Publishing mistakes I made this year

First, let me say my mistakes were expensive.


Now that I’ve got that off my chest I’ll try to share something constructive.


  • I rushed the process.

Those who know me, stop snickering. I’ll admit patience is a problem for me sometimes. But after working on the same project over and over and over and over until I was sick of it and ready to put that baby to bed. I ended up submitting it three times due to errors found in the proof copy.

  • I didn’t understand the IngramSpark process before I started.

That turned out to be a very costly mistake. They use different templates than Createspace and well, everything is different. I’d read it was the easiest and cheapest self-publishing platform to use and it was.

So if you are looking for a step by step way to get a book self-published with little cost Createspace is the way to go.

This is something I didn’t realize. I know ignorance is no excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Apparently many, not all but many reviewers want an advance copy of the book before it is released to the public. Go figure. In the link below Kristen Lamb explains how very important reviews are for writers, click and read. Review are our life blood.

  • When doing a book with illustrations or pictures use a heavier paper.

I’d read the suggestion somewhere by someone, don’t remember who or where but unfortunately didn’t. A mistake. The finished product, especially with the IngramSparks book would’ve looked much more polished.

  • I didn’t ask questions.

When in doubt, ask. That’s what the help line is for. The people at IngramSparks were very helpful. I should’ve called them sooner. Would’ve saved me $$$ and a lot of frustration.

  • Self-publishing a book without knowing anything about marketing.

And I still don’t have the vaguest idea how or where to start.

Did I learn anything? Yes.

  • I will probably make several mistakes but I do hope not the same ones.
  • Createspace is quicker, cheaper and easier than IngramSpark. However, I will continue to publish on both.
  • Ask questions!

How about y’all? Which platform do you use to self-publish? What has been your experience? I’d love to know.

The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers by Kristen Lamb

Self-Publishing and Living the LLC Dream by 

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book? 4 Authors Share Their Numbers by  

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Together we can learn the latest writing tips, and look for me @jeancogdell on Twitter and jean.cogdell on Facebook!

Have a safe and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!



21 thoughts on “Publishing mistakes I made this year

  1. I have my word document set up in the correct format for Amazon. I have a cheat sheet for turning that document into the format necessary for Smashwords and another cheat sheet for the paperback format for Create space. I usually need less than 1/2 a day to get all the formats done correctly and loaded. But that’s after 10 books! I’m making a note in my blog post ideas journal to share these cheat sheets with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post, Jean, I’ve reblogged if that’s okay. I type straight into Createspace’s template (whichever one I’m using) as I find it helps my writing when I can see what the chapters will look like in the printed version. Once I’ve edited and I’m happy with the book I then convert to PDF for proofreading. I have to use a PDF anyway to publish on Amazon Kindle. On Adobe you can select ‘read’ mode and listen to the computerized voice read back what you’ve written. I spot most of my mistakes that way as the ear picks up what the eye misses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean, I am always grateful for reblogs! Thank you. I agree, listening to the manuscript is always a good tip. My Createspace book looks so much better than my IngramSparks book. Much better quality. Of course that may have something to do with me. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You call that mistakes? Ha! My number one mistake was doing nothing — and I mean nothing — about promoting. The good (?) thing was that I did a massive amount of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve used Createspace three times now. The first time I chose the wrong size template (too small) and didn’t like the physical result, so I resized and resubmitted, and it was fine next time round. I’ve been happy with the quality of the books when they’ve arrived. Converting to Kindle has been easy enough, I read a tip once to save a Word doc to Web Page (filtered), then upload that file to Kindle rather than the Word document. Before I upload to Kindle I make an EPub of the file and send it to my IPad and check it carefully for any final niggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used Createspace – the only thing that really got me was the limited Cover Templates – that gave me a total fit – after many attempts I finally got it right. Learned a great deal about formatting too, realized if I had set my manuscript up at the beginning to fit the guidelines of Createspace and Kindle I would have saved myself so much time and frustration (silly me, I set it up in hopes that some agent would want to look at it – but that never happened).
    Oh well, live and learn!!!!!


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