Questions to Ask Indie Book Publishers before Signing Up

Many self-published authors have a love-hate relationship with indie publishing companies. However, it’s undeniable that these companies have provided value for authors. But no two indie publishers are the same. Look up all the book publishers that align with your goals, and narrow down your options to choose one that can meet your needs and preferences.

Here are questions to ask publishers.

1. Is the service nonexclusive?

Find out if their contract is nonexclusive. A nonexclusive contract means you’ll be free to sign up with another publishing service and sell your book rights to a traditional publisher or film producer. Most self-publishing companies offer nonexclusive services and do not dictate any creative control. But if you encounter an indie publisher that will lock you into their contracts for several years, consider moving on to the next one.

2. How is royalty calculated?

Traditional publishers earn by taking a cut from your book sales. This is the biggest difference between traditional and indie publishers. While some self-publishing companies give you 100% of book sales, some will keep 10-20% of your list price. This is very important because if, for example, you list your book at $0.99 and the publisher keeps 10% of your revenue, your earnings will be significantly reduced.

3. Will I control my book’s retail price?

You also want to be able to set your book’s retail price, unless you prefer giving your publisher the right to decide on your book’s list price. This could be a bad thing if the company sells your book at an unreasonably high or low price. You want to be able to earn from your book, but you also want it to be sold at a consumer-friendly price.

Remember these questions so you can make informed decisions and so you can enjoy the publishing journey ahead of you.

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