Secret #1 Royalties won’t make you rich.

Generally speaking, hardcover books pay royalty rates of 10% on the first one to 250,000 copies sold.  So if your book has a cover price of $25.00, then you will earn a $2.50 royalty on every copy sold, up to 250,000 copies. 

This means that if you only sell 10,000 copies, then you will only earn $25,000.  Keep in mind that your agent gets 15% of this too, and all of this is paid after you’ve earned your advance.  Paperback royalties pay an average of 6%. 

And some publishing contracts even stipulate that if your book doesn’t earn back its advance, you owe them!

In addition to that, publishers can withhold your royalties as a reserve against book returns and you’re still responsible for promoting your own book, which can mean hiring a publicist.  There goes your advance!

So….if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself, meaning packaging, printing, distributing, and promoting your book, every single cent from every single sale goes directly into your pocket.  So if you sell 1000 books at 19.99 each, you’ve made $19,990.  That’s three times what you’d make if you had sold it to a publishing house. 

Secret #2 You don’t keep creative control.

Did you know that 60% of publishers do not give you final approval on copyediting? 

It’s true. 

It’s your book.  Your name is going on it, right?  Your reputation, your satisfaction and your pride.  Of  course you should have final say.

But it gets worse…23% don’t give you the right to choose your title or cover design.  And more than 1/3 don’t involve you in the book’s promotion. 

You have little to no control over your book with a traditional publishing house.  How are you supposed to profit from your book if you have no say?  Presumably you know your market better than the publishers because you are your market. 

Self-publishing gives you 100% control.  You make the decisions about your book.  Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t seek guidance from experienced publishers.  Many publish or print on demand companies offer valuable guidance with cover design and typesetting, but ultimately the final decision is yours to make.

Secret #3 Self publishing is a respected form of publishing, even by the major publishing houses.

In fact, 78% of books sold come from small and self-publishers. Self-publishing is a viable means of publishing.  Mark Twain, Richard Nixon, L.Ron Hubbard, John Grisham, Henry David Thoreau, and even Edgar Allen Poe have self-published.           

You might be familiar with these self-published book titles: "What Color is Your Parachute?", "The Celestine Prophecy", "The One Minute Manager", and most recently the children's fiction book "Eragon," which was picked up by a major publisher.  The movie rights were sold and the young author is well on his way to fortune and fame.

Traditional publishing is certainly a viable and well respected means for publishing a book, but it isn’t perfect.  If you want full control over your book including what it looks like, the copy inside, and how it is marketed, then self publishing may be exactly what you’re looking for.

For more information on how you can achieve your publishing dreams visit

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