So, what does this have to do with indie publishing? Simply this, indie writers can not simply be writers. They must learn many other skills as well. We need to learn editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, search engine optimization and others.
Many indie writers will object saying that they do not need to learn those skills. They will simply hire others to do those jobs for them. This is where our proverb comes into play. If you buy a service, you will get that service for one book. If you learn that process, you have it for all books. Some people spend up to $2000 or more per book. Yet, when I suggest that they simply learn how to do something
|Picure by Photoloni|
However, even if you decide that you would prefer to outsource everything except writing, you still need to know the basics of all phases of publishing. You are no longer a writer only. You are also a publisher. Sure you can outsource a cover design, but do you know what a good cover needs in order to be visible in an online store or stand out as a thumbnail? Do you know how much time it likely took the artist to create that cover and whether the charge was appropriate to the work involved?
The same goes for editing. If you hired a content or developmental editor, did they preserve your voice and your vision or substitute their own? Were the changes they made consistent with your concepts of the character and plot? Did they understand the world of your story? If you outsourced proofreading, you will still need to read through your manuscript to evaluate how well the proofreader did his/her job.
If you learn something about formatting your own manuscript for ebook or print publishing, you may decide that it is so simple (especially ebook publishing ) that you don't need to outsource it. Or if you do, you will know how to not be overcharged and what to look for in the final product.
Whether you do it your self or your outsource the work, you will still need to learn a bit about every aspect of publishing. You may not become an overnight expert in all aspects, but if you do nothing more than learn enough to intelligently choose your service providers and to evaluate their work, the time spent "learning to fish" will last a lifetime.