8-12 percent royalties -- when you use services like my company 3L Publishing, royalties range from 35 to 100 percent. If you sell 10,000 copies at 10 percent, say, for $10 books, that is a $1 a book. You've made $10,000. If earn 35 percent of that same $10 it's $3.50 per book, which is $35,000. You can quickly see why some big names decide to publish independently.
Agent Fees: Now let's take that $10,000 and pay the agent who got you the traditionally published deal. Most agents take between 10 to 20 percent. For the sake of easy math, let's subtract your agent's fee of $1,000 for your $10,000 and now you have $9,000. The self-published author with a name, still has his/her $35,000.
Which would you rather have?
- $9,000 for selling 10,000 books, which in the literary world is a lot of books ... OR
- $35,000 for 10,000 books, and this doesn't count eBooks where you can make roughly 70 percent of sales and sell that same book for $9.99.
Guess what else you don't get with a traditionally published book? Editorial control or input. Whatever that publisher says and how it goes. Don't like their input and changes, too bad. They acquired your manuscript and they own the copyright. Youe opinion while respected and perhaps heard will not hold final weight or decision -- the publisher's opinion will be the last word.