The Truth


Do you want your book available worldwide with a chance to get it in bookstores without being traditionally published? Some self-publishing companies will promise you distribution to 39,000 online retailers through “Ingram.” But, rarely will they tell you what the full URL is, a Print-on-Demand, self-publishing company.

Some of these slippery businesses will charge $3000 – $15,000 to get your book in hardcover through Ingramspark under the disguise of a “publishing package,” or “Ingram.” They’ve done this to capitalize on the ignorance of authors. We asked one of these companies why they weren’t telling authors about They informed us that most authors had difficulty dealing with their online tax interviews.

How to fill out Amazon Direct Publishing’s online tax interview.

Click here to learn more about publishing.

When searching online for “self-publishing,” writers will find a wide variety of options to choose from. Certain self-publishing companies will take a cut of earnings and leave the writer with a mere 15% profit. It would be better to be traditionally published.

When a writer publishes their book themselves, they should earn up to 70-85% of their royalties. Retail platform fees should not exceed 30%. For your information, authors outside the USA within a tax-exempt country, if the author does not complete their taxi interview, 30% of royalty earnings will be deducted after the retailer’s fee of 30%.

If an independent author outsources each need individually, the cost will be minimized and the writer will retain their intellectual property rights.

In the next paragraph, there’s a list of places authors can self-publish their book at no cost. The only platform that charges a fee is Ingramspark, (that we know of). However, Ingramspark’s price is only $49 USD for digital, paperback and hardcover formats, while offering the broadest distribution available to self-publishing authors.

Createspace,,, smashwords, and Lulu are commonly known as the go-to retailers for the majority of indie authors.

Some self-publishing companies (vanity presses) also offer individual services such as editing and paid reviews. Some editors charge over $0.08 cents per word. The typical cost to hire an editor should cost between $0.02-4 cents per word. Some editors charge $100/hour, but most will settle for between $40-$60/hour.

A price gap can exist because some manuscripts need more care than others. Some editors want the payment for the extra time spent on the project. Some will charge flat rates, regardless of how long the editing process takes. At Gangsters Publishing, we charge flat rates, but take all the same care.

For paid reviews, authors should take caution. Some retailers will not allow paid reviews and some readers scoff at paid reviews as being illegitimate. Some vanity press companies who offer paid reviews will do the ten-minute leg work for you with a markup of $2000.

If a self-publishing author wants to pay for reviews for the published book, the author can search for their ISBN in the search bar of paid review websites, such as Kirkus to find their book. When the author has found their book, further instructions will follow. It’s fast and easy, but we don’t recommend it.

Some online self-publishing companies can be large corporations while some of them are tiny home-based businesses whom act corporate. Whether they are big or small, if they charge $3000 or more for hardcover format creation for an indie book production, the service plays on author ignorance for the sake of the highest profitable gain. Authors should take caution and be aware of scams and mass mark-ups.

If a self-publishing company requests an indie author to send a query letter, but offers no advance, there’s a good chance it could be a scam. Check, or ask for the company’s distribution information. If they only distribute to free self-publishing platforms mentioned on our distribution page, it’s clearly a scam. There are no gatekeepers for the sites we listed. Some fraudulent self-publishing companies also aim to take a cut from your royalties to maximize their profit margin. The only cut from royalties should be to the distribution channels we listed.  Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like when you  upload your manuscript to Amazon, CS and Ingramspark: