Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Royalty vs Self Publishing: a Law of Attraction Perspective

Note: Note: I've removed some images from this post, and am searching for ones I can use without infringing copyright. Thanks for your patience!

With a foot fairly deep in both camps, I've thought a lot about royalty vs self publishing. My first five novels and two books of poetry were all royalty published. Now I'm self-publishing e-book editions of the novels.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages I see with each route from a Law of Attraction perspective. Remember that the main principle of the LoA is to enjoy where you are. Your present emotion is what you are attracting more of. So enjoying today gives you the best probability of enjoying tomorrow.

I'll start with the negatives, so we end on a high note!

Royalty Publishing Minuses

The biggest minus to me is financial. The Law of Attraction is all about abundance, and a little simple math shows you that with royalty publishing, most of the financial abundance is going elsewhere. My first novel was published as a $5.99 paperback. It sold out the 10,000 copy first print run in six months. That meant there was about $60,000 made somewhere. The printing cost was around forty cents a book, maybe less. That's $4000 to a printer, money well spent. The bookstores get 40% on each sale, which totals to $24,000. My royalty was a paperback standard 6%, giving me $3,600, give or take. Subtracting, the publisher made $29,400. Bottom line, abundance does not flow to the printer or to the writer.

The other minus for me is that you basically give away all rights when you sign a contract. I was offered a standard, fair contract, no complaints. But from there, the editing, the cover, and the decision whether to reprint were entirely out of my hands. In fact, it took years and a lawyer to get acknowledgement in writing of my contractual right to cancel the contract when the publisher declined to reprint. The lack of control eventually made me angry, which in LoA-speak is a helpful step up from powerlessness!

Royalty Publishing Pluses

The biggest advantage I see for royalty publishing is that it can dampen our writer's sales anxiety. The publisher believes in the book and is a partner in selling it. Having a partner feels good, especially when they know the steps and can lead! A huge part of consciously practicing the Law of Attraction is to do your best and let the Universe handle the details of the outcome. Substitute 'publisher' for 'the Universe' and you get the picture.

Daily anxiety is crippling, and only brings more of the same. It's harder to obsess about sales when you only get a royalty statement every six months. My first two novels sold out completely in their first six months, and I had no idea all that time that they were doing so well! Amazon has changed that, since you can see your ranking every day, but there's always the thought that the book is selling like hotcakes in a retail store somewhere.

In Law of Attraction terms, your distance from the outcome also helps the reader. Anxiety projects all the time, out into the airwaves. If you think anxiety isn't contagious, think back to a junior high dance floor. Thousands of miles away, your anxiety could be pushing away potential readers. It comes down to this—Relax and Trust the Book (and in this case, the publisher)!

Self-Publishing Minuses

Since I've now decided to release the e-book versions of my novels myself, it's clear that for me the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. However, from a Law of Attraction perspective, there are some pitfalls to going this route. The worst for me is that I have a tendency to monitor all the numbers daily. How many visitors to the blog? How many retweets? How many reviews? How many sales? I wrote a post two weeks ago about how I banished this anxiety and got back to having fun by applying the LoA. Fingers crossed, it's still working and I'm still having fun!

The other minus can be that it's a whole lot of work! Editing, cover design, getting into digital format, proofreading over and over... Then there's the endless promotion! Even when you contract some of it out, there's a huge time commitment to managing it all. I said 'can be' because for me, this part is fun.

An aspect of the Law of Attraction that took me a long time to get the hang of, is to wait more or less patiently for inspiration. We often do things to stay busy, to feel productive, and that's work. In contrast, inspired action is pure joy!

Self-Publishing Pluses

Let's end on a high note, shall we? On December 31, I asked that my life contain more of three things—creativity, people contact, and a sense of accomplishment. When I woke up January 1, I knew that the path to these goals was to bring out my novels as e-books.

Creativity fills my days now, writing posts, helping design covers, creating Pinterest boards! My creative urge is fulfilled in spades.

I hadn't used Twitter before this year. I kind of knew what it was, but didn't see the point. In just one month, Ohhh, the people I've met through Twitter! The new friends alone would make the whole endeavor worthwhile. I don't use services or robots, so every interaction is real time, real person. In a few shorts week, like-minded Tweeters have emerged (been attracted, in LoA speak) into a worldwide community of mutual support. I get high just thinking about it!

This blog has been exactly the same experience. At present there are far more readers than commentors, about 100 to 1, and that's fine. In fact, it's fantastic! I LOVE that you read my words, that sometimes they touch you, that you send me messages on Twitter!

Background 399 by Sabine Sauermaul

Already, without even getting to the point of selling many book, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Seeing my novels on Amazon is a thrill! Knowing I'm in the process of creating a blog identity that feels like me is fantastic! Navigating the Twitterverse to my own beat is Woohoo!

Seeing these goals manifest so clearly and so immediately gives me great confidence that the Law of Attraction REALLY works! Love life, and life will love you back!

What's Your Experience?

What aspects of the publishing experience do you enjoy the most? Have you had a great experience with royalty or self-publishing? How does the Law of Attraction manifest itself in your life? As always, I'm eager to hear your thoughts. Please join the conversation!

Check out these related posts:


  1. This is a really interesting post for an aspiring author! Thanks again, Carole! Food for thought! :-) xx

    1. Thanks Molly. I tried not to be too discouraging about royalty publishing. It also offers the advantage of prestige, if you're a professor. You're right that there's lots to think about. Glad you stopped by! Carole

  2. LUV THIS POST !! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Seumas!

      I love your blog and look forward to reading your novels. Let me know how the royalty route works out for you.

      I've been pondering getting together a small private consortium of writers to actively cross-promote. That might be a mid-ground solution. So far I've seen groups of genre writers, but I want my novels to break out of the niche and appeal to a range of readers. What I'm thinking of is an author group where the quality of writing is especially high regardless of genre. What do you think? Could it work?

      Thanks again for commenting, Seumas. I'm glad to have met you!


  3. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work citizenship