7 Self Publishing Mistakes Killing Your Business

Are struggling to make money self-publishing on Amazon or elsewhere?

Have you been hustling in the Kindle publishing business for far too long with little to show for it?

Then, you may be guilty of seven self-publishing mistakes.

Read on to find out more!

The Seven Self-Publishing Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Business

First, if you’re new to this website and you wanna learn how to publish and profit the right way, then be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where you can learn more about Kindle Publishing, Createspace and beyond.

The self-publishing business continues to massively expand and therefore become excessively crowded.

Most everyone is ready to share their self-publishing conquests since it’s now easier than ever to produce literature online.

And, a choice few are making an incredible living from it.

I’m fortunate to be among the few who made this a career that provides for my family.

But, my success was not overnight and I had my share of poor choices and self-publishing mistakes.

So, I compiled a list of seven self-publishing mistakes that could very well stifle your self-publishing business.

I can’t promise you’ll make millions if you heed my advice…

But you certainly increase the likelihood of self-publishing success.

Self-Publishing Mistake #1: Bad Book Titles

bad book titles

Early in my self-publishing career, I created clever book titles.

But, the problem was no one ever enjoyed my efforts.

Truthfully, no one was looking for my books.


Because the book titles sucked. 

You can have the most brilliant book titles…

But if you aren’t saying exactly what your audience is searching for online, then you’re screaming into a pillow.

Find and use keywords relevant to what your target audience searches.

Don’t be a spam artist and front load your title with a bunch of nonsensical phrases or crazy combinations of keywords.

Find a balance between keyword-rich and tasteful for your book title.

Self-Publishing Mistake #2: Crappy Book Cover Designs

crappy book covers

All readers judge a book by its cover, so don’t pass off amateur graphic design for a five-star classic.

Amazon Cover Creator and online cover designing software come with preformatted cover designs that just don’t cut the ketchup.

I’d be amazed if a crap cover could even draw money, much less, flies.

If you aren’t a cover designer, then hire an experienced professional.

And, if you don’t have the money, then find a way to raise the funds to hire a good cover designer.

The investment is worth it and your payday will reflect the quality of your cover.

Self-Publishing Mistake #2: Overpricing

self publishing mistakesAssuming you have a great book title and cover and you still don’t see book sales…

You may need to re-examine how you are pricing books on Amazon.

Price your book around the same cost as your competition, but stay realistic.

If you are not a celebrity or an established author, then you shouldn’t price yourself out of the market.

For the newbie Kindle publisher, keep your ebook prices around ninety-nine cents to three dollars and ninety-nine cents.

And, for paperbacks, set your book price around four dollars and ninety-nine cents to eight dollars and ninety-nine cents.

Remember, if someone orders your paperback, they still have to pay shipping and taxes.

So, you shouldn’t expect them to pay more than ten bucks for a book.

There are definitely exceptions to this rule since pricing and profit should be relevant to the book content.

Self-Publishing Mistake #3: Lack of Real Editing

self publishing mistakesDepending on the online retailer, your customer has the opportunity to return your book with no questions asked by most online retailers.

If your book is rubbish, then they can send it back.

The most common reason I see poor reviews on a book is a lack of editing.

Much like a good cover designer, hiring an experienced editor is a necessity.

Publishing garbage on the market does NOT build a long term sustainable self-publishing business.

Readers see through hack work and aren’t afraid to share their thoughts on poor writing.

Without good professional editing, your book doomed to eventual failure.

Raise the funds for this critical step in your book production.

Self-Publishing Mistake #4: Majoring in the Minor Things

self publishing mistakesYou shouldn’t spend time spamming Facebook groups and Twitter feeds with your free book promotion.

Also, avoid analysis paralysis….

You know…when you’re constantly researching how to release the perfect book to get the best results.

And, something I’ve touched on far too many times on this channel…

Getting reviews. This should NOT be a major part of your business.

And, now that Amazon is going on a witch hunt for what they deem fake reviews, it’s best you focus your time, attention and finances on publishing and promoting books.

Self-Publishing Mistake #5: Reckless Spending

self publishing mistakeA common rookie mistake is to hire out based on the business model of established writers.

Here’s the deal, veteran self-publishers have enough monthly income to scale their business.

So, they can hire virtual assistants, multiple freelance writers, cover designers, and editors.

However, if you are new to self-publishing, then save your money and build your business one brick at a time.

This means you should only hire out if it’s necessary.

Produce all your content on your own if you can.

Once you have consistently broken about a thousand dollars or more per month, then consider scaling your business by hiring out.

In the meantime, tough it out and gradually grow your business.

Self-Publishing Mistake #6: Chasing the Trends

chasing self publishing trendsAdult coloring, erotica romance, and no-content paperback books have been the all the rage lately.

Naturally, once self-publishers see the market trends shift, they adjust their business model to accommodate these changes.

This business practice is a never-ending battle to keep up with the ever-changing trends.

Self-publishers whose business is chasing trends are running on the proverbial hamster wheel.

You will get instant gratification, but never establish a brand by trying to keep up with the market interest.

Stick to what you know and love. Then, build a brand around it.

By building a brand and growing a reading audience, you have a greater chance of survival and sustainability.

Success in Self-Publishing

7 self publishing mistakesSelf-publishing isn’t an easy business; otherwise, everyone would do it and become wealthy in the process.

You can increase the likelihood of success in this business if you minimize the number of mistakes.

Inevitably, you will make errors, but if you take my advice, then you just may prosper quicker than most self-publishers.


Hey, if you want to learn more about how to publish and profit the right way, then subscribe to Self-Publishing with Dale L. Roberts on YouTube.

Now, get out there and publish some books, you savvy self-publisher you!

Till later,

Dale L. Roberts, #1 Best-Selling Author

Self-Publishing with Dale