A writer inspired by nature and human nature

3 Habits that Can Block You from Self-Publishing Your Book & Tips for Overcoming Them

Guest post by Jill Bennett

(image credit: webstandardssherpa.com)

(image credit: webstandardssherpa.com)

Self-publishing is taxing. Although it doesn’t necessarily entail going solo, the self-published author is usually saddled with work that doesn’t even involve writing.

As an author, you may have to oversee other aspects involved in the publishing process. For instance, you may have to design your own book cover or perhaps discuss its concept with your designer. Also, you may have to research on marketing techniques or sales strategies. You might even have to do the promotions yourself. The heavy work load might be a bit discouraging, but do know that there’s no shortcut to success.

If you really want to publish and get great sales, then work well to accomplish your tasks. From time to time, we tend to fall into bad habits that can ultimately prevent us from achieving success. The following are three habits that are toxic and must be avoided at all costs.

  1. Procrastination

Nothing good ever comes as a result of procrastination, but most of the time nothing gets even produced because of it. Remember that procrastination won’t magically get your work done. Once you have snapped out of it, your work will still be waiting for you. So, if you really want to achieve success, start becoming more productive.

Here are some tips to overcome procrastination:

  • Establish a reward system.

Once you have accomplished your tasks, you can do yourself a favor and reward yourself with a box of pizza or ice cream. Reward yourself with your favorite food or any recreational activity you want to indulge in. However, don’t overindulge. Remember, you still have work to do!

  • Get organized. Schedule your tasks.

A to-do list will allow you to see the effort you need to exert to achieve your goals. Accomplishing/ticking off each task in your planner will make you feel better or somewhat closer to achieving your goal.

  • A little bit of work every day.

Sometimes, we have this tendency to stress over what needs to be done that we end up doing nothing at all. Knowing that we have a lot of work to do usually leads us to procrastination. Eventually, procrastination causes stress to build up, which makes work even harder. Instead of seeing self-publishing as your passion or your dream, it becomes work – less interesting, stressful, demanding, etc. The key to lessening stress build-up is to work a little bit every day. You don’t need to do everything at once. For instance, you can alternate writing and editing days. You can write a chapter today, then edit that part tomorrow.

  1. Perfectionism

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best. Essentially, high-quality content will get you great sales. However, there’s a downside to your unquenchable search for perfection.

These are the cons of being a perfectionist:

  • Lessens efficiency
  • Lessens effectiveness

The never-ending revisions won’t get you to publish your work. Adding more or new things might sound like an improvement, but sometimes, it really isn’t. After all the revisions, you might even end up with what you initially made, which only delays you from publishing. The ‘additions’ you worked on might not be beneficial for your work. Remember that you don’t have to overwrite to impress your audience. Although ‘show, don’t tell’ is canon, writing too much detail can be unnecessary. You don’t have to tell your readers every building, tree, or person your protagonist comes in contact with whilst going home unless they play a major part in your story.

If you’re notorious for being a perfectionist, heed these tips to improve that work process:

  • Set deadlines.

This will prevent you from obsessing on editing your book. Moreover, this will also help you solve your procrastination problem.

  • Take breaks.

Once you’re tired, it becomes harder to focus. Don’t sacrifice your work’s quality just so you can get things done. So, take a break. There’s no harm in that.

  • Know your priorities.

As a writer, your strong suit is writing. Graphic design or marketing might not be yours. If you’ve got a team to help you out with your self-publishing endeavors, then trust them. Allow them to do their work.

  1. Indecision

When we’re afraid of failure, we tend to struggle with decision-making. Once you’re consumed with making the right choice, your decisions tend to fluctuate because you have no idea which is the right one. Indecision could also lead to inaction. Over thinking your decisions will only delay you from finishing your book.

If you are hindered by this awful habit, here’s some advice to overcome it:

  • Don’t be afraid of failure.

All the great names in businesses or professions have become what they are because they have failed at some point. They learned from their mistakes and they grew. Know that your mistakes can help you improve too.

  • Do your research.

Be familiar with your options. Moreover, be familiar with your market. Be familiar with the current trends or your audience’s inclinations, so you won’t have trouble making a decision. For instance, if your target audience is the young adult community, you could focus marketing your book in popular social networks used by young adults.

You must always be on the lookout for these three bad habits. Avoid them while you can. Once you see yourself indulging on these nasty habits, do what you can to stop it. These habits will hinder you from achieving your dreams. Focus on your goal and work for it!

—If you’ve identified more terrible habits that need attention, please do share them with us.—







About the Author

JILL BENNETTs Profile PicJill Bennett a marketing specialist of LitFire Publishing, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. For the past six years, she’s been working with several self-publishing authors in terms of book marketing, publicity and distribution.

Thanks for stopping by, friends.
Jill and I would love to hear from you! ~ Bette A. Stevens
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Comments on: "Overcome the 3 Habits that are Blocking You from Self-Publishing Your Book" (19)

  1. Great tips, dear Bette! …. I am sharing this post on Twitter as I am sure that many writers would find it both useful and interesting!. All my best wishes. Aquileana 😀


  2. What a great post! Working a little bit every day, in both my writing and my marketing and social networking feels rewarding without becoming overwhelming. When I slack on these daily duties it shows in my sales and my attitude. It just feels good to stay on top of things, plus I’ve noticed I’m getting a lot more writing done. I actually just published my first post for a serial book I’m working on. No more procrastination and no more fear! I figure that keeping to my schedule and sharing my writing weekly will get me valuable critiques and comments that will only serve to improve my writing. So I’m glad I found this post today because it’s completely inspiring. If you have time please come check out my serial book, I would love your advice/feedback… http://michellerenegoodhew.com/2015/07/27/ya-serial-book-a-fine-grey-hare-a-haunting-scene-one/



  3. Good advice – thank you for sharing 😀 TTS


  4. Some very good advice!


  5. Great advice. I find the only time I procrastinate is when I am overly tired. That is when I am most likely to have to push myself. If I am well rested (in my dreams) I can turn and burn and accomplish so much more.


  6. As you know I’m right in the middle of the self-pub ratrace. This was excellent advice and thanks Bette for bringing it to us.


  7. sandrabennettchildren's author said:

    Thanks for this one Bette, I/m a great procrastinator, I look for excuses all the time. Sometimes I wonder how I ever get anything accomplished. Some good tips here, even a little bit of work every day finally gets the task done. 🙂


    • HI, Sandra. So good to hear from you. I needed the reminders too and found some great stuff in Jill’s reference links as well. She’s a fantastic guest blogger. Blessings to you and yours! 🙂


  8. Thanks for this guest post, Bette. These are very wise words from Jill, put so clearly and succinctly. Writing at least a bit every day instead of saving it all up for that one ‘great’ day is one lesson I learnt early on.


  9. This is a very helpful post, Jill – you certainly hit the nail on the proverbial head! Thanks for hosting, Bette!


    • Hi, John. Jill Bennett is a great guest with phenomenal tips and great resource links as well. Thanks so much for checking her out. Happy writing, my friend! 🙂


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