I have learned that people really do judge a book by its cover. I even do it, and I love to read…and I am writer! But, when I am browsing in the bookstore, what usually catches my eye first is the cover of a book. Does it draw me in? Does it make me want to turn to the back and read the summary? For independently published writers, I believe packaging is one of the most important things to focus on (other than the writing, of course!). To remove the stigma of being “self-published,” you need to remove the “identifiers” of self-publishing. One of the identifiers of a self-published book is usually a terrible cover. Spend the time — and/or the money — to get a professionally designed cover, and you’ll go a long way in help yourself overcome the packaging obstacle.