Monday, April 10, 2023

Should You Self-Publish?



For many authors: “Should I self-publish?” is a question that has two answers. It’s either, “No one else wants me, so I have no choice but to self-publish,” or it’s:  “I would love to control when and how my book gets published -- and to cut out a useless middleman. Why wouldn’t I self-publish?” 

There are plenty of pros-cons to publishing a book in a variety of ways. Let’s explore: 

Traditional Publisher (Big 5)

These big boys run the industry. It’ll take a literary agent to pierce the gatekeepers. The process from query to book could last 18-24 months. But they produce quality books, have strong distribution, and can sell foreign and film rights to a book.  

Medium-Sized Publisher

Same as Big 5, but not as huge. They are willing to take a modest risk but they can’t afford huge advances. 

Small Press

They make up for size with a passion to publish books they believe in.  

University Press

Smallish in size but they are good at marketing their books. Offers a brand name publisher if prestige is important to you.  


It’s a form of self-publishing that can be more expensive or less expensive than self-publishing, depending on what they will do for you and how they split expenses and revenues.  


Avoid going with self-publishing companies. They are merely going to publish through Amazon KDP. or Ingram Spark -- but charge you high fees to do so. Then, they’ll try to talk you into costly editing, cover design, or useless marketing programs. To publish on your own, use Amazon KDP and their 90-day exclusivity window -- then add Ingrams Spark which provides you with access to being carried by bookstores. 

Self-publishing allows you to decide things like: Title of the book, publishing format, book price, editing, cover design, and all decisions about your content. It provides you with a chance to make more money for each book sold vs. a low royalty rate from a book publisher. It lacks prestige and you may feel the burden of being the author AND publisher but you also have freedom, control, and the power to shape your destiny. 

Self-publishing in 2022 was a big option. Out of around 2.7 million new titles released last year, more than 80% were self-published. The competition for book sales is fierce, but if you have a good book and do a decent job at marketing, you have a chance to establish your brand and build book sales.  

If you self-publish, you will follow the footsteps of some hugely successful authors whom at one point self-published and went on to each sell a gazillion books. Whom do you think I’m talking about? Try these names: 

  • J.K Rowling of Harry Potter glory
  • EL James of 50 Shades of Gray stardom
  • Andy Wick of The Martian fame
  • Amanda Hocking of Watersong notoriety
  • James Redfield of The Celestine Prophecy success 

You may also have heard of these self-published authors:

  • Mark Twain
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Wayne Dyer
  • Stephen King
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Beatrix Potter 

However you publish, keep writing, and push to make your dreams come true! 

FYI, samples of best-selling books rejected by at least 20 book publishers:


  1. Dubliners by James Joyce
  2. M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker
  3. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison by Charles Shaw
  4. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl
  5. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  6. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
  7. Lorna Doone by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  8. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
  9. The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter
  10. Dune by Frank Herbert
  11. Chicken Soup for the Soul by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield


Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.3 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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