Common mistakes when writing a book, why it may never get published or make money - Dale Darley
ommon mistakes when writing a book, why it may never get published or make money #amwriting #writingabook

Common mistakes when writing a book, why it may never get published or make money

Writing a book? Planning your book? Written your book and done nothing with it? Couldn’t care less about writing a book, but someone said you should? It doesn’t matter what it is there are a number of common mistakes that some writers make which means that their books never see the light of day, or if they do, no one knows about them and worse still they never make the money they deserve.

Writing a book is hard work and while you are going through the process you need to be considering your marketing and product road map.

Here goes and in no particular order, stuff to think about when writing a book.

You don’t have a book plan or know how you like to plan

In this article, I talk about conscious planning and getting connected to your inner planner. The first mistake is that you do not know how you like to plan, what keeps you motivated and how to plan your book.

Want a book plan? Yes, all you do have to part with your email address, however, it will be worth it.

You don’t set time aside to write

I make writing one of the first things I do each day. My fully charged computer is by the side of my bed and in the morning with a cuppa, I write. My timer is set and when my time is up, I get on with breakfast, walking the dogs and planning my day. When I write at other times, I put on focus@will set it for 60 minutes, at the end of the time, I go for a walk to refresh my brain cells. What works is when you write first thing, then it is done, and you have no room for procrastination.

You think writing a book is a solo job

You may be a great writer, you may be a brilliant dancer, but at some part of your book journey, you need other people so that you don’t look completely ‘daft’ on either the dance floor or Amazon.

Book cover and proof reader

Please do not design your own cover unless you are a designer. One member of a 10 week program I ran, had her husband take a photo of her naked and then pixelate it, followed by some dreadful typography. She wondered why no one in the group rated it. It was dreadful. She would not listen. She also refused to engage with a proof reader, again believing herself to be far superior. These are two very common mistakes. If you nothing else, get a cover designed for you and always use a proof reader. I can’t promise that every one will love your cover, why should they? Nor can I promise that there will not be any mistakes in your copy. Choose you proof reader wisely as that too can be fraught with problems.

Book writing coach

Now, of course, I’d say this as this, wouldn’t I. Not everyone needs to be held accountable or to have ongoing developmental editing or someone who can write in your voice or someone who can support you with your personal branding. However, it could be just what you need to inspire and motivate you. When you are supported and help accountable, you are more likely to complete a project. I know I am.

Over on Teachable, I have a range of courses that you can take and if you require support you can join The Writing Zone, where you will be supported and held accountable.

You don’t tell your family about your important project

Family time is incredibly important, however, for a period of time, you might want some extra space for writing. Instead of screaming at them for interrupting you, include them in our dreams. Ask (or tell) for time. Read your work to them and ask for feedback. Put an amusing notice on the door of your writing space that lets everyone know this is your time.

 Your monkey has taken over the asylum

Mindset plays such a big of any project, not just writing. If you don’t get yours ‘right’ then chances are you will continue to procrastinate.

Watch this funny video from Tim Urban who explains it far better than I

You didn’t start marketing your book before you started writing your book

This doesn’t mean that you mount a huge plan and shove your book in everyone’s face every day. Very subtly you can be letting people know about your book journey.

Ask for case studies, answers to questions, share your book cover ideas, share some of your writing and ask for feedback, ask about titles, blog about it, ask for cover designers and proofreader suggestions (even if you already have them in place), do a podcast or a live broadcast – communicate.

Also, have a well-considered plan that launches and continues to promote your book. Test and tweak. Review what your competitors have done or are doing. Many people think that if they have a publisher that they will market for them. Mmmm, not necessarily, you need to build your platform and be able to market your book.

Many writers tell me that it’s a pain to have to market their book, why should they, surely their role is to write.

When someone is prepared to work with me (or their marketing team) to support their plans, it happens. Marketing happens when you plan and take action, but you knew that anyway, didn’t you?

 You don’t have any follow up products and services planned

A book is never just a book, it is part of your personal brand toolkit. In your toolkit, you could have coaching around your methodology, online courses, a radio show, a Facebook Group, retreats, workshops, a YouTube channel.

Plan these as you are writing your book. One of the best times to plan your course is as you write your book. As you are outlining your book, create a set of PowerPoint slides at the same time.

I have a series of videos for my book Healing Osteoporosis Naturally which enable me to do just that. Each time I make a video I make slides for the course that will come after publication. This means I can sort out all of my glitches as I go along.

You may never record straight from your slides, preferring headshots, however they can become your script, content for slide share, and e-book giveaway.

If you have a workshop that is going to become your book, review and update your workshop at the same time and consider – what else can I create from this. Think outside of your book.

Start developing your product road map now.

The shocking truth as Adam Rowe writing for Forbes points out is that while the traditional publishing industry is flourishing ‘The Publishers Association recently found the UK publishing industry’s £5.7 billion in book sales income to be up 5% over the year prior.’  Authors earnings have dipped by 42% over the last ten years, and that median annual income for professional authors is now below £10,500.

This tells me that we as writers and authors have to find other ways to generate income from our books and wisdom.


Forbes article on authors earnings

Write your BIG Book

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Dale Darley

Strategist, Coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can create simple strategic direction and design the right products and services for your business. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.