Following on from a previous post (How To Publish Your Book Without Breaking the Bank), I thought I’d expand on the subject, and suggest the seven things you should be expecting to pay for when publishing your new book.
Each of the following range in price dramatically, so make sure you do your research, ask for samples, and pay what you’re happy to pay.
Remember, you’re the customer in all of these transactions.
- If you have friends that have previously published, the first thing to do is ask them for a recommendation – find out who they used, and also whether they’d employ them again
- Your local writers centre may hold a directory listing for editors – here in Australia, the Society of Editors has an online directory for easy access
- You may be following editors on social media – check out their websites and see what they have to say about themselves.
Pick 6-8 editors, contact them and give them a bit of background about your writing history, and let them know what you want them to edit. At this point, don’t send anything. Ask if they would be prepared to edit a sample of your manuscript.
Some editors will decline due to workload, or if they think your project doesn’t suit their preferred workspace. Others may request a fee for editing your sample. Politely decline.
For those that do agree to edit a sample of your manuscript for free, they’ll probably request the first few pages, or the first chapter. This enables both of you to see if you “click”.
When the samples come back, line them up side by side and decide which editor best understands your work. For instance, I tend to avoid anyone who tries to change my voice. Some editors are more literary-inclined, which is fine, but the changes they tend to make to dialogue won’t suit my thriller genre.
Finally, be prepared to agree a timeframe for the work to be completed, pay up front, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The best editor is one you can work with time and again.
- Again, look for recommendations from other authors or use Google to find a cover designer – there are plenty out there
- Contact the cover designer, provide a brief (the back cover blurb for your novel and a short outline of the plot) and request a price guide
The designer will contact you to let you know if they have time to take on your project, and may also provide some rough ideas, together with a note of their fees.
If you don’t like the samples, don’t worry – it can often take a while (especially when relying on email, not talking directly) to explain what you have in mind, and for the designer to cotton on to what you’re trying to achieve.
It’s really helpful if you research other books in your genre and send links so the designer gets an idea of the direction you want your cover to take, and the authors you’d like to emulate.
Do you have a brand image that you’re trying to convey to readers? All this helps the designer to capture the essence of your story.
Be prepared to pay up front for the design – after all, it takes time to put these things together, and the designer is running a business.
Finally, you may find that you can pay for the eBook cover first in order to use it for promotion purposes while you format the paperback and work out the dimensions required for that cover.
Hopefully the above helps and gets you started on the road to publication.
Next time: Basic promotional material