I could go on and on about the myriad of reasons why it's worth spending a few extra bucks on getting your print book and your-ebook formatted, but I'll just boil it down to this one main point: If you don't spend the money, you won't look professional.
When I first started learning about self-publishing, I made all the mistakes a newbie can make, but you don't have to. Check out the difference between spending $150 and $700 in regards to the exact same book and e-book.
Exhibit 1: $150 (This was handled by someone in Europe who took forever to get back to me based on time zones. In the end, it felt like he did the job on Microsoft word and phoned it in.)
Exhibit 2 (This from the fabulous Dayna Linton who runs both Novels Alive and The Daya Agency. She is a professional in both marketing and publishing books, as well as incredible at graphics and formatting.)
Check out those lovely curly-q's around the boxes and the various size fonts she used. The first book makes me think I'm about to study chemistry. Her's makes me want to drink a cup of coffee in a French bistro and dream of my next novel.
The Little Nuances Make the Difference
Exhibit 1's Snooze Fest Nod to My Copyright
(Keep scrolling... and scrolling... nothing but blank space and then my name.)
Exhibit 2's Professional Nod to My Copyright
It doesn't even look like I've self-published! (And that's important, people. I am going to charge what I'm worth for coaching people with their books. They deserve to read a coaching book that looks like I care about quality.)
And finally, Iet me show you what my beautiful cover, purchased from 99Designs, looks like. (See next week's post about how to get an amazing cover for your book.)
Exhibit 1 ($150) Take on My Cover Page
They didn't take the font into consideration at all when creating it.
Exhibit 2's Bang Out Job!
Check this beauty out. Dayna's background in graphic design was able to match my cover with the inside cover. The large letters.. the shading. It looks so intentional. That was a perk I was not expecting but love.
Other Perks for Spending $700 vs. $150 for Your Beautiful Book and E-book
Communication: I had to beg Exhibit A to take my book, give me a quote, write me back. Exhibit B was on it from Day 1. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to use Dayna based on the price (mind you, I was already knee deep in Exhibit A's shoddy work) but Dayna, on her own time, sent me a mock up to show me what she could do. She blew it out of the water.
Peace of Mind: Writing a book is no problem for me. I've written for the past 20 years and already have one published by a traditional publisher. But navigating the tricky water of formatting was stressful. To have a professional like Dayna walk me through the process step by step and turn it around in less than a week was nothing short of miraculous. I've spent that money on food and weekends away. Giving it to Dayna to get my book looking amazing so I can get more clients and go on better vacations was a very very fair trade off.
One Stop Graphic Design: I love knowing that in addition to book formatting, Dayna is a full fledged website builder and graphic designer. My goal is to have this site pimped out within 12 months and guess who I'll be using?
Pay to Play
As a wife, mom and daughter, I've spent much of my life taking care of other people. At 50, it's time for me to start paying to have the outsides (my website/book covers/formatting) match what I can do so well: write.
If you're a writer, you are worth a beautiful book as well. I hope this post got you one step closer to making decisions that will benefit your beautiful story. You are worth it!
I'm a published TV, blog, magazine and book writer who also coaches moms and grandmoms to write books rooted in wisdom, humor and spirituality.
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