Well, I Could Have Done That!”
In every business, every person eventually hears those words. This often comes from a customer that doesn’t understand someone else’s tools, skills, service, and availability to get the work done.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to install new cabinets. There are two routes you can go down, one where you seek a professional cabinet-maker and another where you buy cabinets that are prefabricated and easy to install.
Now, I come from a family of carpenters. Most of them have built cabinets, as well as homes, walls, home additions, home repairs, bathroom remodels, you name it. From experience I can tell you that cabinet-makers specifically design your cabinets to fit tightly into a corner or to sit perfectly level on the floor and stained to reveal the intrinsic beauty of the wood.
You want to replace your current bathroom vanity with a new cabinet, beautifully stained, fitted wall-to-wall, with a unique marble countertop. So, you’ve started to look around. Your neighbor outfitted his garage with beautiful prefabricated cabinetry that didn’t even require painting, all for the bargain price of $499.
But shucks, the Home Super Market doesn’t specialize in beautifully stained cabinets. You have to take what they have, in gleaming white, in a small selection of sizes, and their choice of counters. If that’s good enough, you’re in luck! But your expectations are higher, and you need a different solution. This calls for a craftsman that can build and deliver precisely what you need and want.
The price estimate comes in, and it’s just a wee bit more than $499. In fact, it’s $3,499! Are they crooks? No. They are delivering a crafted, custom-fitted product with upscale services and material. Special skills and tools are required. They ask what you want, take measurements, and will take great care to deliver what you need. They have a track record. Their reputation is on the line. Your cabinets will look amazing, sit level, and have no water leaks.
Could you have done that? No.
This idea is similar to book publishing. I’ll put it right out there, I recommend low-cost book publishing options without hesitation. Some writers simply want a book in their hands and they’re done. Having it up on Amazon is necessary, but that’s no big deal really.
But if you want a book that will benefit from the spotlight of a marketing and public relations campaign, something more is required. If you expect to be accepted into a national sales and distribution program, the “little things” have to matter. Someone has to guide this process and challenge assumptions that in reality are snake pits. Without an investment of capital, expertise, and tried and tested systems, your book may be available, but will it actually be pitched to the buyers that guard the shelves of bookstores and libraries?
I have witnessed tragedies in authors not investing what they should into their book after pouring their hearts into it. They get atrocious covers, spell checking instead of editing, line-listing instead of pitching. Many elements present in a professionally published book are left undone or poorly done.
There are massive differences between traditional book publishing and self-publishing, even between all of us “hybrids”. But the marketplace places the same demands on all of us. Successful outcomes are defined in light of expectations, product quality, author’s writing ability, and plenty more. Be proud of your work and do it justice until the end, because it deserves it.
Founder and CEO of Fitting Words
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."