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What is self-publishing?

Learn how to self-publish a book in 2020.

Self-publishing is when an author publishes their work without a traditional book publisher, retaining control of all creative decisions, publishing costs, and royalty profits. Self-publishing has been around for centuries. But within the past few years, it’s evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry that empowers all writers to take control of their publishing dreams.

The benefits of self-publishing

The freedom to choose

When you choose to self-publish your book, you have the independence to decide every step in your publishing journey:

  • What type of editing your book deserves
  • Your book type and format
  • Your book cover and interior design
  • Where your book is distributed
  • How your book is promoted

Time is on your side

Self-publishing authors can have their books published and for ready sale within weeks of completing their manuscript. Traditional publishing can take anywhere from 18-24 months to reach the marketplace.

There’s more money in it

Authors that publish traditionally generally receive between 12-20% in book royalties, depending on whether your book is a paperback, hardcover, or an eBook. Self-published eBooks can earn between 60-70% in royalties. Printed books can earn up to 50% when sold directly to readers.

A great way to build credibility

Self-publishing a book proves you have what it takes to become an author on your own. Many authors have used their success as an independent author to gain the interest of traditional publishing houses.

What types of authors use self-publishing?

Self-publishing is right for anyone that wants to publish a book. This includes photographers and artists, chefs and cooks, entrepreneurs and business professionals, educators and field experts, public speakers, graphic novelists, and writers of all fiction and non-fiction genres.

With you every step of the way

Self-publishing vs. Traditional publishing

Traditional publishing is when you sell your book rights to a book publisher (usually with the aid of an agent) and in return the publisher pays you royalties from book sales.

With traditional publishing, the book publisher covers the expenses and does all of the heavy lifting, including editing, design, and marketing, etc. But since the publisher owns the book rights, they also make the final decisions on how your book is edited, what your book cover looks like, and all other aspects of your book—whether you like it or not.

See all the differences between traditional and self-publishing
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Self-publishing vs. Hybrid publishing

Hybrid publishing is an alternate publishing solution that combines elements of traditional and self-publishing. There’s no clear-cut definition since hybrid publishing is unique to every author. This publishing path depends on who you are as an author, your publishing goals, and other variables only you can decide.

Learn how hybrid publishing works
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Self-publish your book with BookBaby

BookBaby is your one-stop shop for custom book printing, professional book design, and effective book marketing services. Our team of publishing experts will support you throughout your publishing journey with the answers and resources needed to make the book of your dreams.

Want to know more about self-publishing and how our Publishing Specialists help transform your finished manuscript into a professionally published book? Start here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does book printing work?

First select your trim size. If you would like to use a trim size that is not included in our standard options please select the size that closest fits your needs... Read more.

How much does it cost to self-publish a book?

Depending on the types of services you want, costs to self-publish your book will vary. Please see our pricing page for details.

What services does BookBaby Print offer?

BookBaby offers self-publishing services such as book cover design, formatting, editing, Print On Demand, and more. See BookBaby’s list of self-publishing services.

Who is BookBaby?

BookBaby has grown to become the nation’s leading self-publishing company. We believe in People Powered Publishing, which means our crew of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists are dedicated to helping all writers self-publish successfully.

From first-timers to veterans, novelists to photographers, we’ve helped thousands prove that it doesn’t take a traditional publishing deal to bring a dream to life. You can do it yourself—and BookBaby has friendly customer service, knowledgeable publishing specialists, and quality book printing you need to get the job done. Read more here.

What is the BookBaby guarantee?

You can buy with the highest confidence knowing that your eBook or printed books will be produced to your complete satisfaction. If there are any issues with the quality and craftsmanship of your book project, we will work with you to make it right or we will refund your money. It’s as simple as that. Our team of publishing experts is just a phone call or email away with answers, advice and more for your publishing projects. See complete details.

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