Indie Author Considerations: How Much Should I Spend On Design?

Mintie Price has a new look! Both on my site (all new blog images), my books (new covers), Twitter headers, etc. I’ve been fortunate to both know a designer in-real-life, and also to get a discounted rate for her services because she likes me as a person. This helps me because I have no “eye” for design. Some may suspect that I have no eyes, for anything.

Am I “in the red” for my erotica work? Oh yes. I’m broke. Tonight I counted coins on a liquor counter. Whenever people come to visit, I yell “finders keepers!” when they leave pennies behind on my couch. Then I take their money as a Hostess Tax and roll those coins myself.

Is it worth it?

Here is my new philosophy about investing in erotica: it’s worth it. It doesn’t matter if I don’t make money for a few years, it’s still a part of a larger investment in my own writing. I’d rather feel happy with the quality of my covers, branding, logo, when I don’t have to worry about making an impression to a larger audience. Right now, my audience is a tight Twitter group of other erotica authors who are very supportive. If I want to change things up, they understand and give me digital high fives or comments as requested.

It’s not the same situation when Facebook wants to change the color of a single button, for instance, and they get death threats.

Writing is cheap.

Do you know a musician? Let me be a psychic and guess what they are like. In spite of limited gigs per month, they have an entire wing in their house devoted to instruments you never see them play. They make trips to pawn shops and Guitar Center as if they are about to spend a luxurious weekend in the south of France. If they never bought an instrument in their life, or at least stuck to necessary instruments, they could have an indoor pool in their living room.

Writing is a cheap hobby. It also is a very lonely hobby. All you need is an inexpensive word processor, time, and a bit of ambition.

If writing required expensive equipment to feel like a better writer, then hacks would have all-gold laptops with diamond keys. People would buy things like “triple neck processors” and “adjective pedals” that turn Hemingway into Angela Carter.

The “Is It Worth It” Formula:

If writing could be averaged by other activities like fishing, gym memberships, art supplies, and etc., then you wouldn’t hesitate to spend money on cover and asset designs. My formula is to dig within and see if the money you spend would be money carelessly spent on other activities you love. Like going to theme parks and buying alcohol.

If you are unhappy with your website, covers, author pic, anything, then you can at least go on that “fiverr” site to fix it to your liking. I encourage you to go broke as I have done, but at least revel in a bit of happiness while you eat tuna from cans.

What would you fix about your “look,” if you could?

(Let me use this question to also plug my designer friend. She’s the best! Message me for her info!)