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1. Cover design
“I’ve always been good at Photoshop. I could design a cover myself.”
Famous last words — and ones I’ve heard myself before witnessing the inevitable book flop. It is common for those advocating self-publishing to believe an author can do everything themselves and without any monetary cost, with cover design one of the most problematic areas when it comes to getting your book out into the world. A cover is the first glimpse into a book, and first impressions count. So why risk getting it wrong?
The pro of designing your own cover: It only takes your time, so it can be done without any financial investment.
The con of designing your own cover: The final cover could convey the wrong message, look cheap and unprofessional, attract the wrong audience, discourage your target market from buying/reading, and look self-published (which is never desirable).
Solution: Either invest in a professional cover designer, with a background and expertise in cover design or invest significant time in learning the formula and creative skills governing cover design in the professional publishing world.
2. Editing and proofreading
“I’m always picking up on errors in books. I could edit my own manuscript.”
It takes proper training and a wealth of experience to become a proficient editor with the skills needed to edit, polish and refine a manuscript to its greatest potential. Nonetheless, when cheering for self-publishing, it is common for authors to complete their own edits or ask someone in their immediate circle to just “go over the manuscript” for you. Neither of these will ever be sufficient, because not only do we, as writers, become completely blind to the typos in our own work and the holes in our story’s plot, but there is far more to editing a manuscript than merely identifying errors. When so much work, time, energy and focus have gone into writing the book, why not strive for perfection and make it the very best version of itself by having a skilled editor complete the editorial process?