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  Introduction

In these lessons, I want to share with you the ways you can make your writing and publishing life easier by stepping back, evaluating where you are in the process, and making some key decisions that will help you publish correctly and professionally with as little stress as possible.

Most authors skip steps and later wish they hadn’t. I understand the rush to publish, but your readers certainly will not, and they are not shy about writing negative book reviews.


Avoid the rush to publish, understand your reader and the marketplace in which you're selling, create a quality book, and avoid negative book reviews due to sloppy editing.

Most authors wish for a do-over

Most authors who have come to me for a do-over say they wished they hadn't rushed to publish. They know they should have shared their work with early readers to get feedback. This is called beta publishing.

I encourage every author to do this for the simple reason that when you share your work your stories get better. So does your writing and editing, and you awareness of who your audience is and what your audience wants.

Beta publishing cultivates early fans and helps you to build platform. See how marketing starts long before you publish?

You'll learn about early publication with beta readers later in this course.

The consequences of cheap, fast, and easy

Many authors fail because they buy into a vendor's "cheap, fast, and easy" pitch. This model pretty much guarantees a poor quality product, no matter what you're creating.

Quick easy quality triangle


It's not hard to get sucked into this model with slick advertising by vanity presses like the Author Solutions companies. They own Author House, iUniverse, Trafford, Balboa, Xlibris, and many other brands. They really know how to sell to you and they keep selling to you until you spend thousands or you have to change your phone number.

Another scenario I see all the time is authors who choose the wrong tools and services in their hurry to publish, then have to do publishing do-overs once or even a few times. They shift gears, change distributors, abandon ISBNs, and generally cause havoc with the book systems, which can’t keep up with them.

If the book systems can't keep up with you, neither can your readers.

Before you move on to the next lessons, it's helpful to review the resources I've provided in the Consumer's Guide, especially the distribution and aggregation tools and services. Navigate to the Resources lesson for links to the guide and more.

Avoid vanity presses

Unscrupulous vanity presses constantly upsell and their operators are trained to use certain phrases to lure you in and encourage you to keep paying for the next thing that will make you famous. Literary agent? Sure! Movie deal? Oh yeah! They know what buttons to push. They're in sales!

I've helped lots of authors recover from cheap, easy, and fast. I've also helped authors extricate their books from vanity presses, but by then they've spent lots of money and their book may be already in the hands of readers. It's hard to recover from that.

I've named these vendors in the Consumer's Guide. (Again, see the Resources lesson.) So please, take the time to review it and the other materials you downloaded in the Resources.

Building a foundation for success

So, to recap, the keys to building the foundation for a successful book are:

  • coming to terms with your deadline
  • understanding your readers and the bookselling marketplace
  • doing due diligence on the tools and services you’ll use to publish your writing
  • sharing your writing with beta readers for story development, market research, and platform building
  • obtaining a proper edit for your manuscript.

The lessons in the Set the Foundation for Self-Publishing Success course will help you make the right decisions and set you down the path to success.

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