I was recently reminded of a few of the most important things that we as self-published authors can do for ourselves and our work: good editing; ensuring our books have a good ‘hook’ right at the beginning; and good, professional-looking cover design.
Good editing is crucial – people who love to read are also likely going to be people know their stuff when it comes to grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization – all that good stuff. ✏️
It’s not to say your book must be absolutely 100% perfect – many traditionally published books even have a typo or two – but excessive errors will turn off many readers! When you’re not sure how to correctly spell, punctuate, or even word something, the answer is often a quick Google search away.
Next, the hook. Grabbing the reader’s attention right away is important! If your book is making the reader yawn from the very beginning, many readers will put it down right away without finishing it. I know I will!
A good strategy often involves dropping your reader right in the middle of some action. Make them want – nay, need – to know more. Starting off with your character’s boring everyday morning routine, on the other hand, is likely to kill any interest your potential reader may have had. Let’s face it – nobody wants to hear how you got out of bed, brushed your teeth, made some eggs & toast with jam, hopped in the car, hit all the red lights on your drive to work…you get the picture. Booo-ring!
Lastly, cover design: an eye-catching and professional cover also helps to grab a potential reader’s attention and helps in getting them to pick up your book in the first place. The cover is a reader’s very first impression. If your cover looks amateurish, people may assume (rightly or wrongly) that the content inside is the same.
It’s a lot of work, but spending the time to ensure your book is the best it can be before hitting that publish button is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your work. Let’s put it this way: if you rush your publication just to get your work out there as soon as possible, you may regret it. But if you take the time to really polish it, you’ll be glad you did!