Self-Publishing Cost Savers: Are they worth it?
When publishing your first work, the ability to get things accomplished without slapping down a pile of cash is probably a huge advantage. After all, until you get your first royalty check, face it… Writing is your hobby. Some people have extra money to allocate to hobbies; others have hobbies to help them forget they have no extra money.
Editing, Artwork, and Promotion are your main concerns where cost comes into play.
You can, and should, have other people read your work to help out with your editing. However, unless your friends are all English Professors, published authors, or just incredibly insightful, you’ll probably want to budget a little for at least some light editing.
Artwork is a tricky subject. It also seeps into the realm of Promotion, because regardless of the old axiom, people do still judge books by their covers. I discovered recently that even without a cover, a book of sufficient quality will do reasonably well, if promoted properly. I believe it would have done better with an actual cover, but that remains to be seen. How much do you spend on your artwork? Are you going to see a higher return than your investment? Be honest with yourself. If your book is of high enough quality, and you have a reasonable price point with a decent royalty, spend some money. You have people who will buy the book because you wrote it. There are others who will buy it because of your advertising, and those that will like the shiny cover. If all three of these facets work together correctly, the synergy could ramp your sales incredibly.
If you are not eating, drinking, and breathing Promotion after your first work is on the market, you are losing out. At least have someone else doing it for you while you continue to create. Expand your market. Get your product viewed in different circles. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table. But how much do you spend getting the money off that table? My gut instinct is to invest small at first in advertising that is paid up front. I’m going to try putting together local fundraising drives that are either revenue neutral, or positive on my end, in exchange for increasing connections, and building a market for future works.
We’ll see how it works out.