Monday, May 6, 2013


by Jean Joachim

I have both self-pubbed and had books published by a publisher. Here are some pros and cons to both self-publishing and going through a publisher:



• You make more money per book for self-published books. For example, Amazon will pay you about $2.00 for each $2.99 book you sell on your own. A publisher only gives you a percentage of that income, not the entire amount.

• You have total control over your editing, cover, title, heat level, character names, release date, everything.

• You can get your book up on Smashwords affiliates, like Kobo, Apple, Sony and so on – sites some publishers ignore. These sites are generating more sales all the time.

• You can read your sales accurately every day. It’s not possible to get totally accurate sales figures from novel rank.


• You have to pay for editing, a cover, maybe formatting, pictures for your cover and other out-of-pocket expenses. Can you afford a proofreader, too?

• You have to find good sources for those tasks. Reliable, talented, affordable people.

• You have to do all your marketing yourself.

• You don’t have a group of ready-made, supportive people. You have to gather your own group.

• You don’t have the marketing clout that your publisher may have. And you can’t participate in the author group activities scheduled by some publishers.

• You have to find your own book reviews.

• You cannot benefit from the experience and wisdom of a publisher and a group of authors.

• Within your own publishing house it’s much easier to find authors to exchange blog guest spots rather than to hunt up those opportunities on your own.



• You have access to experienced professionals, editors, proofreaders, and cover designers with proven track records and they don’t cost you a dime.

• You’re part of a group of people whose writing has been given the stamp of approval by your publisher, as opposed to writers you meet online, whose work you don’t know.

• By sharing information throughout your group, you can take advantage of new marketing opportunities, new research sources, and industry news, as well as learn from the experiences of your peers.

• You don’t have to do all your own marketing – though many publishers today don’t do much in the way of marketing.

• Authors are readers, too. I buy and read many books from my fellow SCP authors and they do the same with mine. Sales you don’t have to work for.

• You can rely on your publisher to get you some reviews.


• You receive less money.

• Your publisher has the final word on your editing, cover, release date, and so on.

• You may only receive payment quarterly instead of monthly.

• You are locked in for several years and if you have a dispute it may be hard to get your rights back.

• You can’t track your sales accurately from day to day.

• You have less control overall.

I’m sure I’ve missed issues and I don’t mean to tout one method over another. Everyone has to make the choice that’s right for them. I hope these guidelines prove helpful.♥

Jean Joachim is an award-winning author, a wife, a mother of two boys and owner of a rescued pug named Homer. She writes contemporary romance and has been writing non-fiction for over twenty years and fiction for three. A native New Yorker, she still lives in New York City. Visit her website at

1 comment:

  1. Interesting pro/con comments. I'm in the publisher camp.