If you’re an indie author or if you’re planning on choosing that route to publication, you know you have to foot the bill for EVERYTHING. But, what if you don’t have a big budget to work with? Where can you cut corners?
Let’s start with where you can’t afford to pinch pennies.
While some will argue you can use a critique group and family members to edit your book, I have to disagree. Of course, I’m biased since I’m a freelance editor, but that’s not why I have this opinion. I’ve seen self-published novels that have either never been edited by anyone other than the author (if even) or the novels have been edited by some possibly well-meaning friends/critique partners. You read that right. Well-meaning. Should you use a critique group or partner to help you with your drafts? Sure. But, don’t substitute an edit from a professional editor with that of a critique partner. Reviewers will catch grammar and spelling mistakes that a copy editor could have flagged for you (had you hired one). And they’ll notice if your characters are one-dimensional or if they lack emotion. Readers will find plot holes and call you out for the lack of editing. These are just a few things that a substantive editor (like me) could have found in your manuscript before you launched your book.
Another area that most writers shouldn’t attempt themselves: book covers. Even if you can put something together that looks… so-so. Is that really how you want the world to see your book? Covers sell books, but they also deter readers from buying. So, make that first impression count. Have a professional cover designer do your covers.
Here are a few things you can do yourself for very little moolah:
-Self-promotion through social media (Just don’t spam anyone.)
-Learn how to format your own book (and check it before the book goes live)
What else can an indie author do himself without spending a fortune? Are there other items a self-published author should hand over to a professional?