Going indie? Don’t skimp on quality
On December 10, 2013 | 5 Comments | News & Events, Writing tips |

In addition to writing my own novels, I help authors learn how to publish and market books, so I occasionally visit relevant LinkedIn groups to stay current on the industry. One particular group for indie authors was dominated by a self-published author who claimed to be an expert, so all the newbies deferred to him. This man was adamant that writers should not spend a single penny to self-publish. Not a penny.

I couldn’t disagree more. After a few weeks of witnessing him dispense bad advice to a willing audience, I had to quit the group. It was just too frustrating to watch.

I looked up this man’s books on Amazon, and the covers were unprofessional and amateur. By the covers alone I would never buy them. That may sound harsh, but it is true, and I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. Your potential readers are busy, and there are literally millions of other books competing for their attention. Case in point: I also checked the man’s rankings, and they were extremely low, so I assume he’s not selling many books.

Make sure your indie book looks professional!

If you’re going the indie route, hire professionals to help you. That’s what I did with my first novel, and it helped me land a traditional publishing contract. Besides the cover, this goes for interior layout and copyediting. If your book has weird formatting in either the print or electronic version, you’re going to turn readers off. And if the copy is riddled with typos and grammatical errors, your readers are going to notice.

Cover design. Interior layout. Copyediting. You get what you pay for with all three.

Good luck! 🙂


This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2013 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Comments 5
Denise Hisey Posted December 12, 2013 at11:44 am   Reply

Maria, I think is is sound advice. I’ve read a few indie books and just as you mentioned, the grammar and spelling errors were very distracting and definitely hindered me from wanting to read any more of their work.

As I continue the preliminary editing of my work, I’m very aware the next step is to hire someone who really knows what they are doing! It is helpful to get validation from someone who has been there already.

Gail Olmsted Posted December 15, 2013 at4:03 pm   Reply

I am just starting the process and exploring self-publishing for my novel. Can I trust CreateSpace to do a professional job copyediting, formatting and designing a cover or should i pay to have it done on my own then publish for free??

Would love to hear your thoughts.Thank you.

Maria Murnane Posted December 15, 2013 at4:17 pm   Reply

Hi Gail, CreateSpace can do those things for you, but not for free. I believe they have a menu of services they offer indie authors for a fee. If you’d like to use an outside company to get your book ready, http://www.authorsupport.com is great for interior design and covers, and http://www.girlfridayproductions, is excellent for both developmental editing and copyediting. Good luck! 🙂

Kate Sparkes Posted January 8, 2014 at2:44 pm   Reply

I agree! You wouldn’t expect to start any other business without spending money to get things going at a professional level. Why would you expect to do it with publishing? I know many authors disagree with me, but it’s the approach I’m taking. We’ll see how that works out.

Maria Murnane Posted January 8, 2014 at3:02 pm   Reply

Smart woman! I wish you the best of luck 🙂

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