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To Publish or not to Publish, is it really a question?

Publishing Options - Is self-publishing for me?

I want to make sure that you are able to make a knowledgeable decision moving forward. There are many unknowns when making a decision about a process that is new to you. When I first decided to self-publish, I was oblivious to any other options available. This article is all about educating and empowering you to make the decision that is right for you!

Let's first start with traditional publishing...

Traditional Publishing

The advantages with traditional publishers is that they know the book industry, they have connections with retailers and the relationships to set up sales with bookstores, libraries and schools. Additionally, they have the clout, budget and experience to arrange promotions and advertising, as well as get books to the top reviewers. The disadvantage is that you must land an agent first and the entire process from landing an agent to publication can take up to 3 years.

If you have a large platform and small body of completed work and want to invest time in securing an agent or publisher, this is your lane. This route will entail query letters, book proposals and some potential rejection. This is the route to take if you want to pursue a writing career. Traditional publishers will provide an advance. However, you will still be required to market your book. This route will also yield less creative control and ownership, but more stability. Book projects will take much longer and certain aspects of your story and design may be altered or changed.

Your royalties/licensing fees are negotiable to some extent, but as a new author you may not get very much initially. The royalties may average out to (5-15%) after the initial advance. You will also need to arrange and pay for your own publicity to get the necessary media attention.

Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid Publishing Agencies offer assisted publishing services to complete most of the work for you. They will provide packages to produce your self-published book including: editing, distribution, layout design, promotional materials, etc.. You can spend approx. $3500 on average. This option is best if you are limited on time, but have the funds to pay someone else to do the work. You will have to sign a contract and agree on the terms. We will review hybrid options throughout this course.

Now, let's review the reason why you decided to read this article...


If you have a built-in audience, money, passion, and time to do all of the leg work then this is your best option. You keep full creative control! Many have done a combination of all three publishing options throughout their career, so you don't have to just pick one option forever. Self-Publishing Made Simple online course is designed to walk you through this option. As an independent author your royalties will range from (40-70%). Depending on how many books you sell will determine if this number is greater or less than what you would make if traditionally published. The process from finished book to market takes far less time and if you are extremely successful in becoming a midlist author (25,000 books sold), the agents may come looking for you.

Did I mention... requires a few business moves.

If you plan to self-publish, you will need to select an imprint (publishing name). This can be the name of your company or just your author name. Some people may look down upon authors who publish under their own name because it communicates to the book industry that the work is self-published. Although self-publishing has earned more popularity and respect over the years, there are still some barriers. The best advice is to make it as professional as possible to stand up to all of the competition.

Talk to a business professional and a CPA or tax attorney who can provide you with the best business model for your situation and future goals.

Imprint Name - Official name you will publish under. Places where an Imprint is used:

  1. Official registry of book in print

  2. Library of Congress Filing

  3. Distribution Accounts

Doing Business As (DBA) Registry - Make sure the name is not already taken and you want the business to be legit.

Business Model set up - Sole Proprietor, LLC or Corp. You will need a way to report your earnings and royalties to the government.

Business Model Types:

  • Sole Proprietorship - With this model you and your business are the same. This can be done under your name or a DBA or fictitious business name.

  • LLC - The business that owns and operates your business assets. You and your business are separate.

  • Corporation - This separates you from your business assets. The business owns the assets and you own the business.

Separate Banking Account - This is a separate account from your personal account. This is the account you will use when setting up all of your distribution accounts so you can get paid.

Financial Bookkeeping System - You will need a way to keep track of what you are spending and earning. You can hire someone, pay for a software program, or do it yourself.

Whatever you do, avoid your business becoming a hobby!

For information about self-publishing and to register for the Self-Publishing Made Simple Course, visit

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