People’s perceptions of your business or book for that matter determine whether they will give you enough credibility to work with you or buy your product. When it comes to publishing, realize that people perceive information in a blink of an eye. I think the book Blink addresses this point. I run into authors all of the time who don’t understand why low-rent self-publishing services often don’t serve their success. I know as a consumer I can tell when a book looks cheap and printed by one of those repo-cheapo printers. Little things tell the tale. Stapled binding, flimsy paper, stock graphics – all of these things send a message you may not want people to perceive.
One of the most important things we strive for at 3L Publishing is excellence. As authors we have enough challenges in the marketplace to overcome without adding to it. If your book automatically looks cheap how does that affect sales? I’ll walk you through it.
Book reviewers are deluged with books. Your book needs to immediately stand out to get noticed. It’s human nature to discern quality and “perceive” cheaply done, self-published books as low quality. I’m not saying all self-published books that look cheap don’t have great content. I’m addressing public “perception” of books. Even if a reviewer might not say it, they’ve perceived it. This one handicap alone can stunt interest. Being overlooked by the reviewers for any reason whatsoever is a strike against future sales.
Consumers will question the content’s credibility if the book looks cheap. I know so many authors right now are saying, “Boo”. I get it. Content is supposed to be king. Who cares if my book isn’t sexy and visually appealing? Again, while the argument is valid it doesn’t address human nature. We have automatic reactions and beliefs about certain things. Again, the idea is to not create another barrier to your success.
And to close on a funny point: I once bought a book on Amazon that not only was loaded with editorial mistakes, but the author didn’t even include back cover copy. What a missed opportunity. One of your strongest marketing points is the back-cover copy. Her book’s back cover was blank. I was gob-stopped when I saw it. I wanted so bad to write her a letter offering my editorial services to fix the dozens of editorial mistakes, but also to write some bad-ass copy for the cover. Wow! Who was her publisher? Oh! She self-published … AND another reason to work with a professional who knows what he or she is doing. No smart publisher would EVER leave the back cover blank … I’m just saying.