Offering help? Don’t be greedy!
I have seen too many times on Facebook the lack of support from others that are fully capable of supporting a ‘new’ author. What does this mean? I am going to explain a few things that I have noticed.
First off – The indie community isn’t a group full of competition, it is a group of authors trying to work hard and achieve the same result. Sure, some are willing to help but they are also willing to charge you a small fortune for ‘help’. This is ridiculous, especially because they are asking for help.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen an author want to give up because they can’t afford an editor, formatter or cover designer. I understand that there is an income to be made, but if you offer your help to an author, don’t fuck them over.
EXAMPLE – An author on a limited income (aren’t we all) reaches out for help. Maybe you saw a post about the struggle they are going through. YOU make the initiative to reach out to help. YOU uncover the needs are basic; simple really. A simple formatting issue, adding page numbers to a paperback file, merging a series in to a single file or fixing someone else’s disaster. Either way, YOU reached out. Now, the joke is on the author because YOU are going to charge them hundreds of dollars.
Congratulations!!! You have successfully defeated a fellow indie author. This author just gave up. IF they are ambitious enough, they might reach out to someone else and the probability of them being screwed over, doubles. This is great, right? I mean, you just took one more bit of competition off of the indie market! To the person that can do this with a clean conscience, SHAME ON YOU! How do you sleep at night? I can’t tell you how many times the ‘author’ is lucky enough to stumble upon someone that is willing to help them, genuinely help.
Secondly – Basic formatting is the worst thing for a new author. Most have no idea that this is required and if they do, they don’t do it correctly. The result? Piss poor reviews complaining about something they don’t know how to fix.
You write a book and you edit it yourself, because EDITING IS EXPENSIVE for a new author. Now, before you are ready to post your pride and joy on Amazon, there is a little formatting needed. A LOT of formatting needed if you want a paperback made. This kills me to see authors struggle with this.
EXAMPLE – Formatting is the act of making the file look fantastic on your kindle. This is done to many degrees of AMAZING. For a new author and most authors, simple formatting is all that is required. I have seen some charge hundreds of dollars for this service. Most will cost $50.00 for digital, $100 for paperback. I stopped searching and inquiring there, because this is ridiculous. Does it take work? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. Are you fully capable of doing basic formatting for $20? FUCK YES! Don’t be a greedy bitch. This only irritates the bunch of us that will help anyone that asks. I could’ve made a fortune by now, but that’s not why I do it. I take pride in my work, but I also am proud of a fellow author that is ambitious enough to write and publish a book.
Lastly – Cover designs are not cheap, but they are important. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am sure you have heard this before, but I am here to tell you, EVERYONE DOES IT. Readers are drawn to a cover first. The book could be shit, but a great cover means they will buy it. On the other hand, an amazing book could be overlooked by a shitty cover. The trick here is that there are, again, designers that are willing to help you. I know this is hard to believe, but it is true. Most covers cost $60 for digital and $120 for both *averages*. Don’t quote me, I have my resources.
Basically, there is a huge indie world that is constantly struggling. If everyone would reach out to offer assistance rather than force out competition, there would be a fuck-ton less drama in the world most of us live in.
How about this? If you need help with the fun stuff, let me know. Karma is a bitch for the selfish people in the world and there is a pool of people that understand – the struggle is real.