An item they all agree on is the cover. It needs to catch the reader's attention especially if you're an unknown author. However, while some are saying there are programs an author can use inexpensively to create a professional quality book cover. Others say that their books didn't really start grabbing reader attention until they hired a professional to create a cover. Well hmmm...looks like more research is called for here before making this decision.
While I can listen to the advice of those who have gone before me into the world of self-publishing, it is my responsibility to my readers to make sure that I have done my research and made the best choices as I see them. Guess I have to face the fact that I will make mistakes and learn from them, but maybe I'll make fewer because I listened to those who gave well intended advice.
Life is good...especially with a good book!