon search inside the book activated. The bottom line is this, a real publisher will pay you, you DO NOT pay them.