Self-publishing Options

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Self-publishing is no longer as expensive as the days when people were forced to use vanity publishers if they did not go the traditional publishing route. There are many more options available for authors. We are only exploring some of the more known options. Several of the places offer paid services should you need their assistance in publishing or formatting your book, including book cover design. These are generally optional services. If you have the ability to do the work yourself (formatting, book cover, editing, etc.) without assistance from these publishing venues, then they are listed as ‘no fees’. We will examine electronic, print and audio publishing.




KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing is part of Amazon. It is one of the most popular forms of publishing. Amazon has great customer service. It is easy to change your price. You can earn up to 70% in royalties. Books priced below $2.99 are only eligible to receive 35% in royalties. Amazon also offers the KDP Select program. In exchange for giving them exclusivity, you will earn 70% on books priced over $2.99, you can earn money from KOLL (lending library), and you are given 5 days to promote your book for free for every 90 days in the program. You do not have to enroll your book in the KDP Select program; then you will be able to publish your book electronically elsewhere as well as with Amazon. Amazon pays out royalties two months after a sales month ends, provided you have made at least $10. No fees.


Nook Press  Nook Press is part of Barnes and Noble and publishes on Nook. It is relatively easy to use, but formatting will be slightly different than Kindle formatting on Amazon. Nook Press does not require any exclusivity with them, which means you can publish your book electronically with other places. You can earn 65% royalties for books priced $2.99 and above; and 40% for books priced $2.98 and lower. Nook Press pays out royalties two months after a sales month ends, provided you have made at least $10. No fees.


Kobo Kobo does not require exclusivity, so you are able to publish your book electronically elsewhere. You can publish to Kobo through: Smashwords, Author Solutions, eBook it, Book Pod (Australia), Book Hub, Fast pencil, eBook Partnership (UK), Book Baby, Bookmasters, or National Book Network. Kobo pays 45% royalties for books priced under $1.99. They pay a 70% royalty for books priced between $1.99-$12.99. Kobo pays 45 days after the end of each monthly period, provided you have made at least $100. If you have not made the minimum, Kobo will pay every 6 months. No fees.


Smashwords Smashwords has the ability to publish your book in multiple formats: Amazon Kindle, the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, the Sony Reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook, your personal computer, Android devices, and others. You can earn 60% of the list price for sales through major retailers, earn 85% net for sales at the Smashwords Store, and 70.5% for sales originated through their network of affiliate marketers. Smashwords pay royalties 40 days after the end of each quarter. Accrued earnings must be over $75 for U.S. authors who wish to be paid by check, and $10 for those who want electronic payment via Paypal. No fees.


BookTango BookTango allows you to publish your book for free through their website and make 100% of your royalties. Outside retailers (their affiliates) may charge fees. Sales are updated with a 72 hour delay. Royalty reports show quarterly. Royalties will be paid 60 days after the quarter ends. No fees.


Print CreateSpace allows you to set your book up for print for free, or you can use their paid services. You are not required to buy any minimum amount of copies, however whenever your are proofing your print copy, you will need to buy a copy of the proof so that you may check out the copy for formatting, errors, etc. You can enter in your projected amount of pages and price you intend to sell your book at in their Royalty Calculator in order to determine if you are pricing your book appropriately in order to make royalties off of the book. It will also give the projected price of buying author copies of the book. You can view the Royalty Calculator at: If you wish to utilize Expanded Distribution (more online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors within the United States) it will cost you $25.


Lulu Lulu allows you to publish both print and eBook formats. Lulu also provides paid services should you need help publishing your book. There is a Cost Calculator available on their website to determine the cost of your book. You have the ability to price your own books.


BookieJar  BookieJar offers 70% royalties. There are no processing fee, hosting fees, or other hidden cost. BookieJar will make payment to writers through credit card service or Paypal. Royalties are paid the end of each month as long as the total is greater than $20.


Lightning Source  Lightning Source charges $12 a year per title. Titles are listed in the Print-to-Order program—and exclusive service that allows Ingram to display 100 copies on hand at all times. There is very little information available on their website. Authors would need to contact them concerning using their services. You will have to purchase your own ISBN. If you have errors in your book, it will cost you $40 to upload a revised book cover or text.




ACX  ACX allows you to either record your own book, or contract narrators to record your book on audio. Audible has the right to distribute your book for seven years after it is done. You can choose an exclusive or non-exclusive distribution option. Your income from audiobook sales will depend on how many books you sell. ACX pays higher royalties to Rights Holders that choose exclusive distribution over non-exclusive distribution. If you grant ACX exclusive distribution rights then your book sold on,, and iTunes.


There are three payment options for ACX:


Pay-for-Production Deals: Audible Exclusive Distribution rights


Pay-for-Production Deals: Audible Exclusive Non-Distribution rights


Rights Holder and Procuders: Royalty Share Deals


One thing to consider with places that have affiliate programs, it is not always as easy to change the price of your book. You can change it very easily at Amazon (KDP) and Barnes and Noble (Pubit), but if your book is listed through an affiliate program, it may take weeks to change the price and may require following up with them, along with the company you published it through to begin with, before you can get the price changed. I recommend determining your price ahead of time so that you can avoid this problem.


Should you choose self-publishing, be sure to check out my book, Self-Publishing Tips and Marketing Resources for places to promote your book, Twitter resources, places to download pictures for book covers and so much more, with over 200+ links it is any writer’s companion, self-published, or traditionally published.


I wish you the best of luck.


Books by Susette Williams:


Self-Publishing Tips and Marketing Resources

Maid for Murder: Deadly Business

Accidental Meeting

Falling in Love (Seasons of the Heart)

Winter Chill (Seasons of the Heart)

The Quakers of New Garden (New Garden’s Conversion)


Books for Children:

Wacky Wishes

The ‘In’ Crowd (Life With Stef)

On My Own (Life With Stef)


Author Website:



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  1. Delighted to find your site and especially the book shown here today Self-Publishing Tips,for my self its perfect I was only asking an editor yesterday how many pages is for such and such a book to be a decent size, but they haven’t got back to me as yet so I purchased your book and I am extremely pleased . Many thanks .


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