I've noticed a disturbing trend. Many authors and publishers try to get around these expenses by either settling for low quality work or underpaying talented professionals. Both of these choices are damaging to our entire publishing industry.
Those who use low quality work ruin more than their own sales and reputation. By pumping out terrible books, consumers, bookstores, and libraries are starting to avoid entire publishing styles. Self-publishing and small presses are getting the worst of it. Most libraries and bookstores I've worked with won't accept a title that is self-published, and their acquisitions teams are very suspicious about titles from small presses even though there are many amazing books published via both these means.
Why do we sabotage ourselves like this? Why underpay qualified and talented professionals? What is the true price you're paying when trying to save a buck?
I hear authors complain that their family and friends claim that they want to support them, yet they're the ones that expect "family discounts" or free books. Wouldn't supporting an author mean paying for their book instead?
When you're shopping around for work bids, take a moment to consider: Are you paying these professionals how you would like to be paid for the work you do?
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