7 Completely Stupid eBook Publishing Mistakes

ebook publishing mistakes

No one buys my awesome eBook.

I mean a few people do…

But 10 sales a month doesn’t exactly send you’re self-confidence as a purveyor of knowledge to the Moon.

(Use this link to get your own personal copy of: The Social Tools Book and help me shamelessly boost my self-esteem while you learn some cool social media stuff at the same time)

Why do I only sell 10 copies a month?

It’s not because my book sucks (see the first sentence of this blog post, it’s actually awesome)… But rather as an eBook author I’ve made some really Stupid eBook Publishing Mistakes and now I’m paying for it.

Don’t Let Your Friends Make These Stupid eBook Publishing Mistakes – Click To Tweet

I don’t want this to happen to you…

Shit… I don’t want this to happen to me again.

So what I’ve done is compile a of list of  Stupid eBook Publishing Mistakes, that I made, which you should avoid.

#1 Say NO to Kindle Select

My Stupidity:

I thought it would be awesome to submit my eBook to Kindle Direct Publishing Select (Makes your title exclusive to Kindle for 90 days and allows book borrowing).

I imagined all these Kindle Prime users downloading my book and sharing it with their friends.  Think of all the Buzz… All the sales, I’d be the topic of Writing Blogs as a uber-success story.  My little Social Tools Book.  Killing it.


I’m not talking about regular Kindle… but rather Kindle Select… Kindle Select may be great for writers that are already popular on Kindle.  But for first time hacks like myself it’s a serious hand-cuff to selling your book.  You are basically locked into the Kindle system for 90 days… No fun.

#2 Find an Editor Even If It’s Your Mom

My Stupidity:

Being a first-time hack I thought that writing an eBook was like writing a blog post… You know, I could just write and write… skim over… hit publish… I’m an Author.


When you write an eBook the quality of your writing is SO MUCH more important.  People are paying for this so you can’t be finishing and beginning thoughts with the “…” like I love to do all the time.  Punctuation matters… affect vs effect matters… Formatting matters… Everything matters and it matters a lot.  You need to have someone editing your content… For future writing I will most certainly hire a professional editor.

#3 Pre-Launch Hype… If Frat Boys Can Do It

My Stupidity:

I did not hype my eBook at all.  I decided I wanted to write an eBook so I did… and once it was done I published it.  But nobody knew it was coming and they certainly weren’t jacked out of their minds for it’s arrival.  I thought once you had your book on Amazon, the Amazon universe just started buying…


Why are Frat Parties so successful even though they’re held is basements where the beer and sweat is so thick your shoes stick to the floor?  The hype the crap out of them… Then they tell you to get in you need to bring 10 friends…

Putting your book on Amazon doesn’t mean squat.  Amazon doesn’t care about your book because Amazon has millions of books.  The Field of Dreams style eBook publishing does NOT work.  If you want to have a big release day people need to know you’re masterpiece is coming and you want them tearing their hair out in anticipation (which would lead to an excellent 2nd book, “How To Fix Your Anticipation Torn Out Hair).  

#4 Have a Goal Other Than Being an Author

My Stupidity:

I saw a need within the Small Business community for a straight-forward guide on how to leverage the The Social Tools that drives traffic to websites.  I didn’t have a sales goal or business goal or even a personal goal for what I wanted out of the book.  I saw the need, I wrote, I published.  But now I look at my sales and I’m like, “Damn, I want more…” but how much and when and more importantly why?


If you don’t know where you want the be then how the heck are you supposed to get there.  Do you want to be on the Kindle Best Seller list for your niche?  Do you want to be on the iStore best sellers list? Do you want to be a New York Times best seller?  All great goals and all achievable.  Have a goal first, so you can plan to get there.

#5 The eBook Covers Matters

My Stupidity:

social tools book

I had no clue that the eBook cover mattered.  I thought… eBook… electronic book… It’s a file in someone’s computer… what does the cover matter?  Holy crap the cover matters… If you cover is a piece of junk like mine (Go ahead at look at my Sales Page for the book.  Even if you have no intention of buying my awesome eBook just look at how bad that cover is) people are not going to buy your book.


Humans are visual.  Very visual… And if the visual your cover gives a potential reader is GARBAGE then they are not going to buy your book.  I went to Fiverr.com.  I’m sure you can get decent covers off Fiverr.com.  But take my advice, spend the $300 and go to a graphic designer who will give you something Gangster that will make potential buyers salivate.

#6 Who Knows Your eBook Exists Matters

My Stupidity:

No one was hyping or promoting with me.  I launched and went back to business like I had just published a new blog post.  Nobody knew.  I didn’t have A-listers or niche partners or anyone pushing for me… I didn’t do Guest Posts and I didn’t get testimonials of the book prior to publish.


Potential buyers need Social Validation that their purchase isn’t a waste.  They want to see Niche Experts or A-Listers or hundreds of common folk singing the praises of your work.  This is why every New York Times Best Seller has a bunch of reviews on the back.  You need reviews from people your readers will know giving their endorsement that this book is OK to purchase.

#7 You Must Beat Them Into Submission

My Stupidity:

I write about a lot of different things (Loosely related to Online Success and Awesomeness for Small Business) on this website.  How is anyone to know that I have written an amazingly awesome eBook if I don’t consistently tell them?  They won’t… I didn’t and now I’m writing a blog post about how stupid a publisher I am.


You either need to be a Superstar (So it doesn’t matter what you write) or your Online Content (Meaning Blog, Website, Social Media, Newsletter) needs to closely or exactly follow and relate to your eBook.  You need to be mentioning your eBook, sharing testimonials, giving away chapters as teasers… Basically your Online content needs to convince people that they should invest in your eBook.

The Rub

So I threw in some very cheap and shameless links to my eBook: The Social Tools Book10 Social Tools Essential to Business Blogging Success.

There is two reasons for this:

  1. I think you’ll find the book fun and useful and very worth the $7.99 you have pay for it… You’re almost stealing the information from me.
  2. I wanted to make the obnoxious point that you HAVE TO MENTION that you have written a book in order for people to know you’ve written a book.

You probably shouldn’t mimic this post when you do it.  But a tasteful ASK once in a while is fine. Your blog is one of the best internet marketing tools for everything you do.  Use it!

Also please don’t make the stupid mistakes that I made when publishing my awesome eBook.

Thank you and Good luck.

Ryan H.

P.S. I’ve putting a lot of work into my Facebook page lately and I’d love to connect further – Connect on Facebook.

SPEAK YOUR MIND: What pitfalls did you find in the eBook publishing process?