Thanks for having me on, Laura! Well, I think when we all think about the perks of self-publishing one thing definitely stands at the forefront—freedom! Yes, there is oh-so-much freedom in self-publishing. You’re in charge of your own deadlines, content, and even how much your book will sell for. There are some many fun things to think about when self-publishing. BUT there are always two sides to every coin. There is the awesome side and the un-sexy side.
With all that freedom comes pressure! It’s up to you to make sure your product looks good in order for it to sell well. Let’s take the actual writing of the book part out of the equation. You have a finished book, it looks spiffy, and you’re proud. So how do you get that book from your desktop to the Kindle buy screen? You have to deal with some very un-sexy things.
Un-sexy Thing Number One: The Blurb
Ick. I literally just made a face as I wrote that retched word, lol. The blurb is a beast, and unfortunately, one of the most important things you will need to sell your novel. How did I do on my first blurb? I, of course, thought it rocked. Then, I sent it to someone to look at it for me, and all red lines and mark outs on it made me want to cry. I tried and tried again, only to be defeated. I literally put it away for three months before I tackled the beast again. But when I did, I was in a new state of mind. I sent it to about four people, and with some clean up, I finished. So the lesson I learned? Work on that sucker until it rocks no matter how long it takes. If you need to take a break, then do it, but never give up. All your hard work will be worth it in the end.
Un-sexy Thing Number Two: The Cover
Now, this didn’t start as an un-sexy thing. I, as well as most people, thought designing a cover would be super fun! One of the things authors dream about the most when they decide to publish a book is what the cover will look like. Will you put people on the front? Use a symbol? Either way, you’re super stoked to get started. That is…until it’s time to make one. You start images searches for that perfect icon for the cover in high spirits, but as you search, your hunt becomes more and more difficult. Perfection takes on a whole new meaning. The cover has to be amazing, jaw dropping, and riveting. It has to be something one can see posted on a billboard in Times Square. And as your standards heighten, the search becomes more and more difficult. What started out as the scanning of dozens of images turns into the scanning of hundreds, and sometimes thousands. That choice of people or symbol haunts your dreams!
My advice to help with cover troubles? First, hire a professional to make a cover for you. Give them your concept and they will make suggestions. That will make the search easier, and potentially painless because sometimes they pick the image for you. But if you want to take a hands on approach, don’t let the cover phase you. Take a deep breath, and when your image searching starts to get daunting, just take a step back. Those pretty people and symbols will still be there in the morning!
Final Un-sexy Thing of the Post: Formatting
In order for your book to look correct in print and on digital eReaders, it will need to be formatted; otherwise the text will look all jumbled. Paragraphs of your book can be incorrectly broken up, and weird, almost alien-like symbols can show up in your text. My advice in regards to formatting? Hire someone. This was the best money (outside of editing, of course) I spent. I didn’t have to worry about this part, at all. I paid someone, they turned it over in 24 hours, and it looked outstanding. If you’re tech savvy, Amazon and other companies can walk you through it. But for me, I already had enough to worry about in regards to making my content look great.
You want security that your book will look amazing when your customers buy it? Then hiring a formatter is for you!
So that’s all, friends! Hope you enjoyed my post, and your self-publishing experience will be a whole lot sexier after anticipating the things listed above.
So, what unavoidable aspect of publishing comes to mind when you think of the Un-sexy side? Is it the formatting? The Copyrights?