Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Ways to Fail at Self-Publishing

Just follow these 7 rules of thumb and you’re sure not to succeed in your self-publishing endeavor!

1.       Don’t follow basic “rules” of writing. Misspellings are fine; people will get the gist of what you’re saying (who remembers whether it’s effect or affect anyway?). Grammar is for the birds. Oh, and don’t worry about things like storylines, plots, character arcs, themes, and conflicts. If you build it, they will come after all. It’s not like you’re writing drivel, you’ve written a masterpiece!

2.       Do your own editing, formatting, cover design, and proofreading. No one knows this book like you! It’s your baby, born of your sweat, blood and tears. No one should ever get close to it with a red pen. Ever. Maybe Mom can read it before you’ve published it. She thinks you’re awesome.  And you can do your own cover design, even if the only program you can use with any competency is MS Paint.

3.       Market to other authors EXCLUSIVELY. Because people who are trying to market their book surely want to read yours. In fact, CRAM IT DOWN THEIR THROATS! They should see your book cover in their dreams! What a better way to go about it?

4.       Write (or buy) a bunch of rave reviews of your book. Great idea! Let’s pay/guilt/force Mom’s bridge club (c’mon Mom, you know you love your child!) to log into Amazon and write a bunch of phony rave reviews about your book. I can write a few, I’ll trade you a good review for your book if you give me a good review for mine. That can’t get you banned from Amazon for life… Right?

5.       Don’t talk to other authors: they’re your competition! Ack! Stay away from those guys (and gals)! They probably don’t have any experiences or wisdom they can pass on. They’re probably mean and snobby and unfriendly. In fact, they’re probably going to recommend you have someone else proofread your book and attack it with red pen. Better just avoid them altogether, except for when you force feed them another reminder to BUY YOUR BOOK!

6.       Expect through-the-roof sales immediately. Your baby is luxurious, heartrending, pure gold in written form. Everyone will see that, especially when Mom’s bridge club (HURRY UP, GUYS!) posts all those fantastic reviews for people on Amazon. Readers will be crawling all over themselves to read the beautiful things that spill forth from your innermost soul. You’ll probably be a millionaire in weeks, if sales run slower than you expect. Realistically, probably a millionaire in a few days.  

7.       Publish your first novel before you have a second one read to go. This is your pièce de résistance, your Mona Lisa. Nothing you will ever write can compare to the profoundness, the absolute purity of art in this first book. It’s not like you would ever offer it free so people will read more of what you’ve written, and people would be ridiculous to find an author they like and read all of their books when yours is obviously the pinnacle of writing.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but these seem to be pretty hard and fast. What would you add to this list?


  1. That's awesome. Cringing and laughing at the same time.

  2. Seriously though, it's the same in the author/book world as it is in the artist/music game as well. So many artist do music with out having it mixed & mastered (proofed), then have their cousin who knows nothing about Photoshop do their album cover... looks like someone cut them out of a photograph and pasted them onto a backdrop. Oh and the worst is when they have an off key singer on the track. Girl, don't get me started! LOL