Publishing FACT Sheet

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By Kristen Eckstein, Ultimate Book Coach. Traditional Publishing Facts. • 5 main publishers control 80% of book sales: Random House, Time Warner,.
What’s The Difference Between Traditional Publishing and Independent Publishing? By Kristen Eckstein, Ultimate Book Coach

Traditional Publishing Facts 

5 main publishers control 80% of book sales: Random House, Time Warner, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Disney, and Viacom/CBS. They won't take on a title unless it will sell at least 50,000 copies; 10,000 within the first year of publication.

Most publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts.

You usually need a Literary Agent.

Publishers (& Agents) only accept 1-2% of author submissions

Royalty amounts are typically 5-10% of the sales.

An initial advance for an unproven author is very small.

Timeline from acceptance of your manuscript to seeing your book finished & printed is 18 months – 1 ½ years.

Midlist & lowlist authors must do almost all (if not all) of your own promotion and pay for it.

Best-selling authors promote their own books. The publisher only prints & distributes it.

Being traditionally published once doesn’t guarantee future projects.

Publishers typically change the title, content and even the main characters.

You won’t always get the type of cover design you want.

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Most publishers only pay out royalties once or twice per year.

“A larger publisher must sell 10,000 books to break even.” - Brian DeFiore, Maui Writers Conference

“70% of the books published do not earn out their advance or make a profit.” Jerrold Jenkins

Self-Publishing Facts (Independent): 

78% of titles come from a small press or self-publisher

“The largest risk in self-publishing is often the author's time.” Peter Hupalo

Of the authors surveyed by Business Week, 96 percent said they realized a significant positive impact on their businesses from writing a book and would recommend the practice. -

Start-up costs are lower than you think.

Pre-established distribution is available to you.

Self-published books are easily marketed on the Internet.

Keep 100% of the profits (Typically 50-70% of the cover price).

Books can be designed, printed and distributed in as little as 2 months.

100% control over the title, cover and content.

You can change direction or genre at will.

Money-making potential is higher than traditional publishing.

You don’t have to wait months or years to start getting paid.

Book quality is the same as what you’d see on a bookstore shelf.

If your book is discovered by a traditional publisher after it’s been proven a seller in the marketplace, it is worth more and you can negotiate a higher advance.

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Books Originally Indie-Published: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White – all time best-selling writing/reference guide in the US The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings – now considered a “masterpiece”; dedicated to the 15 publishers who rejected it Eragon by Christopher Paolini – now a movie & has three sequels in the works all bought by a traditional publisher What Color is Your Parachute? By Richard Nelson Bolles The One-Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson & Ken Blanchard (Spencer Johnson then was traditionally published with Who Moved My Cheese?) The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans - The largest advance ever paid for a self published book - $4.125 million. Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun by Wess Roberts - sold 486,000 copies before selling out to Warner Books. In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters - over 25,000 copies sold directly to consumers in its first year, sold to Warner and the publisher sold 10 million more The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer

Still not sure which way to go? Send me an email at [email protected] and we can talk about it. Happy Publishing!

Kristen Eckstein, Ultimate Book Coach

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Hey there! People call me “The Ultimate Book Coach”. I entered the world of business at 6 years old selling homemade “pet” rocks, experienced the success and failure of several businesses before entering High School, started my first IRS-reportable business in college and earned my Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2002. My work has been published in books and magazines, on greeting cards, classroom supplies and the Internet. I now serve as Author Kristen Eckstein Book Signing Executive Producer for Imagine! Studios, an art and media production company cofounded with my husband Joe and I eat chocolate for breakfast. I have been in the “book sucking” business since 2003 and have a passion for Indie publishing, which is in my humble opinion the sweetest form of publishing that exists on Earth (I call it “white chocolate publishing”.)

I am very proud of my I am Published! program graduates, including Bob The Teacher Jenkins, Carrie Wilkerson, Felicia Slattery, Leona La Perriere, Lindy Clark, Loretta Lutman, Dr. ”Mommy” Daisy Sutherland and more! My favorite thing in the world is to see YOU hug your book for the very first time!

That is, next to chocolate for breakfast.

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You can find Kristen at,, and watch for coming early in 2011!

Find me on Facebook!

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