“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.”
Candy-maker Milton Hershey
There are many factors that contribute to the success of an independently self-published book, but there is one that is indisputable: quality matters.
Best-selling author Guy Kawasaki, in his book APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book , advises self-publishing authors, “…avoid publishing a book that looks cheesy, vain, and amateurish. Steve Jobs taught me that little details separate the mediocre from the excellent. The way to avoid the ‘self-published’ look is simple, and it increases the attractiveness, professionalism, and marketability of your book.”
A recent study which appeared in Forbes online quantifies the importance of some of the most important of details. Kawasaki warns, “The self-edited author is as foolish as the self-medicated patient.” The Forbes study reported that authors who got help with editing, copy editing, and proof reading could expect to earn 13% more than those who did not. Authors who add cover design help saw the figure rise to 34% higher than average, at least in part because, as Kawasaki says, “The first outward sign that your book is self-published is a crappy cover design.”
Some self-publishing authors are reluctant to pay a professional editor or book designer. That may be pennywise and pound foolish. The survey indicates that among authors who support themselves with earnings from self-published books “about 68 per cent of authors who’d spent money on their book would recoup that cost within 12 months.”