All books are created equal, right?
It’s the biggest fallacy among self-published authors. Many think that they can do their own editing and, as a failsafe, have a few friends take a look at the final result. They’ll get roughly the same product if they had used professional editors, cover designers, indexers, e-book conversation specialists, and proofreaders.
Big mistake. These folks are called professionals for a reason. It’s what they do.
I’ve received quite a few self-published books over the years. Sure, some are better than others, but all just look and feel different, and not in a good way. (You can spot a book “laid out” in Microsoft Word a mile a way. Books just look better when designed in a professional program.)
If you want to save some money, then by all means use a chop shop subsidy press. Just don’t be surprised when others used to looking at professional products subconsciously pass judgment on yours.