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Publishing Options Chart

Book publishing is complicated, confusing, and rapidly changing. The chart below gives a broad overview addressing questions authors frequently ask me. Each of the following publishing options has its drawbacks and benefits.


Although the following chart offers accurate information for most projects, there are exceptions to every rule—aspects of your particular book could result in outcomes different from what you see here. For instance, some authors retain intellectual property rights even when they work with a traditional publisher, and traditional book publishers are beginning to offer a la carte service that characterize self and hybrid publishers. For more information go to Publishing Overview

Publishing Option Intellectual Property Ownership Book Distribution Marketing Author Profit Upfront Costs (Print)
Self Author Author’s responsibility Author’s responsibility 40% to 70% Production, distribution, and fulfillment
Traditional Publisher Publisher’s responsibility Author and publisher’s responsibility 6% to 15% royalty minus advances none
Hybrid Author Publisher’s responsibility Author’s responsibility/ publishers offer services at a cost 30% to 35% Production, distribution, and fulfillment

Overall, self and hybrid publishing provide authors higher per-unit payouts than traditional publishing. Meanwhile, traditional publishers take on book production costs but pay authors less per unit sold.


There is no one-size fits all formula to determine the option best for you. To address the specifics of your project, complete the contact form on the left or call me today.