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The Do's and Don'ts of the Self-Published Author

Updated on July 25, 2013

Woman at Typewriter

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As a first time author or writer, you can fall prey to a lot of evil deeds and evil dealings out there in the publishing industry, Here are just a few things to look out for along your journey of writing and publishing taken from my book, Kingdom Style of Writing: Mastering the Art of Writing from a God Perspective.


1. For the Christian writer, be professional in all that you do. You represent GOD.

2. Ask for sample copies of work from companies you may be considering partnering with. Why? To see the quality of their work.

3. Ask for references from companies, editors, artists, etc. Do a BBB check on those whose service you are considering utilizing. You may save yourself a lot of trouble.

4. Do not print a lot of books unless they are already pre-sold. The last thing you want is a garage, or room full of books in boxes.

5. Reserve copies of your book for reviewers, or ask a printer to do gallery copies of up to three chapters.

6. Hand-deliver your books to where they need to go. Don’t trust anyone to do it for you. Go directly to the source yourself.

7. Have a literary lawyer look over any legal document (e.g., publishing contract) before signing it.

8. If you feel rushed into signing anything, don’t do it. Trust your first instinct.

9. There will be those who will not take your work seriously, just remember I Corinthians 1:27.

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"

10. When one door shuts in your face, look up to heaven and say, “NEXT.”

11. God will send some and the devil will send some. My word of advice is, “You'd better recognize.”

12. People you know and don’t know will say they will do this or they can do that for you—don’t count on it.

13. Do not be anxious about anything: God has a timing for everything.

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6),

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3).

14. RESEARCH, INVESTIGATE, RESEARCH, INVESTIGATE. Research everything about publishing and investigate any business partnership before entering into any agreement, or the like.

15. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get support from who you think you should.

16. Beware: The devil creates detours to take you off-course, but God, in turn, uses them for your learning.

17. If a company sends you five references and only two of them reply, run as fast as you can. See it as a red flag.

18. What a marketing or promotion company say they can do for you at a high cost, you can actually do yourself, and even better. Your book is your baby, and nobody knows your baby like you do!

19. Never pay a monthly fee for someone to get your books in the bookstores. Simply pick up a phone and do it yourself.

20. When it comes to rejection, just remember Jesus wasn’t accepted in his own country.

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house (Mark 6:4).

I’m a fan of Tyler Perry’s quote at the NAACP Image Awards on February 14, 2008: “You can get a thousand “no’s” from people and only one “yes” from God."

21. Only deal with professionals in your field with a good track record.

22. People who know you will feel like they deserve a free copy, without realizing the cost associated with it, make them pay and don’t forget to collect taxes.

23. Be organized. Keep a receipt book of every sale you make.

24. Attend book shows, book events, writers’ conferences, writers' retreats and author signings in your local area and abroad.

25. Make use of search engines, there is a wealth of information out there for writers.

26. When anything in this business sounds too good to be true, don’t do it. Rather take God up on His promise in Psalm 32:8. "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shall go, I will guide thee with mine eye."

In Proverbs 3:6, He says to acknowledge Him in all your ways and He shall direct your paths.

In Isaiah 30:21, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This the way, walk ye in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left."

27. Be willing to invest in your book. Whatever God gives you to do, He makes provision for.


I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to add more "do's and don'ts of the author, whether you are Christian or non Christian, we welcome your input. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Writing!

Book For Aspiring Writers

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    • Kingdom ElectLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly J 

      5 years ago from Lovely USA

      Hi Faith

      Amen, that's what its all about, giving God all the glory. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Stay tuned for more!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, wow, what a great article about writing from a God perspective! I am a Christian and it is difficult to maintain that focus on God. I attempt to stick to writing mainly non-fiction and what I call my "Boasting in the Lord" stories. As I want to be sure to give Him all the glory.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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