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3 Pitfalls to Avoid While Writing a Book

three pitfalls graphicThe beginning stages of writing and self-publishing your first e-book can be a very exciting experience.  You daydream about being on Amazon’s best seller list or sitting next to Oprah while discussing the intricacies of your book to an audience filled with your admirers.  But amidst your fantasies about the “glamor” of authorship, you must make room for the realities of what you’re up against on the road to self publishing your book.  While there are many “do’s” to follow when self publishing, there are also many pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.  Of course I couldn’t possibly cover them all in this article; thoroughness on that topic would require a full e-book.

But I’ve singled out 3 common mistakes that most newbies make, so at the very least you can make it a point to steer clear of these:

Picking the wrong starting point

Many authors start with the introduction/preface when writing their book, and then they proceed with writing the book’s chapters.  If you look at this method from a progressive standpoint, this might make perfectly good sense.  However, it’s quite common to change the chapters, topics and/or characters of your book a million times before producing a finished product.  So if you make the mistake of writing your intro first, it’s a good chance you’ll end up re-writing it once you’re done writing the entire manuscript. Writing your intro last will allow you to be more precise about the details of your book and it will save you a lot of time in the end.

Editing while writing

If you set out to write a 10,000 word e-book in January of 2014, and as of 2015 you’ve only written 1,000 words, then maybe you’re making the mistake of editing and writing your book simultaneously. Though editing is one of the most important procedures in the entire book writing process, it shouldn’t take place until you’ve finished writing your manuscript.  So if you’re making a lot of changes after only writing a couple of sentences or paragraphs, then your “inner editor” is out of control and must be tamed. Instead, try to refrain from editing until you’ve completed the book or at least an entire chapter.  Doing so will help you reach your 10,000 word target in a more time-efficient manner.

Creating your own book cover

A cover is your book’s first impression into the hearts and minds of browsing readers, so grave emphasis should be placed on its design.  If you’re not a professional designer, then you should consider hiring someone who is.  The last thing you want to do is spend countless hours putting your heart and soul into your written work, only to have someone judge your book by an amateurish and unprofessional cover. No, you make sure your book is cradled in a covering that spotlights the masterpiece you’ve created.  So resist the “DIY” gene and leave this one to the professionals.  Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.

In summary, if you can avoid the e-book writing pitfalls of picking the wrong starting point, editing while writing and creating your own book cover, then you’re well on your way to becoming a successful self-published Author.