As I enviously watch many of my writer friends take the giant leap into self-publishing, I’ve seriously considered following their lead and publishing one of my books to amazon. It just seems like the next logical step for someone like me, even though I’m still determined to keep querying agents and get published traditionally someday as well.
However, it feels like all the successful self-published authors I meet agree on the absolutenecessity of a high quality product if you’re going to put something out there. I’m not just talking about the quality of your writing, which has taken years to hone- But of every aspect of your self-published book from formatting, to cover art, to copy-editing. As well we should, I suppose. The majority of readers won’t be drawn to shoddy book covers, weirdo spacing and grammatical errors galore and putting out a less-than-stellar product can diminish the view of self-publishing as a whole.
Now, I could try and do all the work on my own and not spend a dime. But it feels like most self-pubbing resources warn against it. While reading the do’s and don’t’s of self-pubbing, doubts and worries fill my mind. ‘You’ll never be able to successfully copy-edit your book and it will have a ton of errors.’ ‘Your book cover might appeal to you, but won’t appeal to a huge audience like a professional’s would.’ ‘Learning to format correctly and actually formatting your book will take forever and you’ll probably have to go back and fix it a million times, if you’re even successful at all.’ ‘In the end, it will be just so hard and time consuming and you’ll probably fail anyway so why try?’ *sigh*
Except, whenever I look into what kind of budget I’d need to hire someone to make a spectacular book cover (150$-400$), copy-edit my manuscript (450$-1000$), and format my book (100$-300$), I can’t help but feel like ‘the perfect product’ is far beyond my financial reach.
Am I the only one with the impression that in order to make money self-pubbing, you have to spend it? I wish there were some way to see how much money a mixed group of authors put into their first self-published title and if that effected the success of that book in the long run as opposed to someone who put in less money.
And, also, I can’t help but think that a pretty cover and perfect grammar can go a long way, but in the end- isn’t it the genre, concept and story that take center stage when it comes to the success of a title?
What do you guys think? Are ‘do-it-yourself’ SP books of a lesser quality and less popular than those that were invested in financially? Or does the amount of money put into the book not matter at all when it comes to success?