So far, I estimate I'll spend about $550 for a book cover and an editor. Cover designer costs $150 USD, and the editor costs $435 CAD (That's about $400 USD). Admittedly, I could have easily spent twice that for the same services. Easily. But I'm not made of money, and the cover designer and editor seem topnotch, with great reviews and happy clientele.
My cover designer is Annette Tremblay aka Midnight Whimsy. I found her by accident while browsing the AQC forums. I saw some of her cover designs, and read customer reviews. The designs blew me away, the reviews were icing on the cake. Her process is straightforward: you make a $50 advance payment to hold a spot, then you pay the remaining balance when you choose a concept/mock-up. Just after you pay the deposit, Annette sent a very detailed questionnaire to gain a better understanding of your story and what you're looking for in a cover.
My editor is Cynthia Shepp. I found her via Google. First thing that caught my eye was her prices. Charging $0.0065 (Max) per word is a great deal. Admittedly, I've found individuals who charge less (and more. So so so much more) but her experience and customer reviews were the reason I contacted her. I hired her because of the detail sample edit I received. Which leads me to my next bit of advice: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EDIT YOUR OWN WORK FOR PUBLICATION! YOU NEED A KEEN/EXPERIENCED SET OF EYES!
My plan is to publish on June 8th, 2014.
The last person I want to give a shout out to is Nicole Conway, author of Fledgling. We met in the chat room on AQC. She was a previously self-published author who sold an impressive number of copies of her book. With her success, she found a publisher and an agent. I message Nicole because I wanted to know what she did differently, and how she stood out in the crowd. I expected an email interview, but she gave me her number instead.
Just speaking with her lifted my spirits. She's very personable, eager to share her experiences, and genuinely excited about telling stories. We talked for about half an hour, and though she didn't reveal any trade secrets (not that she had any to tell), she did share what she felt added to her success. She also gave me advanced knowledge of things I should prepare for, and what to do in the event of being contacted by a publisher. You can expect everything she told me and more to be shared throughout this blog series.
As always, if you have an questions or comments...
Leave them below.
In other news, I made it into the second round of the ABNA contest, and Query Kombat discussions have started. Great things to come.