Like most writers that are looking to start out into the brave new world of publishing (regardless of the route you plan to take) I have a day job. Granted mine has made me more grumpy than I'd like these past few months, but I am glad to have it until I manage to get out there and make my own money.
In the meantime I have to be realistic, and in this economy I think it is more important than ever to do good, quality work. Given the reports coming out about self-publishing, those authors that will stand the test of time are those that put out consistent, quality books.
For the last few years, I worked in quality. It was up to me to measure the quality of someone's work. For example, how they interact with a customer, how they handle different situations, and if they are doing things they are prohibited from doing. With focusing on quality so instilled in me, I can see it passing over into the rest of my life. When I deal with a customer service rep over the phone, or in person, I am always judging their quality of service.
I probably drive my husband nuts with my commentary I give him afterwards.
"She didn't even say my name while speaking with me."
"She didn't ask if I needed anything else."
"His tone was just awful, he really shouldn't sound like that when he talks to people."
I can't help myself! Dealing with businesses, dealing with customer support or technical support, regardless of having to sit on hold for a long time, would be just that much more pleasant if people wouldn't drop the ball with all the small things that make up a good customer experience.
The same could be said for writing!
If we let small things, small details of our books fall to the side, would could short-change ourselves. We could take the makings of a great book and turn it into something far less if we forget to pay attention to the details.
When I find a book that has a decent cover and an interesting description, nothing disappoints me more to discover an obviously unedited (or poorly edited) story. There was here was one book I read recently that I only made it halfway through. Not because it was boring, and had a crappy plot...because there was so many mistakes.... the characters were flat and very cliche' as well.
There were so many things that a few good scrubs to the novel could have fixed. It could have made it a decent book, but it felt like the book was pushed out before it was done cooking for the sake of getting that author out there.
On the other side of things, please don't have great novel with a crappy cover and wonder why people don't buy it. IF you did take the time to write something of quality and polish it with editing you should take the time to make a nice cover, or find a good cover artist to do it for you. In the digital age, books are intially judged by their covers more often than not and ugly packaging will not help you get in front of readers.
Be consistent and carry it into all aspects of your writing. This includes tweets, FB updates, and blog posts too. Constantly shouting at people to read your book, regardless of how good it is, WILL NOT help you build an audience.
Remember, Quality is key.