can anyone explain trad and self publishing for newbie writers?


That’s great to hear! I like Janet’s style. I know i found it a bit taxing to find a comparison each time. (prepping for the future)Though ive seen agents like Kurestin Armada complain about publishers not varying the type of stories they want to pub but i suppose its a whole other kettle of fish and im glad there is such nuance among different agents.


I don’t know why they listed them like that, because a pitch and a synopsis are two different beasts.

A pitch is what’s in your query letter. It’s similar to a back-of-the-book blurb.

A synopsis is (generally) two pages, single spaced. It’s a complete summary of the story, including the major character arcs and the ending.


It’s an online form.


BTW, do NOT query anyone – agents or publishers – until the first book is final and perfect. You shouldn’t be worrying about this stuff yet.

You get ONE shot per agent per book. If you blow it by querying too soon, you won’t get a second chance.


Don’t worry I’m not submitting yet so I’ll definitely be making these hours count.


Hey sorry for the late reply, I’ve been on vacation and not online.

Yes the royalties with traditional are less (but they pay for all the production costs - which can run several thousand dollars. Some rules of thumb regarding income in the two different routes.


  • 10% - 15% of hardcovers based on LIST price (10% first 5,000, 12.5% next 5,000, 15% after that)
  • 6% - 8% of paperbacks based on LIST price
  • 25% of NET income for ebooks and digital books produced by the publihse


  • Hardeovers - usually not a format that self-published authors utilize
  • Paperbacks - 40% of LIST price - cost of printing which would be $5.23 for a 350 page book
  • ebooks - 65% - 70% of LIST when sold between $2.99 and $9.99


I’ve never heard of anyone saying you’ll be a multi-millionaire when you go into publishing. Those “in the know” about the business knows that (a) most successful authors have multiple books (b) it takes year to build a n audience and © most authors will have to keep their day jobs.


Your income does not decrease the longer you are with a traditional house. I’m not sure what you are trying to refer to, but if you could provide some additional information related to what you are referring to here, I’d be happy to weigh in based on what I know of the industry.

Traditional publishing “pays” in two different streams, the first is an advance, which is usually paid out over period of time as certain milestones are reached. A common strategy is 1/3 upon signing the contract, 1/3 when the book is deemed “accepted”, and 1/3 when the book is published. If the advance is really large, it may be divided into 4, 5, or even 6 payments.

The second aspect to traditional income only comes into play if you “earn out” - which means your books have earned royalties that exceed your advance. The vast majority (80%) of books never earn out so the advance will be the ONLY work an author receives. But, for those that do earn out, your income is fixed based on your royalty rates and these don’t “go down” as time goes on.

Wether you “break out” or not is 100% dependent on (a) the strength of the book and (b) finding a core group to be interested in the book…and if they like it…them telling others (also known as word-of-mouth). These hurdles (and the activities used to achieve them) are pretty much the same for self and traditionally published authors.