How to Scare Away Readers

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Be sure to check out the previous posts about spooky self-publishing statistics and why authors are scared to self-publish. This week, I’ll talk about things that will scare away readers and how to avoid these mistakes.

1) Typos and poor grammar

While even books published by big name traditional publishers occasionally have mistakes, readers expect books to be near flawless. If your manuscript is full of typos and grammar mistakes, readers will not take you or your book seriously, no matter how great your story. It is difficult to review your own manuscript, so I always recommend hiring a professional copyeditor.

2) A poorly developed story

Sometimes authors get rushed to meet a deadline or lose track of the direction of their book. If elements such as plot, characters, setting, organization, and voice aren’t properly developed, your book will leave readers disappointed. Since you are attached to your story and know in your mind how it is supposed to read, it is always best to have someone else review your story. Consider hiring a developmental editor or ask trustworthy friends, family, and colleagues to provide feedback.

3) A generic cover

Despite the cliché “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” readers decide whether or not to purchase a book based on the cover. Rather than using stock photos or artwork, I highly recommend spending extra for a personalized book cover that is professional and that captures the essence of your book.

I’d love to know, what scared you away from a book?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

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