Anyone who’s ever weighed the choice between indie publishing and traditional publishing knows that the biggest problem with self-publishing is the stigma associated with it.
Every year, we see that the public’s conception indies as badly written, edited, and designed is fading away. But it’s not gone yet.
Ultimately, your one book will not change reader’s assumptions about indie books, but you can certainly challenge them. The best way to do this? Produce the nicest, prettiest, most high-quality book you can.
The reason indie books are of bad quality is because their authors rush and skip steps. They don’t solicit help when they need it. They don’t invest in their baby the way you invest in a house, or a child’s education.
Even if you’re an awesome self-editor, have betas and CPs until you’re blue in the face. And THEN pay an editor (who works in your genre) to edit it again.
Then proofread. Then run it through Grammarly. Then print it out on paper and proofread it again. Pay someone else who loves the CMS as much as their mother to proofread it a final time.
When designing, use high-quality images for the cover. And a font that is easy to read and won’t make your readers want to poke their eyes out with a fork. Make sure you’re following layout conventions. They’re there for a reason. Don’t let someone bad at Photoshop anywhere near your cover. Refined is better than ridiculous or boring.
When it comes to printing and releasing the book, don’t just go with KDP Select because it’s free. Go with whatever distribution option is the best for your book, your goals, and your audience. Some of you might need offset printing. Some might only need an ebook. Some might need traditional distribution, and others will sell by hand.
Each book and each author has their own highest path, and taking the time to figure that out and really get to know the publishing process is what will make your book stand out. You’ll stand out amongst your fellow indies, and amongst your traditional counterparts.
Readers, how else do you recommend beating the self-pub stigma?