A friend of mine went on a rant last week on fb … in the nicest possible way. She questioned why some self-pubbed authors insist on doing their own book covers. The comments came in that perhaps some of her expectations were too high; that some authors think they can do their own covers; and/or they just plain cannot afford to hire a professional to create their covers. Now, my friend (naming no names) is a professional in the field of marketing books and has years of experience, so I give her question a lot of weight, as I do the responses she received. All of these arguments can be valid.
But … (there’s always a “but”) would you be turned off by a cover that looked like something the author’s six year old drew? Perhaps one that doesn’t reflect the actual book? Or, my personal favorite, a cover that uses those computer generated “posers” that I’ve griped about in the past?
Now, I’ve seen some really nicely done self-pubbed books. Edie Ramer’s come to mind. However, Edie also has a professional do her covers and they’re gorgeous. She also hires someone else to do her editing. I’ve come across several self-pubbed books where the editing was atrocious and I ended up (figuratively speaking) wall-banging ‘em. They were on my Nook and it wouldn’t do to wreck my e-reader.
The point is, I was totally turned off by what I viewed as amateurish work and its doubtful that I will purchase any future books by that particular author. Perhaps I’m spoiled by the books that I’ve purchased from traditional publishers, but I’ve come to expect a certain quality for the money that I’m willing to shell out. Not when there are so many books out there that will meet my expectations.
I’m well aware of the fact that it costs money to produce a self-pubbed book. Personally, I haven’t gone that route yet, but that’s not to say that I won’t in the future. If I do, I know that I’ll make the effort to produce the best possible book I can. I’m fortunate where I have a day job and will be able to afford professional editing and to hire someone to create a beautiful cover.
What do you think? Do you reckon my expectations are too high, and I should be above the pettiness of appearance and just enjoy a good story?