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Reasons to Self-Publish

by Ron Kurtus (revised 17 November 2017)

Instead of taking the route of going through a traditional publisher or purchasing a publishing package, many writers turn to self-publishing to get their books published.

There are several reasons an author would want to self-publish his or her book.

A major reason many turn to self-publishing is that established publishers are probably not interested in the topic of the book. Another factor is that the traditional publishing turnaround time can be months, if not years, and many writers want their book out as soon as possible. Finally, a self-publisher has more control of how a book is distributed and can also make more money on each book sale.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Publishers not interested

You can submit a book idea or a sample chapter to a publisher in hopes they will agree to publish the book. You can also go through a literary agent, who will submit the book proposal to the publisher. But most often the publishers will reject the book proposal as something not of interest to them.

Although some will book proposal material is simply poorly written or the concept is not too appealing, most often the reason for rejection is that the publisher does not feel it is a salable concept. Publishers must invest a considerable amount of money to publish a book, and they mainly deal in the mass market. So they need to determine whether or not a book will do well in bookstore sales.

Often a book concept may be aimed at a very narrow market. Even if the concept is fantastic, the publisher cannot make enough sales to warrant printing and promoting such a book. That type of book is better off being self-published.

Slow turnaround time

Another reason to self-publish a book is the fact that in going through mainstream publishers, the turnaround time can be fairly long. You may have to wait six months to a year after submitting your final copy to the publisher before the book is released. And you may have to wait even longer until you get your royalty checks.

There are some publishers that will immediately print books that are based on a recent news event. Going through such a publisher is only effective if that is the type of book you are writing.

If you would like to have your book published immediately, the best route is self-publishing.

Can make more money

If you have an extremely hot subject where the publisher feels they can make a large number of sales from such a book, you may get a cash advance to write the book. But such situations are rare, unless you are already a name author.

When going through a publisher, your royalty or commission on each book is fairly small. You may make at most 10% of the sales price per book sold. That means for a $25 book, you will get $2.50 each. Usually it is much less.

When you self-publish, you can make a 25% to 50% profit per book or more.


One reason writers turn to self-publishing is that established publishers are not interested in such a book. Thus, there is no other choice but to self-publish. Another reason is that the turnaround publishing time can be months if not years, while a self-publishers can get their books out shortly after they are completed. Finally, self-publisher can make more money on book sales that the traditional book royalties.

Consider all the angles

Resources and references

Author's Credentials


Publishing Resources


Top-rated books on Self-Publishing

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School for Champions

Self-Publishing topics

Reasons to Self-Publish

Self-Publishing topics

Initial considerations

Write book

Select publishing route

Start publishing business


Structure of book

Design book

Design cover

Publish hardcopy book

Publish e-book

Prepare to market

Convert format

Check Copy in eReader

Distribution and sales

Sell books

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