The ever-eloquent Chuck Wendig has another piece of awesomeness on his blog today about self-publishing. Not that he's against it, because as he says in his blog, he's also a self-pubber for some projects. But about WHY it's so important as a self-pubber to make sure you do it RIGHT.
Hire an editor, for chrissake. Pay for cover art.
He's absolutely right that there's a total flood of crap out there. I mean bad formatting, bad (or no) editing, etc.
If you want to practice, or publish something for free, go use Scribd or any number of other sites out there, hell, your own WP or Blogger site, for that. But if you want to be taken serious as an author, yes, quality DOES matter. Editing DOES matter. Covers DO matter.
And I'm sick and tired of hearing self-pubbers bitch about sales, and when I go look at their book, their cover sucks, their blurb is horrendous and full of errors (or, worse, is a sample), and then the sample is utter crap.
No one's saying you shouldn't self-publish. But do you turn your teenager loose on the highway with your car without making sure they know what the frak they're doing first? NO. No, no one dies if you publisher a shitty book--well, just your reputation with readers, your sales, and your potential career.
Do NOT use self-publishing as your editing service. Readers do NOT appreciate it when you charge them money and them ask them to correct your manuscript. That's like the plumber coming to your house and standing on the sidelines while YOU take a dive into your own septic tank, and then he charges YOU for the privilege.
So go visit Chuck's blog post. Right now.
Right. Fracking. Now.