The Perils of Using Friends

Thoughts on skimping on key expenses.

Oh, no. My friend can do that for me.

And by that, I mean the editing, cover design, indexing, or proofreading. And maybe your amigo moonlights as a professional editor, designer, indexer, or proofreader. The operative word here is professional. Does s/he do it for a living? If not, then it’s probably best to hire a pro.

It’s a common myth that anyone can design a cover or edit a book. How hard can it be? Professionals are so, er, expensive. I common refrain from wannabe authors is “I think that I can save some money here.”

Bite the Bullet

Are you willing to chance missing your deadline?

There’s no shortage of wizard-like tools out there to create a book cover from a stock photo. And people who speak English good may be able to catch a few grammatical errors–like that one. Speaking from personal experience, though, letting a friend do the job of a professional is a surefire way to spend more time and money on a book, not less.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does your friend understand printer requirements and specifications on pixel quality?
  • Is there something your friend is missing that you’ll only catch after you’re holding the physical book?
  • Are you willing to chance missing your deadline?
  • Will your friend be able to meet your deadlines when his/her day job intrudes?

Brass Tacks

Realize that you’re rolling the dice by not using professionals on your book.

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