Put your money where it counts
Now that I’ve covered some formatting issues and whatnot, let’s talk about something closer to home: paying for your self-published book.
I’ve only just started on this, and I think it’s fair to say each book will have things that work and don’t work for it. One of the issues I struggled with was, where do I put my money? It’s already hard enough being a writer, without dumping thousands of hard-earned money into promotion schemes that promise to make you the next bestseller – and there are loads of those online!
I’m a firm believer in making your money count. So I looked at my book, and I thought: what makes ME buy a book? And the two answers that came are: cover and blurb. With this not so surprising discovery, I endeavored to make mine count. I paid for a cover rather than create my own generic one. Rocking Book Covers, owned by Adrijus Guscia, created the Avalon Dreams cover for me and I could not have been happier.
I originally started my search for covers through my BFF, Google. After a few days of running into cover creator websites, I fell upon The Book Cover Designer. They host a bunch of premade covers, and you can purchase them directly from the artist. The covers only get sold once, and there are tons to choose from. I found the one for Avalon Dreams through the website, as well as a few others that sort of caught my eye. You have an option to send a message to the artist if you have questions, and I did. I received responses in less than 48hrs, and was pretty amazed.
In the end, I couldn’t get the cover for Avalon Dreams out of my mind, so I went ahead and purchased that one. I was delivered to me in less than 24hrs. Upon further thinking, I asked Adrijus if he does wraparound covers (that cover the front and back) and he said he could design one for me. We agreed on a price, and when I was ready, he delivered the new result. We added the book blurb, etc., and he offered some very helpful suggestions, that in the end made the full result that much more awesome.
With ebooks, you don’t need the full wraparound cover, but I used the one he designed for me in my Createspace account. I’ve ordered a few copies of my book from them to see how they look physically, and I am amazed! You can view the full paperback cover here.
All that to say, don’t hold back on spending money on a cover. It’s probably the most important thing you’ll spend money on at the beginning. You don’t have to choose a super-expensive, $1000 one. But start off with something that looks professional and eye catching.
As for the blurb, well, that has been done and redone about 15 times to date. For me, it’s what usually clinches the deal when I buy a book. The cover attracts my eye, but it’s the blurb that seals it.
That being said, one of the most effective ways for me to decide which to use was creating 3-4 different blurbs, and passing them to friends and family that read this genre, and see which one they like. You could also post them on Facebook (or any social media) and have your followers vote on it. It’s a great way to get them engaged and wanting more :)
And call me old school, but I used Vistaprint to order some business cards/book marks with my book cover and website at the front, and the blurb at the back :) I’m handing them out to anyone and everyone!
Finally, the last thing I wanted to add, that I spent money on, was a website domain. I used Wix to create my free website, but bought a domain through Go Daddy. It’s much smoother, more polished, and ultimately more professional than having www.alexawhitewolf.wix.mysite
So that's my two cents on this... What do you guys think? Join in with comments below.