I made a book trailer the other day for my book, Death on Deadline. It is 60 seconds long, and I forgot the words about seven times. It was shot by a professional videographer on his lunch break.
I'm paying him in cupcakes and effusive thanks.
My book cover was created by a friend (Claire Innes-Wilbur)who happens to be an extremely talented graphic artist. Her payment? My everlasting gratitude.
My book was edited literally dozens of times - by my husband, by my writer and editor friends and even by my ever-patient sisters. When it came time to format and post it, I was lost. My good friend Traci Bauer, who helps manage a daily newspaper, takes night classes and spends literally no time on herself, came to my rescue.
My next book cover is being drawn by an accomplished artist friend, Chuck Todd. He has a wonderful children's book out that he illustrated - There's a Hummingbird in my Backyard - and he and I are working out ways to cross-promote each other. I'm incredibly excited.
Writers - especially indie ones like me who are just starting out - need help. I'm happy to say we can often find it. I've found the indie authors I've met to be incredibly supportive.
The people who have helped me have been absolutely wonderful, even when I pestered them with e-mails and shoved sentence after sentence in their face, insisting they choose which feels better.
I talked to a good friend the other day, and when I mentioned to her that my book sales were up that month, she expressed surprise. Then she quickly explained herself. "It's just, well... there are so many e-books out there," she said.
I agreed. There are. And some are absolutely terrible. But many aren't.
With the right village of support around you, it's a lot easier to help readers tell the difference.