Blog: 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.

Traditional Publishers: These are the big 5 publishers. Writers submit manuscripts. Publishers accept manuscript and offer a contract. However, as most writers know it is very difficult to get someone to even read your manuscript, much less offer you a contract. It is a very long process. These publishers offer:

  • Advance (though it may be small)
  • Auto-Listing on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
  • Market Support (often not what is expected)
  • Wholesale distribution
  • Orders for wholesale are filled for you
  • Accept risks of publishing
  • Editor changes your book to control risks
  • Publisher owns your book and copyright

Self-Publishers: Writers who are going through Amazon or a similar company to publish their book.

  • Retain 100% of rights to your book
  • Control the content of your book
  • Set retail pricing
  • Higher royalty rates
  • Listed on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  • Obtain editing services on your own
  • Format document and create cover independently

Independent Publishers: Otherwise known as indie publishers. This is the most rapidly growing type of publisher in the book publishing industry. As a matter of fact, some indie publishers are now so large they do not take unsolicited manuscripts. Anchor Book Press, Ltd is a new publishing company and we are currently considering all manuscripts that fit our submission guidelines. Anchor Book Press, Ltd offers the following advantages:

  • Author keeps 100% of the rights to your book
  • Auto-listing on Amazon
  • Author controls content – editing needs your approval
  • ISBN is included in your package
  • Author sets retail price – guidance on best return rates
  • Author receives higher royalty rates – up to 70% on e-books and 60% on paperbacks, less printing cost
  • Print on demand – no stockpile of books you must store
  • Your book will be listed in Books in Print
  • Support for editing – changes subject to your approval
  • Support for formatting e-books and paperbacks
  • Record keeping tips – avoid problems with the IRS
  • Fast turn-around – instead of years, your book can be published in months
  • Risks are shared by author and publisher
  • Author retains ownership of the book and the copyright
  • Lowest cost in the industry for author