Is self-publishing for you?

Print-on-demand technology has made publishing easier and more accessible to writers. If you already have a self-published book, congratulations! If you would like Spellbinder to carry your book, please take the time to read our full description of our policy and philosophy on carrying self-published books before you contact us. If you think you might be interested in self-publishing your book, make sure you understand the advantages and limitations.

Limitations of self-publishing:

  • Books often appear in print without the benefit of professional editing, quality production, proofreading, and evaluation of marketing and distribution. Many books we are asked to carry contain so many typo’s, misspellings, grammatical errors and unclear writing that we cannot in good conscience offer them for sale. 
  • Retail price will likely be higher, which will make the book more difficult to sell. Many of the self-published or print-on-demand books we are asked to carry are overpriced compared to similar books. A surprising number of writers acknowledge they themselves have never paid a similar price for a similar book from an unknown writer and an unknown publisher with no objective reviews!
  • Self-published authors cannot exclusively be writers. They must wear many hats: editor, layout person, printer, packager, marketer, distributor, lawyer and accountant. Or, they must hire people to do these things for them, which can be expensive.  Visit our Spellbinder website for tips on how to promote your book.
  • You must pay upfront costs for printing your book. There is no guarantee that you will see a return on your investment.

Advantages of self-publishing:

  • You have more control of the whole publishing process, and can make your own decisions about marketing, look, and distribution.
  • If an author has a niche market they know well or have more access to than a publisher, then self-publishing might be in their best interest in order to reach that particular market.
  • Your book will be published much more quickly than if you were to wait for a publisher to do it for you.
  • You have the potential to make more money from each book sold. However, there is a downside, which is discussed above. While authors who go the traditional route in publishing make 10 percent off the selling price, self-published authors can make 40 to 60 percent. At Spellbinder, we sell self-published books on consignment, which means we don’t pay the author upfront for the books. However, authors make 70 percent for each book sold.

We are a small bookstore with limited funds, and the number of requests we receive from authors for us to carry their books has increased exponentially over the last couple years.  Therefore, it has become necessary to develop a written explanation of our policies, to save time and avoid misunderstanding. Before contacting us about your book, please take a few minutes to read about our philosophy of and policies for self-published and print-on-demand books at our website.

No bookstore can carry every published title, whether from a major publisher’s list or a self-published author, and many factors influence our decisions. Of principal importance is whether the book will sell in our store.  We consider the subject, production quality, retail price, reading tastes of our customers, terms, and our judgment of the writing and editing. We review thousands of books each year and we decline many books, including those by well-known and award-winning writers, if they are not a good match for our store. Again, if you think your book may be a good match for us, please review our more extended description of policies and philosophy on our store website.


One response to “Is self-publishing for you?

  1. Very well said! As a buyer for another bookstore I am often trying to tell people things in a very polite, but firm manner. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean it’s going to sell just sitting on the shelf. But if you work hard enough to get many friends or other folks interested, it might!

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