Some things need to change. How to publish a book is one.
The publishing industry is changing, and if you want to publish a book, you can. Our heart as a Christian publishing house is to change this industry. We ensure the books which come out of our house are life-giving, done with excellence, and unite the body of Christ. We truly want to help get these world-changing messages out, no matter what the platform size or financial situation.
How UNITED HOUSE Publishing is different
UNITED HOUSE is unique among publishing options because we are a membership-based publishing house. We do not offer the pay advance/require authors to pays us back, and we also eliminate the need for a literary agent—leaving the author with more immediate commission in the end. We have a membership fee for the duration of publishing process, this covers the personalized author coaching calls, continual writing training services, and access to our author community for support throughout the journey. Once the book is released, there is no more membership fee. However, we continue to handle the royalty payments, distribution, bulk, and wholesale orders, etc.
UNITED HOUSE Publishing royalty breakdown
Since our company was designed by authors, the royalty is much higher than the standard in the industry. The royalty contract for all UNITED HOUSE authors on print books and eBooks is 50% of the net profit from the distributors. So, it is a good fit for writers who have an average following (as we work with our authors to help them gain a following) and/or can’t afford to pay a large fee through a pay-to-publish company.
How traditional publishing houses work
To publish with a Traditional Publisher, author must be represented by a literary agent. To find a literary agent to represent an author, the writer must first write a query letter, and have either a manuscript completed (for fiction) or a solid book proposal (for non-fiction) to submit to agent. Each literary agency has their own submission guidelines for new authors. A literary agent typically agrees to work with authors who have a large following and have a good message/are great writers. Literary agents help get book manuscript and/or book proposal ready to pitch to Publishers. Once Publisher chooses to work with author, agent negotiates terms, contract, royalties. Often, Traditional publishing houses pay authors a book advance. When the book comes out, typically the author must pay back the advance out of their royalties, then, after meeting their quota, they start receiving income. Also, the literary agent takes a cut of the author’s royalties.
Traditional publishing royalty breakdown
Authors typically make around 5-7% of retail price, or anywhere between 16-26% net profit from distributors. If a book is listed at $14.99 on Amazon, this translates to about $.75-1.05 per book royalty (if calculated from retail) or $1.01-$1.65 (if calculated off net profit from distributors), then the literary agent gets a cut (10-15% of the royalty).
Now, if you are famous and are going to sell one million copies, that’s great. But, if you are an average person with a medium platform, with a few thousand followers, more than likely, your following isn’t big enough to snag an agent or a land a publishing contract with a traditional publishing house. And if you do, the return is not very high. If the book sells for $14.99, the author/creator gets about one dollar? Doesn’t sound like the best deal.
How Pay-to-publish companies work
Pay-to-publish houses charge a large fee up front, and they get a cut of every book which is sold. If, someone uses UNITED HOUSE’s self-publishing services, we do it for considerably less (total project runs about ½ the cost, of the starting price of this service at typical pay-to-publish companies), and we only take 10% of the royalty, once the book is published (See our Self-Publishing Services page to see what on-going services the 10% royalty covers.)