Self-Publishing in the Digital Age: Reaping the Rewards by AL-Saadiq Banks

In the days of yesteryear, aspiring authors would often dream of being published by major publishing houses. These traditional giants held the keys to success, with the promise of bookstores as the ultimate prize. But times have changed, and in today's publishing climate, self-publishing has emerged as a powerful and rewarding alternative. The rise of the internet and digital platforms has leveled the playing field, opening doors for self-publishers that were once exclusive to the mainstream publishers. In this blog, we will explore how self-publishing, with the right approach, can be not only a practical but a profitable choice for authors.

The Changing Landscape

In the past, the allure of major publishing houses lay in their exclusive access to bookstore shelves. However, this landscape has shifted dramatically. The internet and e-commerce have transformed the way readers discover and purchase books, rendering the traditional bookstore model less relevant. Many smaller bookstores have been forced out of business, and the power of the web has surged. With the rise of e-books and online retail platforms, self-publishers now have the same distribution channels at their fingertips as their traditionally published counterparts.

The Power of Autonomy

One of the most compelling reasons for choosing self-publishing is the unparalleled creative autonomy it affords authors. Instead of having to conform to the preferences of traditional publishers, self-publishers can remain true to their original vision. They have full control over content, cover design, release schedule, and marketing strategy. This freedom to create and market as they see fit can lead to more authentic and unique works.

The Financial Advantage

In the publishing world, financial success often hinges on royalty rates. Traditional publishers typically offer authors 8-12% of the book's cover price as royalties. To put this into perspective, at an average cover price of $15, that equates to $1.50 per book. To earn $150,000, an author signed with a traditional publisher would need to sell 100,000 copies.

Now, consider the self-publisher's perspective. With royalty rates often ranging from 60-70% or more, selling 30,000 copies at the same $15 cover price can also yield $150,000. The key difference is that self-publishers retain ownership of their publishing rights. In essence, they earn the same revenue with fewer books sold and no obligation to surrender the majority of their creative control to a publishing house.

The Machine vs. Autonomy

There's no denying that major publishing houses possess substantial resources and industry networks. They have powerful marketing machines behind them, which can undoubtedly assist in reaching a broad audience. However, authors must consider whether the support offered by these giants is worth relinquishing their book rights and the lion's share of their royalties.

Self-Publishing as the Profitable Path

Self-publishing may not always glitter with the same allure as traditional publishing, but in terms of making money, it often outshines the competition. With the rise of digital platforms, self-publishers can access a global audience, maintain creative control, and earn a higher percentage of royalties. It's a path where the equation for success doesn't solely rely on the traditional publishing machine but rather on the author's determination, solid project, budget, and marketing campaign.


In the ever-evolving world of publishing, self-publishing is no longer the overlooked, unconventional choice. It's a powerful and lucrative option for authors who dare to take control of their creative destiny. With the rise of digital platforms, the playing field has leveled, offering self-publishers a wealth of opportunities to achieve success and financial freedom. In the end, the choice between self-publishing and traditional publishing may ultimately depend on your priorities and creative vision. But if profitability and creative control are paramount, self-publishing may be the smartest path to take in today's dynamic and rapidly changing publishing world.