What a crazy week! I’m happy to report that Collar Me Foxy is done with the editor – and that’s one of the resources I’d like to cover in this week’s post. Look, the truth is, no matter how you go about self-publishing there is no escaping spending money to get your book ready (unless you have some major skills under your belt). Especially, if you want your book to be as professional as if you’d gone through a traditional publisher. That’s why I’m trying to share as much as I can, because it is so overwhelming and very hard to trust which professional to go through. Testimonials and well-designed websites are great – but I personally prefer word of mouth better!
Also, money can’t be the only thing to consider when you’re shopping around for the two most critical aspects of your book: Editing & Cover Art. Sometimes, you get what you pay for – and other times, you get swindled. So, let’s divide these two important topics up.
If an editor is charging $ .12 cents/per word, they are hopefully providing a LOT for that price (that would be a total of $6,000 for a 50k word novel). They should be providing no less than everything a traditional publisher’s editor would provide for you. You’re the only one who can judge how much editing your book really needs and what you’re willing to pay for. You can also hop onto one of the various sites that walks you through polishing and editing most of your book yourself, getting it to the point where you’re only paying for a proofreader. If you don’t mind doing the work or taking the time – or figuring out how to force your keyboard to make the proper dashes.
My way of thinking is this: $6,000 is not including your book cover(s), the interior layout formatting(s), your ISBN #’s (if you want to buy your own), the Copyright Registration fee, or any of your marketing expenses you still need to shell out before your book is even given a sales sticker. It is, however, the price you could pay for a decent used car to go refuel your muse at Starbucks.
The DIY guy I mentioned in my last post, Derek Murphy, started an editing site called the Book Butchers. They have three different packages. $.02/cents, $.04 cents and $.06 cents – and as you can guess, they each offer more than the other. They were the first place I found that offered packages under $.10 cents/per word – but they never replied to me when I filled out their contact form on their website. And, one of the things they mention on their site is that they are basically over-worked and under-staffed. I’m providing the link simply because my experience with them (or lack thereof) could have been a fluke, a glitch or it could be a real problem – I’ll leave that to you to decide.
I was very fortunate to find Monique the Editrix. She offers two different packages, the most expensive one being only $.008 cents/per word. No, that’s not a typo of too many zeros. I paid $320 for a 40k word novel. That’s it. Her turn around time is amazingly fast. She replied to my initial contact right away, and offered to do a 2,000 word sample edit for me (I admit, I was leery of the whole ‘you get what you pay for’ issue I mentioned before). Monique is not only an extremely thorough editor, she is excellent at working with you when it comes to flow and making sure your characters remain true to themselves. She will tell you when she has an opening in her schedule (which for me, has never been more than a week out) and depending on the size of your MS, will have the first pass back to you within 4-5 days. Not months, not weeks… days. In short, she is that marvelous exception to the rule, that you really can spend less without sacrificing any quality! One thing to note: She only does fiction, and only certain genres, so make sure you check on that before contacting her.
There are 3 ways an author can obtain the cover for their book.
- Premade Covers
- Custom Covers
There are just as many places that offer both custom and premade covers, as there are places that only make custom covers. I’d like to go over the pros and cons for a second.
Pros – you get the exact cover you were imagining and if you subscribe to a decent stock photo provider, you can save a ton of money while you’re at it. There are a lot of articles online that offer lists of the best Royalty Free stock photos places around. I just typed in “Best royalty free stock photos” in my search engine and got plenty to research. I’ve found that iStock is the cheapest if you can adhere to their monthly download limit – it’s only $40/month. Dreamstime seems cheap, but trust me, it can add up if you pay as you go, because they charge by credits, rather than the number of downloads.
Cons – Extremely time consuming! Not only to make the cover, but to first search, find or settle for the photos to match your vision. Poorer quality: Unless you have a degree in Graphic Design or spend the time to watch Derek Murphy’s extensive DIY Book Cover lessons, then your cover is going to most likely look homemade and not catch buyers attention at all.
Pros – They’re cheap and there are some that are absolutely amazing and would definitely catch buyers eyes on the market. They’re also available right away, so there’s no waiting months and months to get your cover, no haggling with a cover artist over details, etc. Most Premade sites don’t have a set price, but vary from $25-$125 depending on the quality of the cover.
Cons – Some premade sites charge you for the cover, and then charge you an extra fee for the title change, so pay attention to that fine print. The biggest con – The covers use the same stock photos every one else uses. So, even if they say they will delete the cover after selling it, that doesn’t mean that they won’t use the same exact stock photo of your book’s models with a different background on another cover. Your best bet is to spend the time looking around at ALL of the premade cover sites and choosing a cover that you haven’t already seen everywhere else.
Pros – Most custom covers come with a full package of extras: Teasers, Book Trailers, Interior Layout, Social Media Banners & Ad Graphics all included – plus, they will provide both an eBook cover & a Print cover. Custom means that it’s one of kind, there is no other cover out there like it – however, they may still be using the same stock photos as everyone else, so please make sure you check out their Gallery for your genre first.
Cons – $499 base price is a HUGE con for me and that’s just for the covers, that’s not including the add ons of a book trailer or interior layout (those are extra). Now, I have seen some places that start out around $299 base price, but when you’re looking at a $40 premade cover vs. a $300-$500 custom made cover, that cover better be worth the extra hundreds of dollars. Which means, no copycat stock photos!
This is where I introduce you to the place I ordered my cover from for Avarice. The only problem is that I won’t get the mock ups until the end of June, so I can’t testify to my overall satisfaction with their services yet. However – Their gallery is breathtaking and they replied to me right away. And, they were able to give me an exact date of when I’d get my first mock up, which my own publisher can’t even do, so I have to mark that as a Pro.
Deranged Doctor Design is a custom covers only site. They don’t offer premade covers at all – but they do offer the best prices I’ve found so far and their covers are so good, they’re award winning – for reals. As a bonus, all of their services are a la carte, so you can grab just your eBook cover (for only a $145) or your eBook + Print for only $195 and then add on media graphics, teasers, whatever, at any given time. Plus they offer a LOT of extras and money saving packages. Make sure you check out their portfolio, it is amazing! I will, of course, update my experience with them in late June when I get my cover, to let you all know how it went.
Before I go, I’d like to list the best sites I’ve found so far for premade covers for you.
SelfPubBookCovers: Tons of covers for every genre, from okay quality to phenomenal – but prices vary, and they don’t have a huge selection of font styles for the title(s).
ProBook: Not as big of a variety, but the covers are absolutely stunning and at a set price of $69/ea.
GoOnWrite & VamosWrite: A vast collection for a lot of different genres & sub-genres. Make sure to check out both of their sites, as the covers are different on each one. Also, VamosWrite covers are only $45 or less.
TheBookCoverDesigner: Like SelfPub, it hosts a variety of artists, prices and styles and allows you to search by artist, if you happen to like their style the most.
Paper&Sage: This site, like ProBook, has some of the most unique covers I’ve seen around. The artists seem to strive to stay away from the overly used stock photos seen everywhere else. They also offer custom covers and other services.
EbookIndieCovers: This is the site for Melody Simmons, probably the most well-known book cover artist in the Indie industry, from what I’ve seen and read. And it looks like she just updated her site, so probably a lot more new covers on there! I’ve heard she charges $12 for title changes, I’m just not sure if that is for secondary changes or the initial one.
Well, my friends that is all for this week! I hope you found something helpful for yourself or a friend and as always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments below.
♥ Have a great weekend!