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Find a Publisher, Co-Publish or Self-Publish: Which One to Choose?

Copyright 2000 Mary Embree

Every case is different and we all have to answer that question for ourselves but here are a few pros and cons to think about.

Being published by an established book publisher

A. Advantages:

  1. You may get an advance
  2. The publisher pays for printing, editing, promotion, distribution, etc.
  3. It may be considered more professional than a self-published book

B. Disadvantages:

  1. You lose control of the project
  2. You will earn less per book sold
  3. It will take between 18 months to 2 years to get the book out


A. Advantages:

  1. The publisher may promote and distribute the book
  2. Author and publisher share production costs
  3. You will get professional advice

B. Disadvantages:

  1. You’ll give up some control
  2. You must share profits with the publisher
  3. There could be disagreements that are difficult to work out

Self-Publishing a Book the Traditional Way

A. Advantages:

  1. You will have total control
  2. All profits belong to you alone
  3. Once finished, you can get the book printed within one to two months
  4. You could realize a greater profit than any other way

B. Disadvantages:

  1. It can cost $3,000 and $10,000 or more to print 500 to 1,000 books
  2. Editing. Unless you can do it yourself, you must find a qualified editor
  3. Cover art, interior design, and typesetting must be done or paid for by you
  4. You must do all the promotion, distribution and sales

Self-Publishing Using Print-on-Demand

A. Advantages:

  1. Cost. Small numbers of the book can be printed costing $3 to $10 per book
  2. The book can be printed within a few days
  3. Also the same advantages as above

B. Disadvantages:

  1. Quality. Finding companies that do quality work on small print runs
  2. The cost per unit is higher when ordering small quantities
  3. The same disadvantages as above

Publishing as E-mail on the Internet

A. Advantages:

  1. There are no printing costs
  2. It can reach a wide market

B. Disadvantages:

  1. Getting paid by the reader
  2. Finding out how to reach a wide market

Publishing as an E-Book

For a detailed discussion of E-books, see the article by Virginia Lawrence.



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