Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Team Every Self-Publisher Needs
An editor does not just check for spelling, punctuation, etc. A good editor is a critical reader and watches for passive voice, point of view shifts, word choice, unnecessary wordage, sentence structure and variety and many many other things. Sometimes editors even check on historical accuracy and other detail relating to the story. For example, if the story is a Western, do the bad guys/good guys use the right kind of guns for that time period? We actually employ a historical editor when needed.
Moving on, the second member of a self-publisher's team should be a PROFESSIONAL COVER DESIGNER. Covers sell books, pure and simple. Ever heard the term, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Please. Graphic artists are not expensive. Some will work for as little as $50!! Find a good cover designer and treat them right. Using a personal photo or one a friend took for a book cover just doesn't make it in most instances.
Third, an author needs a good printing company on his or her team, preferably one that has a wide distribution system in place. Vanity presses and subsidy presses will tell an author how they sell books on their websites and all these other glorious things, etc. etc. but they usually do not walk their talk the way an author expects. A rare few do.
Finally, it is so helpful if an author can hire a marketing specialist, even if only temporarily. For most self-publishers this is just not affordable, and I completely understand that. But at least buy some good books or read some good articles on how to market a book. There are over 6,000,000 titles on Amazon, and even more Kindle titles, so the odds of a book being "discovered" and making it big without professional help are rather remote. Mind you, it's doable, but....