One author sent me his book that was subsidy published and the margins were horrible. You couldn’t read the book without breaking the spine. The reality is margins matter.
I just received a telephone call from another author who published through a vanity press before she realized what she was doing. She recently ordered 25 books for a book party. When she received her order, she flipped through one of the books. To her horror, the margins were different all through the book. On some pages, the writing went almost off the page. On other pages, you had to break the book’s spine to read the words.
This happens to vanity and Print-on-Demand customers more than these companies would like to admit.
I worked with another author that thought he had a traditional publisher but it was actually a subsidy imprint of a larger label. I read through his final book and the printing quality was horrible to the point that letters were missing from the middle of words. If half of your letters are illegible, it will frustrate readers and you risk losing fans. The print quality matters.
If you choose to pay for an in-house cover designer, you may not be getting a professional graphic artist. Some companies give you a selection of template covers to choose from. Others assign a cover designer. In the end, once you decide on a cover, get outside opinions from people that will give you honest answers.
I worked with an author who hired the in-house designer to create a cover and he was thrilled with the end product. Unfortunately, it was a juvenile cover that turned people off immediately. Book reviewers stated in their reviews they wished he had a different cover. If your cover doesn’t excite people, tell the cover designer to redesign.
If you want sales, make sure you get honest opinions about your cover and even if you like it, it’s the general public’s opinion that matters when it comes to sales. People still judge a book by its cover. The cover design matters.