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Traditional VS Self-Publishing

A dialog between Saba Tekle and Dennis Ross, Award-winning Ghostwriter


What is the biggest misconception of traditional publishing?

You will earn more being traditionally published vs. self-published and having your books in bookstores mean you will be selling more books.

You can get a $1 million dollar advance, which would mean they know they can get three to four times as much and after paying that back in book sales, your royalties is 0.8 - 0.12 percent per book. It can range to about $.08 - $1.00.

So they would say, ‘sign with this commercial house and you’ll be in Barnes & Nobles and Hudson News – your face will be everywhere, people will know you’re an author. ... (but we’ll keep all the money).’

Conversely, if you have a great book and you sell that book online and end up selling 5,000 copies, you’ll make more than selling 100,000 copies for the publisher. So you may not be ‘famous’ with these 5,000 copies because you’re not in all the bookstores, but your financial reward will be greater.

Do authors write their own book?

Ghostwriters are usually hired to write the books for the most famous authors. Ghostwriters cost on the low end $10,000, but can also start on the high end of $80,000 - $250,000.

Your book will outlive you, it is your legacy, so how can you put a cost on that.

Who is responsible for marketing the book once it is published?

Whether traditionally published or self-published, authors are solely responsible for selling their books. Now, if an author is already a celebrity or getting a lot of media attention and book sales are soaring, the company that published them may back them. They may book them for one or two things, but ultimately the responsibility is with the author.

So then what is the benefit of being an author?

People launch their careers using a book because it positions them as an expert.

The guy that wrote the book on ‘How to Build Your Own Swimming Pool’ will now be hired to build someone’s pools because he’s the guy that wrote the book on it.


A client of his spent around $80,000 to put together a book, sold 3,500 copies, which doesn’t sound like much but he used it to target a specific market. In turn, his business did $12,000,000 as result of it.



What is the difference between Tradition VS Self-Publishing?


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