Yes, you can hire someone to do the cover for you Ė and then they give the cover to you along with the source file. Their job is done; they do not have further claim over your book or your content.
Want to hire an editor? Thatís great! Heck, you can hire two or three if you wish. Each editor does their job and then hands you back the finished product. You can now do whatever you wish with it.
You can hire someone to format the document. You can even hire someone to load up the formatted document into Amazon, iTunes, and other sites. They give you the passwords so you can go check on the results. So you can monitor all sales reports on a daily or hourly basis if you wish.
Itís all in your hands.
Does this require you to know what youíre doing? Not really. You can go to Fiverr.com and look through all sorts of great cover designer options. Choose someone whose style you like. Work with them and for about $50 you can get an awesome cover you love. Finished, done.
Same thing with an editor. Ask a few authors you know who they would recommend. Costs are often around $3 per full 8.5 x 11 sized page but you can find cheaper rates at Fiverr.com and other sites. Itís of course a balance. A cheap editor might not find all the typos and youíll suffer with bad reviews. A great editor might charge a little more. If you have other author friends you can all edit each otherís work which is certainly better than nothing. I definitely recommend that SOMEONE other than yourself edit your book. Itís quite hard to see your own mistakes.
Formatting? Posting on Amazon? Both are fairly mindless tasks that you can get done quickly and easily on a variety of websites. Again, just ask a few authors how they do it. And if you invest just a few hours you can learn how to do this yourself and be fully self-sufficient going forward.
The key is you retain complete control over your work. The cover is one YOU want. The content is not touched by other people who think it should be full of sex or violence or whatever else the ďmarket demandsĒ. It is your unique vision.
And any time you want to make changes, you simply reload it. You could change it every day for a week and thatís fine Ė and free.
Donít you make less money? Well, certainly nobody is paying you an advance here. But on the other side you are earning 100% of the profits on every sale. So those numbers add up quickly. I know quite a number of authors who made it onto the NY Times or USA Today best sellers list with their self-published books Ė and they werenít ďstunning works of high literatureĒ either. They were simply popular books that they built up a following for.
Letís look at the pros and cons!
Publisher Options - main page
Overview of Publishing Options
... Pros of Traditional Publishers
... Cons of Traditional Publishers
Small Press Publishers
... Pros of Small Press Publishers
... Cons of Small Press Publishers
Vanity Press Publishers
... Pros of Vanity Press Publishers
... Cons of Vanity Press Publishers
... Pros of Self Publishing
... Cons of Self Publishing
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