Indie Authors: Where Should You Spend Your Money?

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.)
-Blog tour
-Request reviews
-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?

Lynnette Labelle

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