E-publishing With a Publisher Versus Self-publishing

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by Sabine A. Reed (If you’d like to guest post here, check out our guidelines.)

There is a lot of information available on self-publishing, including the amount authors are earning on books. JA Konrath and Amanda Hocking are only two of the self-published authors who are willing to share information regarding the money they earned, as well as other tricks of the trade. Surprisingly, there is little, if any data, available on writers who have signed contracts with e-publishers, that pay royalty (less than self-publishing) but give editing support.

One of the best advantages of working with an established e-publisher is that they have in-house editors who will edit your manuscript until it shines. Most likely, this person would have worked with other authors, is familiar with editing the kind of book you have written and knows what words with the readers. In self-publishing, you can pay a professional editor to do the same job, but you will have to do a lot of research to ensure that you have hired a person who knows what he is doing, especially in the genre that you are writing.

An electronic publisher has an established brand name, which means they will have a loyal customer base that trusts them to provide good books and content. By association, your work will get that stamp of approval and you will not have to start from ground zero while marketing your book.

Another advantage of working with an electronic publisher is that they have a set system of marketing which they do for each book that comes out of their house. Your book will automatically be send to their retailers and book reviewers. You will be required to do your own promotion but once again, you will be adding on to their marketing strategy and not starting from scratch.

A big plus of working with an e-publisher is the entry into a group of authors who are on the same journey and can support you in the e-publishing or promotion process. An electronic publisher gives you an ISBN as well as provides a cover page. They will format your book into various formats that are required for different retailers and e-book devices.

The downside of working with an e-publisher is that you lose control over the publishing date of your book as they will fit you into their calendar according to their needs. Also, the royalty rate is less than self-publishing.
The bottom line; it falls to the writer to decide her preferences but for first time writers, an e-publisher is a better choice because the guidance in terms of editing makes it a great learning experience.

Sabine A. Reed is a fantasy writer. Her first e-book The Black Orb is slated for a Fall 2011 release from Uncial Press. You can check her website or follow her on twitter .

Additional resources on self-publishing:


Image: Morguefile

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  1. says

    Good tips for a writer trying to decide which direction to go. And I am glad you pointed out that either way, it is still up to the author to promote and promote some more.


  2. Chris Chardon says

    “Surprisingly, there is little, if any data, available on writers who have signed contracts with e-publishers, that pay royalty (less than self-publishing) but give editing support.”

    Perhaps this should tell you something.

    The e-publishers undoubtedly have such data. And they are not sharing it.


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