In self-publishing, there's a lot you can do for yourself, a lot you have to do for yourself, and some things you need to go to others for. And the needs change from book to book sometimes.
With Dying Embers, I wrote the book myself - obviously. But I needed an editor and a cover artist. With Accidental Death, I used the same editor along with another editor, but I did the art myself. With Wish in One Hand, I had a new editor and a new artist, but I still had to do some of the art myself. With BloodFlow, I'm sticking with the second editor and doing the cover myself.
I'd do everything myself - because I'm that kind of person - but I'm a firm believer that I need an objective other set of eyes to edit my stuff. I miss things. Major things sometimes, and an outside editor catches what I miss.
But what happens when you aren't happy, for one reason or another?
Well, you can sit tight and grouse mentally about the things that aren't happening the way you want them to happen. OR you can walk away. Look for the magic elsewhere. (And sometimes it feels like magic when you find the right person to help you make your dream a reality.)
Without getting into details or hurt feelings or lawsuit territory, I've been in the position to be unhappy with some of my choices. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I didn't communicate my vision well enough. Perhaps it was a personality thing. Suffice it to say, when that happens, it's best to strike out in search of a new person to help make magic.
Right now, I'm working with a new artist to completely re-do the cover for WIOH. I had to do it. I had hoped the original artist would be THE ONE and that they'd do all the covers in the series. Sadly, no. Now, not only did I have to find an artist for the subsequent books in the series, but I had to find one who would do a cover for WIOH so I could have continuity across covers. One artist for all the books. I found her through an interview she did on a blog I follow, and we seem to be clicking. She gets my vision and if she does for me what she did for her other clients, I should be a happy person again.
Right now, I'm also working with my second editor. She gets me. She gets what I'm going for. I love her bundles. (And I hate her a little, but that's only when I've been staring at the manuscript for 2 hours - slashed thoroughly with pretty-pink, and I'm fighting myself more than I am her. That's when I know it's break time.)
And that's magic, too. Or at least, it'll be magic when it's finished and the book is out there in the world - polished and ready for readers.
The point is, you have to find your magic. If you find it right out of the gate, YAY! If not, don't sit around wishing it would happen for you. Make it happen. Find the people who will want to make magic and great things will happen.
Oh, and before I forget, Dying Embers goes on sale today. It's a Kindle Countdown Deal and it'll be 99 cents through Saturday. I should also have some advertising, etc. somewhere around the webs somewhere.