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Silver Spring, MD
United States


Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

Save Money as an Indie Self-Publisher

Biff Barnes

Who should publish your book? Every author faces the same choice. Increasingly the choice is between “assisted self-publishing” and becoming an “indie” who truly self-publishes.

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Before you sign up for an all-inclusive package with a heavily advertised giant like Author House, Xlibris, or Outskirts Press it’s important to understand that when you choose one of them you will pay an inflated price for every book they print for you.

Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self Publishing presented some useful cost projections on his website.

According to Levine, if you published a 250 page 6”X 9” black and white book with Author House the cost of printing the book would be $4.65. If your book was selling on the Author House site for $9.99, after you subtract the printing cost, you would receive a 5% royalty of $0.50 on each sale, while Author House would retain an additional $4.75 beyond the cost of printing, a 47.5% royalty.

Suppose you wanted to purchase 50-100 copies of your 200 page 6”X 9” black and white book to sell at an author talk, book signing or other event. Author House would charge you $9.15 per book, a 135% markup on the cost of printing.

Whether you are a commercial author seeking to profit from book sales or an author who wants a small number of books for family and friends, publishing with a company like Author House will make your book much more expensive than it should be. If you are a commercial author that means a higher retail price for your book and probably fewer sales when readers compare that price with less expensive books of the same genre. If you are buying books to distribute to a small audience, it means a significantly higher out of pocket cost.

One of the most important reasons for indie publishing is to avoid these exorbitant costs. By shopping for a printer you can get your books printed at a significantly lower cost and still hit the distribution channels you want.

If you choose the indie self-publishing route, contact us at Stories To Tell. We can help!