There has been a lot of discussion about money and self-publishing in the past few weeks. My friend, Leigh Ann Kopans talked about it and got a lot of backlash. And then, today, this article came out.
Now, I'm of the firm opinion that to do self-publishing right, you need to spend money. When I set out to publish Edge of the Falls, I planned my budget and I stuck pretty close to it. My final costs for Edge was roughly $1400. What did that buy me?
A professional cover.
A copy edit
Swag for giveaways
I will break this down more in a different post on Indie Ignites but my point is this: doing this whole self-publishing thing right COSTS MONEY. If you can find people to do things for you for free, GREAT, but it still will cost you something. Anyone who says it doesn't is not really someone I trust. Sorry.
On the other hand--saying that a book should be several thousands to edit and you should pay a publicist 1k a month? That too is completely ridiculous. There's a happy medium, folks. Finding it is important. And you know--you don't have to do giveaways that cost money. You don't have to advertise. But self-publishing should be treated like a business--in any business, you have to spend money up front. It's not the fun side of business, but there it is. To put out a quality product (and I'm unwilling to do anything but put out quality) you have to spend some money.
What this really comes down to, guys, is what I've repeated ad nasuem. BE. INFORMED. Know what the heck your doing--know what a freelance editor averages (2k is not average for an 80k book.) ((neither is 1k a month for a publicist.)) That way, when you do see something insanely high, you can be like, huh, I think I'm being screwed.
Cuz you are.
I love this industry. I love it so hard. But the fact is, there are people who will screw you. Asshats posing as agents. Vanity presses posing as publishers. And freelance vendors screaming 'you need this PAY ME ALL THE MONEY.'
And with anything else, the best way to know you aren't being screwed is to know what your doing. Research, you guys. Know every step of the way why the step your taking is the right one for you and your book. And if that is the indie path, make sure you know why your hiring someone and if the price they are asking for is reasonable.
And stop by my post on the Indie Ignites blog to hear more about what I spent where and why I think it's justified. :)