Indie Publisher Pros & Cons

Thus far in the series, I’ve covered the Four Basic Publishing choices, the NY Big Boys, Literary Agents, and Independent Publishers. Before we go on to Basic Choice #3: “Self Publishing,” let’s recap with a Pro/Con list for the indie publishing avenue.


  • Validity and prestige of being picked up by a publisher
  • A team working with you that are usually very author-centered
  • Possible marketing budget & in-house publicist, depending on size
  • Possible Industry connections
  • Possible Media connections
  • Possibly good distribution and stocked in bookstores
    (sorry for all these possibles, but it’s just a wide variety, it really depends on the size publishing house, the relationships they’ve built in the industry, and what they offer)
  • Possible advance
  • With some indie publishers, you’ll be able to keep some of the publishing right, like merchandising, movie/TV, electronic, etc… not an option at all with NY Big Boys
  • You get a larger percentage (10-20%) than a NY Big Boy
  • Most indie publishers are actually in a better financial state in the current economy than the NY Big Boys are
  • You can retain more control over your book and not have to deal with the publishing end of it (ISBN #s, Library of Congress, US Copyright, printing costs, etc.)


  • It’s still up to you to market your book, and you have to share the returns
  • It will take 1-3+ years to see your book in print after acquisition
  • As with any publisher, if after you sign the papers they don’t treat you or your book well, you could’ve just lost the right to publish or find another publisher for years. Know what your signing. Talk to several of their other authors. Have an escape clause in the contract if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain (like paying you royalties on time, sending you accounting reports on time, and keeping the book in print [i.e. keeping up with the print demand])
  • There are a gazillion indie publishers out there, and it’s up to you do research which are legit, which are mostly “self-publishers,” and which ones are crooks

On the next segment, I’ll start talking about Basic Choice #3 “Self-Publishing,” and I’ll explain why I always put that word in quotation marks. 😀 There is a lot of information for this choice, so I’ll break it up over several days.





5 Comments Add yours

  1. kelly wright says:

    Where is the best place to get the answers to all those scary questions – the basic one is who do we trust? I have pulling up small publishers that Agent Query reccommends but there has to be more. What a scary business we chose but we really didn’t have a choice did we? oh I do follow you on twitter!

    1. christinerose says:

      So pleased you follow me on Twitter. Thank you!
      Who do you trust? First, if they’re trying to make money off of you, be very, very wary. Remember, money flows toward the author, not the other way around.
      Second, if they’re trying to get you to sign over your publishing rights for nothing, be very, very wary. Unless they have extensive distribution; i. e. can get you *on the shelf* in every major bookstore across the country or, at the very least, has distribution in place with a sales representative to get you into at least some bookstores, you can do better yourself self-publishing.
      It is scary, but any business who is dealing with artists are full of sharks trying to prey on our dreams. Best defense: educate yourself.

      1. kelly ann wright says:

        Thank you for the advice on indie publisher’s I will forward to your blogs on self pubing. Yes that route scares me too. They keep sending me emails they are worse that telemarketers

      2. christinerose says:

        Stay away from vanity presses. Those are the ones sending your emails.

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