How to Avoid Self-Publishing Mistakes

Your startup can save money by self-publishing. Mistakes will make you look less professional. So learn how to avoid self-publishing mistakes.

How to avoid self-publishing mistakes

  • Learn how
    You need to learn self-publishing carefully. Develop a plan. It will include up-front expenses. You need to determine if your target market sector will accept self-published products.
  • Table of contents and organization
    Have two or three subject matter experts help with structuring the table of contents. After the first draft is complete have them review the document and suggest changes to the structure and order provided in the table of contents
  • Write well
    If you do not you can use a ghost writer or just an employee who writes well. There are numerous tools to check spelling and grammar
  • Fact check
    Facts provided should be both accurate and internally consistent. I.E. do not have the required quantity of something change from page to page
  • ISBN
    Go to Bowker Identifier Services and obtain an ISBN and register for Copyright
  • Captions
    Photographs and charts should have appropriate and accurate captions
  • Executive summary
    Write this last.
  • Title
    After the executive summary is near completion; work with a good marketing person to finalize the title
  • Use a good editor
    You can contract this out to save valuable staff time.
  • Cover
    Use a good artist to design an appropriate cover.
  • Graphic designer
    The formatting and layout will look much better if reviewed and edited by a graphic designer
  • Do not forget
    Do include a title page, copyright page, dedication page and any other special pages that are required; Is a glossary appropriate? Bibliography? Index?
  • Production
    Consider perfect binding or another inexpensive binding format. Be sure that the production company has good equipment if you choose perfect binding.
  • Sales and marketing
    You need to plan ahead for advertising and other promotion as well as marketing and sales. Involve someone with experience
  • Distribution
    Use both online and non-Internet distribution


With care and a little advice you can manage the risks of publishing in typical formats. You need to research concerns in some niches prejudice against self-published products. The benefits of self-publishing are higher percentage of revenue received and having more control.



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