An idea for a book can brew in your mind like a warm cup of tea but getting it down on a page is only half the job…
Once a book is written, the next logical step is publishing. The development of independent publishing has opened the market to new authors who don’t have to prove their books’ worth to large, corporate publishing houses. Instead, they can publish their book themselves.
This freedom comes at a cost, however, as authors then have to finance the editing, cover design, layout and printing themselves.
Getting comfortable with the idea that this is going to cost
Publishing a book is expensive and as an independent author, you have to foot the bill. You must get comfortable with the idea of spending money as this is crucial to producing a good product.
Too many authors want to cut corners and save money on important areas like editing and cover design, because they think they can do it themselves or have a friend who can do it cheaper. You have to fight this urge! That kind of thinking won’t produce a book of the best standard or reflect the hard work you have put into writing it.
Here are a couple of reasons why paying for editing and cover design are worth it.
The importance of editing is obvious – people won’t want to read a book if it is littered with spelling misteaks and gr@mmat!cal errors. Having written the work themselves, many authors think they can edit it too. But it can take years to write a book, and after spending such a long time on a project, writers are often too close to the material to spot the errors. This is why a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference.
Editors are trained to spot the smallest errors, from using ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, to a misplaced, comma. They also have not read the work before, so keep a healthy distance, enough to criticise and correct.
It is a big risk, choosing not to pay for editing because any mistakes you don’t catch yourself are permanent, published over and over and over in 100 or so copies. The cost of fixing them would be a lot more than what it would be to hire an editor, so save yourself the money now.
Content is one thing; the cover design is another area of publishing authors like to save money on. Covers are often undervalued when you see the price tag, but it is ultimately what gets your book noticed and bought. The saying goes ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but the harsh reality is that potential buyers do. If a book looks like it’s been designed using Publisher, then it will likely be overlooked. It is a much better idea to hire a professional to design it, using complex programs like InDesign and Illustrator.
Give your book the best chance of getting noticed with a professional cover, enticing readers enough to get them hooked on your error-free writing.
Before you consider publishing a book, you must get comfortable with the idea of spending money. It is expensive, but worth it to produce a published copy that reflects the time you spent writing it. Don’t give in to temptation and cut corners – spend the money and make it the best it can be for your readers.