As you embark on any project, whether it be construction, maintenance or even a hobby, there will always be ways to have others spend your money. Often this can be in a good way through the use of professional services that truly endeavor to make what you do better.
But then there are those who will be more than happy to lure you into spending money just for the chance that they may be able to help you. Now, as well meaning as these people or business may initially appear – they may not be the best way for you to spend your hard earned money and should be thoroughly reviewed before any consideration is given.
Recently, having published my first book, Blood-Lines, I have been researching ways to get my book both marketed and reviewed. Along the way I’ve discovered many paid services that will only consider your book for review if you pay a stipend or full amount up front with no guarantees that you will ever have your book reviewed by them.
In other words you’re taking a calculated gamble and/or risk that such effort and investment will pay off and give dividends that will be far more than what you invested.
Now, I am in no way, shape or form suggesting that this particular practice is in any way fraudulent as these services do indeed need to make money to survive just like anyone else – but what I am going to to point out is that caution is best served when dealing with such services.
As an Indy Author, I am probably among the majority who have little or no budget to work with and have invested as wisely as I can, where I can. In my case this has involved purchasing the rights to artwork for covers and such, ordering books to give away to libraries or posters to hang on my wall (just in case I ever am called upon to do an author event, I’ll have bling to bring 8))
At the moment I have little or no budgetary funds to apply for services that I probably should be using; such as editors or cover designers so I end up doing much if not all of the technical work myself.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no artist (as my daughter Taylor who IS an artist can attest), but I can see what I want my covers to look like and through such great services such as Shutterstock.com or DeviantArt.com and others I have been able to gather the look and feel that I wanted and build my covers using such inane tools as paint.net and other graphics tools that allow someone with the least amount of artistic talent to use what technical skills they may have to deliver an end product that is pleasing to the eye of most people.
There are a lot of free services out and about as well that will work with you to get your book seen, heard or reviewed while there are also several that will only do so if you choose to invest in their efforts.
And this can and is often a good way to know which ones will actually do what they advertise. Before investing, always check on what others will have to say about such services simply because if they are paid they will get reviewed without doubt.
Money talks, as it were.
Free services will also have reviews which should give some indication if they are worth looking at as well.
Just remember, free does not always mean completely free.
There are enough tales of warning out there from authors who have had to write off investments to know that what you see is not often what you get.
An old saying, often used in most any situation, suggests that things come to those who wait and it often bears fruit. Few if any authors are overnight successes. Perhaps taking the slow road to success can build a better platform and protect your investments as you go.
Just more food for thought to consider.