Why authors need to make a good first impression

Buy Cheap. Buy Twice

So goes the old adage. How right it is. Buy cheap furniture, clothes, bedding, you will never be happy in them, the fit is never right, they never feel comfortable, or look right.

The same is exactly true for anyone producing a book. I’m a member of a Facebook group where recently I saw a post from a new author who was self publishing. ‘Does it matter,’ he wondered, ‘if a book I am giving away has proofing errors and if the cover is a cheap one I designed myself?’ Yes it does. Regardless of if you are giving away a free book as an incentive for readers to get to know you and your work, or if this is a book which you are going to sell, it has to be correct and produced as well as it can be.

A book that is filled with errors, with a cheap, badly designed cover is not going to do anything for its writer, other than put future readers off. Any book, a first, tenth or fortieth has to be firstly gramatically correct and free of proofing errors, the story or text has to make sense and the cover has to attract readers. Imagine if a car company were giving away free cars and gave you one which broke down constantly, in which the seats were loose and the windscreen kept misting over. Would you go back to that company and pay for a car? I doubt it.

There are numerous free sites which allow writers to check their text, Microsoft Word has a built in spell checker, but this does not understand how to weed out words which are spelt correctly but used in the wrong place, their and there for example.

A book has to give readers a great experience,  but if the cover looks as if you designed it yourself and have no flair or experience in designing covers then you are wasting your time. The cover won’t attract readers, regardless of how much or little it costs.

If money is an issue – and there can’t be many of us who say it isn’t – then persuade a local writers group to check the book for you. Alternatively there are production companies, such as Lavender and White, who offer a full production service, copy editing, proof reading, cover design  and typesetting, at a very reasonable cost.

If you intend to make writing your career, or even a second string to your bow, please give your work the best chance it has of being a success and making those dreams come true. Use your one chance with your readers to show them what a professional you are, that your work is worthy of their time and money. Make a good impression and readers will come back for more. It really pays to invest in yourself.