Over the last year, I have worked with a variety of persons who are going through the self-publishing process. So here is my take on mistakes that persons frequently make on their journey to becoming a self-publishing author (especially if based in the Caribbean).
- Taking too long to secure an ISBN number. Unfortunately, if you would like to publish locally in the Caribbean securing your ISBN number does not take a click of the mouse as if you are based in the US and purchasing it from BOWKER online. Instead, you must go through your national library or authorizing body in your country and this process will take 4-8 weeks from submission of the request, payment for the services and returning a confirmed ISBN to you. So, ensure you apply early.
- Thinking that your Caribbean dialect or language is not good enough. I have had clients who stated that I need to make the language in their writing sound proper and not too much like a Caribbean author. My recommendation to writers is usually based on them really trying to define the audience and helping them realize that there is richness ad authenticity in the work when they keep some true Caribbean flavour in their writings.
- Not thinking that your book is ready to be published. Chances are you will never be ready to submit. Persons must acknowledge when they have reached a stage in their writing which is good enough to share with the market. It may never be perfect but with a great editor, we can ensure it becomes a piece of work that others will appreciate.
- Investing money and time to market your book. Unfortunately, self-publishing is becoming a growing field and in order for persons to see and view your work, money and resources must be put aside for marketing. Many times, persons are so concerned with just completing the book, however, they do not have a plan on how to get the book out there. What people don’t know about they won’t buy.
- Thinking that the self-publishing process is cheap. Well, it is obviously cheap-er than going to a traditional publishing process. However, proper planning and budgeting must be still catered for; especially now that you will doing the work yourself it will take time, effort and resources to ensure that you book comes out just as competitive as the traditional book publishing route.
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