Self-Publishing – Pros & Cons

There are a lot of things to consider if you are planning on self-publishing your manuscript. If you are a writer, you don’t need to be told that the publishing industry has changed dramatically with the introduction of technology and print on demand companies. The question for writers who have not been offered a contract with one of the big five companies is whether to self-publish or wait for an offer.

Pros of self-publishing

  1. Speed – there is no question, self-publishing is faster, even if you received a contract in the mail today.
  2. Good Company – There are quite a few famous authors that have chosen to go the self-publishing route. Some have sold many copies of their books through Amazon’s print on demand. Others have secured a contract from one of the big five publishers after moderate success from self-publishing. While some people look down on self-publishing – you can’t argue with success. Self-publishing does not mean you have to stop submitting your manuscript to the big five.
  3. Royalties – While it may be likely that you will sell less books when you self-publish, print on demand companies like Amazon typically pay 70% commission on eBooks and 60% on the net profit of paperback books. Most traditional publishers pay an average of 10% royalties. So, you have to sell 5 or 6 times as many books to break even.
  4. Control – Self-publishing lets you keep control. Control of the price; control of the content. When you use a traditional publisher, you actually sell the rights of your book to the publisher. When you self-publish you keep all the rights. You make all the decisions.

Draw Backs of Self-Publishing

  1. All the Work – you have to do all the work from, editing, to formatting, to marketing. You can hire various people to do things like editing or formatting. You can find a marketing company. With a traditional publishers, they handle all of that. Well, at least the editing and formatting. Many authors have complained about the lack of marketing, even with a Big Five contract.
  2. Cost – It can cost a lot to self-publish. While it is true, the print on demand companies like Amazon do not charge and upfront fee, neither do they help you. People have written books on how to prepare your manuscript for Amazon. If you are not tech savvy, it can present a big challenge. Unless you can figure it all out on your own, you will have some costs. When looking for help, weigh the cost in time and money.
  3. Time – While time was one of the pros, it can also be a drawback if you don’t know what you are doing. Especially with the concept of your time. The pro is that there is not a lot of wait time that is experienced with the traditional publishers. However, self-publishing does require a lot of your time in editing, formatting, and marketing.  It takes time to find a good editor. If you are formatting yourself, it takes a lot of time to get it right. One little mistake and your whole book is thrown out of whack.


Look for an independent publisher and have the best of both worlds. There are many companies out that that will help. Some independent Publishers work just like the Big Five, which puts you back to where you started. Others, offer services in exchange for a fee. At Anchor Book Press we are a hybrid publisher. We offer reasonable rates that allows you to partner with us to publish your book with a minimum amount of time, frustration, and money. You decide if you want the premium package to save time and energy or you are on a tight budget an will go with an economy package, paying for just the services you need. Visit us at for more information.  We offer  complete publishing packages that includes some marketing and advice on record keeping to avoid penalties from Uncle Sam  in addition to editing and formatting. Our experienced staff can also edit or format your manuscript without other services.