Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Question of Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Writers consistently ask questions and discuss the different publishing options available today. I want to provide some pros and cons to each publishing option. I also want to impart that except for the shysters in the publishing industry who will take money and produce virtually nothing, most independent publishers are reputable. My best advice: always do your homework. Ask for references and happy client testimonials. If a publisher produces none then shy away. Also, ask for samples of their previously published books.



  • Your book's expenses are paid for by the publisher
  • You have no costs for the book itself
  • The publisher distributes to the bookstores
  • Royalties range from 8-12 percent
  • Royalties are paid annually or every 18 months to account for returns
  • You have layer upon layer to get to the publisher
  • Most publishers want you to have a platform or following before they will consider you
  • You must have an agent
  • It can take a long time to get an agent
  • It can take even longer to find a home for the manuscript
  • It can take 18 months to 24 months to get published
  • You still have to hire a publicist, as most publishers provide little promotion and marketing
  • You have to sell A LOT of copies to make any real money on royalties ranging from 8-12 percent
  • You have to write a book proposal (or know how to write one) to get an agent and/or publisher

  • You get distributed online and into the bookstores
  • Your book takes roughly six months to get published and/or printed
  • Your royalties range from 35 to 100 percent
  • You have more editorial control over the final product
  • You have more say in the cover selection and design
  • Each contract is typically profitable after the first 1,000 copies sold
  • The book becomes a best-seller you make all the money
  • It is easier for new authors to break into publishing using this model
  • The seasoned editorial expertise means your book will be high quality, and in some cases, better quality than a traditionally published book
  • You roll the dice and gamble on your own money
Are you ready to make your dream comes true? If so, please feel free to contact us by sending an email to or calling 916-300-8012. 

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