Being E-Published VS. Self-Published - Guest post by Jessica E. Subject

We have the pleasure of having Jessica E. Subject as our guest blogger this month. Jessica is a fellow Toronto Romance Writer's chapter member and we have had the opportunity to sit down and talk about indie publishing versus traditional publishing. Jessica's latest release is called Never Gonna Desert You and can be found on Amazon and other retailers. We hope you all enjoy her post on the subject.


Hello Novelspot Readers!

I’m Jessica E. Subject, and I write both science fiction romance and contemporary romance, ranging from sweet to erotica.

I do not have a literary agent, but I am published with an e-publisher, Decadent Publishing, and self-published. I’m going to share the differences between both types of indie publishing.


  • While you have more freedom to the stories you write for an e-publisher, you still must conform to their guidelines. There are some things e-publishers just DO NOT accept, which will be listed on their submissions page. Before submitting, do your research, and make sure your story fits with the stories they sell. ie. Don’t sub a horror story to a romance publisher.
  • When you self-publish, you can publish anything. BUT that does not guarantee it will sell, or that everyone will like it. Some content is still objectionable.


  • This is a necessary step no matter which way you go. Nobody writes a perfect story.
  • An e-publisher will provide an editor for you to work with free of charge.
  • If you self-publish, you must hire your own editor.


  • E-publishers will send you a cover art form to fill out with information about your story and characters, and any ideas you may have for the cover. The cover is provided for free unless you want special pictures.
  • You must hire your own cover artist if you self-publish, unless you are a graphic artist and can design one yourself. This is important, because readers really do judge a book by its cover.


  • This will be decided by the e-publisher, but there is usually some flexibility.
  • If you self-publish, you can decide this yourself, working around your schedule.


  • An e-publisher will set this based on word count.
  • If you self-publish, you can set this on your own. But it is important to take note of how price affects your royalty rate at each portal.


  • At an e-publisher, royalty rates can range from 25% to 50%. And it usually differs based on whether your book is sold from the publisher or a third party site. Be sure to understand whether your royalty is based on net (minus deductions) or gross. This can make a huge difference.
  • Self-publishing has a range from 35% to 70%, based on the different portals, and where your book is sold. You can find this information at each portal.


  • Every e-publisher has a set group of retailers that they distribute their stories to. And they decide on what formats will be available. Some offer more than others.
  • If you self-publish, you can decide all of this. The more retailers you distribute to, and the more formats you offer, the wider your possible audience. BUT, you must have your book formatted properly. This is easier at certain portals, and harder at others. You can pay someone to format your book for you if you have problems.


  • This varies with every e-publisher. Some do nothing for you except list your book. While others will send your book out for review, will post on twitter, facebook, pinterest and more. Decadent Publishing has also been known to arrange book tours, do some paid advertising, and allow authors to blog on their blogs in order to reach more readers. Plus, with Decadent, I am connected to a multitude of authors and others in the industry, many of whom are willing to help promote and share promotional opportunities.
  • In self-publishing, you are totally on your own here. There are many groups of indie and self-published authors who help on twitter and facebook, and so much more. But the trick is to find them and make use of them.

While both options offer indie authors something different, the key is to do your research before you make any decision. Know what you’re getting into ahead of time and NETWORK with other authors who can give you the pros and cons based on their own experiences.

Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous. 

When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby. Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at and on twitter @jsubject.

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