Very few self-publishers have a lot of extra cash just laying around when starting their fledgling publishing empire. Keeping costs at an absolute minimum is essential for the business (always remember self-publishing is a business) to succeed.
There are so many ways to waste money in self-publishing it is not possible to list all of the money wasters on this blog.
But not spending money to "save money" can be just as big a trap for some self-publishers. Since I only seem to learn lessons the hard way, I probably should not kick myself too hard. Still, those lessons came at the price of lost sales, time and effort wasted and the very money I was trying to save being spent anyhow.
You don't have to be lavish and spend "top dollar" to get quality results as a self-publisher. You do need to do your homework, have a plan and shop for the best deal.
Four tasks you should pay to have a professional do for you:
- Editing your manuscript - it is the best investment in your book you will make
- Have a professional cover created by an experienced cover designer - people do judge books by the cover
- Hire a professional to do your ebook conversion. You won't be sorry. I recommend eBook Architects.
- Consider having a book designer do your interior. Of the four things listed here, this is the one you might be able to get away with but the learning curve for this is really steep. Buy Aaron Shepard's Perfect Pages if you want to go this route.
Hiring a book consultant can be money well spent as well but be careful to discuss terms up front and be very specific in what you need and want help with.
Joel Freidlander who writes the The Book Designer blog not only will design your book but also has online classes covering nearly every topic a self-publishing author needs to learn about.
There is plenty of work you have to do yourself as a self-publishing author. A great deal of that work is of such a nature that mistakes won't kill your enterprise. But a less than ideally edited and produced book can make all of the rest of your efforts a waste of time.
Spend wisely and on things that matter. Learn to do the rest yourself until you can afford to pay someone to do the other work. Why pay someone else? So you have time to write your next masterpiece!