BASICS OF SELF-PUBLISHING
Traditional Commercial Publishing: A commercial publisher purchases the right to publish a book, and pays the author a percentage (typically 10%) of net sales (aka “royalty rate.”). Most also pay the author an advance against those anticipated royalties. The traditional commercial publishing house handles every aspect of editing, publication, distribution, and marketing at no cost to the author. Books are owned by the publisher and remain in the publisher’s possession until sold. The process of acquiring books for publishing at these houses is highly selective.
Self-Publishing: There are several forms of self-publishing, and for our purposes, we’ll distinguish between “self” publishing and “independent” publishing, as the two are quite different in a number of ways (not the least being the stigma that is often applied to self-publishing – but I’ll talk about that more in subsequent posts). With self-publishing, the devil is in the details – so it’s very important to understand the differences between the various forms: