Does anyone have any idea how to get Published and/or Self-Published

So i’ve always wanted to publish any piece of my work, frankly i’m currently on a hiatus due to some health reasons (i’m all okay though, just need to take a step back from overworking myself) but aside from that… I’ve looked into both Self-Publishing and Standardized Publishing. I know the difference of both, but i’ve been somewhat leaning to self-publishing a piece of my work (once i finish it) instead of regular publishing.

i have absolutely no clue how to get an agent, an edited, a cover designer, a publishing agency/Amazon Direct Publishing or whatever else there is to it.


P.S. i apologize if any of my words here are wonky. it’s midnight, i’m absolutely exhausted… probably not the best idea to ask advice in this state of mind haha… oh well.

thanks again. :slight_smile:

Hi there,

This seems better suited in #industry-insider so I’ll go ahead and move it over there for ya :slight_smile:

Thanks for understanding,
Fray - Community Ambassador :awfrasier:

If you’re self-publishing you don’t need an agent.

As to a publishing agency, you are the publisher. Platforms like Amazon’s KDP will be the distributer. They will offer the book, receive payment from a buyer, pay you (minus their cut), and distribute the book to the buyer. So you don’t “get” Amazon. You create an account and upload your book, price it, etc.

I’ll let someone else talk about editors and cover designers since I don’t contract that out. And don’t forget about marketing.


I used Killer Book Covers for my book that I plan on self-publishing. I thought their prices were really fair and they were so nice and easy to work with! But there are a ton of cover designers out there. When I was shopping around, I would look at the copyright page of other self-published books in the same genre—a lot of authors will credit their editors and cover designers there.


For self publishing services like editors, I suggest you choose one that has been vetted by Alli:

I will add, though, that I have come to the conclusion that for most people, traditionally publishing first is the way to go – for several reasons:

  1. Being accepted for traditional publishing gives you external validation that your writing is READY for publishing. (Hint: Professional editing does NOT ensure that!)

  2. Traditional publishing gives you a wide fan base that you can leverage for self published books in the future.

  3. Traditional publishing will introduce you to the business side of publishing, and do so with a much easier learning curve than you’ll face if you self publish first.

  4. If you self publish first, you’ve blown your debut status. If you want to traditionally publish in the future, you have to show them that your published books have good sales. They don’t care if they were self published – low sales mean no one wants to read your books.


Thank you! I didn’t know you could add in hashtags that weren’t listed haha!


Thank you! I didn’t know you didn’t need one! that sounds super simple! :slight_smile: do you happen to know the ratio of Amazons cut and what mine would be? or would that depend on how much i’m selling the book for? (i’m absolutely awful when it comes down too to numbers)

Killer Book Covers? i’ll take a note on that. I never thought about looking in the credentials of books, thank you!!!

Thank you for the link! i’m going to read that right now! I do have this fear that my book won’t end up with many sales, do to the fact i’ve had people i know say that it’s good, but complex to read… as well as i’ve had some people say that it was awful (which was okay, not ever book is for everyone). I personally don’t know many people who do read, or enjoy it, and i don’t have a huge fan base either… on via wattpad and in the real world

I’m only familiar with digital publishing (ebook). Print is probably different.

For ebook, you choose either a 70% or 35% royalty. The sale price of the ebook is the primary factor (35% royalty: the Amazon sales commission is 65% for books priced below $2.99 and above $9.99. 70% royalty: the Amazon sales commission is 30% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99). There are small “delivery charges” that are deducted. And for European sales, you have to adjust the price to include the VAT for the specific country (or you end up paying it). Here’s Amazon’s webpage:

I just skimmed this article, but it looked pretty good:


thank you! that’s actually awesome since i’m absolutely clueless when it comes to percentages and decimals… haha. i don’t think i want to do strictly only ebook since my goal is tog er my book in my hands, and others if possible

This is the royalties for paperback from

Amazon distribution channels

KDP offers a fixed 60% royalty rate on paperbacks sold on Amazon marketplaces where KDP supports paperback distribution. Your royalty is 60% of your list price. We then subtract printing costs, which depend on page count, ink type, and the Amazon marketplace your paperback was ordered from. Learn how printing costs are calculated.

(Royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty

For example, your list price is $15. Your book is a 333-page paperback with black ink sold on the US marketplace:

(0.60 x $15) - $4.85 = $4.15

Expanded Distribution channels

If you enable Expanded Distribution, the royalty is 40% of the book’s list price effective in the distribution channel at the time of purchase minus printing costs.

(Royalty rate x list price) – printing costs = royalty

For example, your list price is $15. Your book is a 333-page paperback with black ink sold through Expanded Distribution channels:

(0.40 x $15) - $4.85 = $1.15

correct me if I’m wrong but the $4.15 would be what I’m making off of each book, or how much it would cost for the reader?

$4.15 = your amount earned per book sold, in the US store.

Self publishing also requires a significant fan base. If you’re trying to create one, Twitter, I hear, is the place to be. WP fans don’t translate into sales either. I would guess maybe 1% of the people who view your book on here will buy it elsewhere.

If you want to self publish, you need to build a fan base first because, as @XimeraGrey said, if you blow you debut status for 4 people, you’ve made it harder to get the backing of a publisher.

Publishers have a network they can leverage to get sales for your book because they’re investing in your book. They want it to succeed, and will throw their resources into making that happen. If you’re not very charismatic, and can’t create a decent platform to self publish, traditional publishing will help you do that and make your self published works more successful in the future.

Yes. That’s what you make off the book you priced at $15 with a 60% royalty.

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I’d be interested to know how this has been tested - i.e. where the evidence is to back up this assertion. It may be true - not disputing it - but I wonder how you could know.

It’s certainly not a universal opinion, as some other self-published authors in this forum have said it doesn’t matter, I’ve seen agent blogs that say it doesn’t matter. In other words, my impression from the opinions I’ve read is that self-published with significant success --> helpful; self-published with no success --> neutral.

What can hurt anyone is to self-publish rubbish under your own name - something that hurts your reputation as a writer or person. That can result in negative comments and reviews that become part of the indelible Internet record, that any agent or editor can find in a 30 second search.

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Believe it or not, you don’t really need any of this stuff to self-publish.

Purchase a good photo off iStock (or some other website) and add some nice font to design your own cover. You don’t need to be a professional, just make it look appealing and neat.

Take a look at Draft2Digital. They’re an online self-publishing company that works directly with authors. All you need to do is upload your manuscript and they’ll do the rest; distribute to vendors, advertise, organise royalities, etc.

They do have additional services (editing, audiobooks, cover design, etc) but you need to pay for those. Either way, they’re brilliant if you’re looking to self-publish!

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Hope these help for both:

You’ve got the answer in there.

Agents say it – but it’s all in the name. They won’t be able to submit you UNDER THAT NAME if you have a less-than-stellar sales history.

You aren’t a debut because, duh, there’s a book there. And publishers don’t want this shiny awesome book they publish associated with a poor seller, a potentially tarnished name. “Oh, X? I picked up his book and didn’t finish. It was awful. No way I’m buying anything from him.”

You will have to convince an agent first that you deserve to be trad published. Part of that is honestly. “I screwed up when I was a new writer. I self published a book without knowing what I was doing. I’ve learned a lot more now. I’m willing to do what you suggest to get past that unfortunate mistake.”