The biggest advantage to being traditionally published is arguably the publisher’s ability to get their books into as many bookstores and other retail outlets as possible.

series title of Traditional Versus Self-PublishingHowever, as more and more sales shift from bookstores to online/ebook retailers due to price, convenience, and selection, the number of accounts that must be covered to obtain the vast majority of potential sales has declined.

Previously a bunch of independent stores and a few bookstore chains would buy from a few publishers so it was difficult for anybody new to break into the business. Now most online/ebook retailers want to carry as many titles as possible to be competitive so they have streamlined the process. But connecting with and conforming to the different requirements of so many retailers is not easy, and 50-90% of book sales are still print books sold through traditional retailers (percent varies depending on subject category).

Research shows that in-store displays are second only to personal recommendations in the list of ways readers discover new books, and the top traditional publishers command nearly all retail display space for books. I believe this is one of the key distinguishing features of Elm Hill: We have torn down the barriers to entry so that any Christian author can self-publish their book while also taking advantage of the sales and distribution of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (the parent company of Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Bible Gateway, and FaithGateway).

Can you do what it takes to have your book available from retailers or would you benefit from assistance?

Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.


The previous post in this series discusses the potential return on investment for authors that manage the publishing process themselves versus being traditionally published. The next post explains the necessity of focusing on an initial target market and contrasts the target markets of self-published and traditionally published titles.