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Self publishing your book? Independent Publishers in South Africa


Should you pitch a traditional publisher or simply bite the bullet and self-publish (or indie publish)?


This is an important question and one all authors need to ask themselves. The truth is only a fraction of books and authors will get a publishing deal with a traditional publisher (think Penguin, Little Brown, Pan MacMillan)


A traditional publishing deal means this publisher will pick up all of the costs of producing your book your book ,and they will pick up the costs of distributing your books into the book shops.  


However these deals are not be in the realm of most authors who write a book and so we turn to a self-publishing model (also called independent or indie publishing).


 This means that essentially you will partner with a company and pay them to do all of that work on your book. The work includes a cover design, an editor, layout, proofreading and then actually printing copies of your book. Some authors opt to only publish digitally and load the book onto Amazon or an E publishing platform. Other authors want anything from 20 to 1,000 copies of a book.


So indie publishing is a shared investment, where you are taking the risk -  you are paying for these services , and you are ordering as many books as you want and they are doing the work to support you in that.


Some independent publishers will connect you to bookstores and get your book into stores, but this is not a given. Equally some will have a promotion package, and other wont’.  These are all good questions to ask in your initial interview with them.


If you are a nonfiction author this is a very solid way of getting your message out there, particularly if you are a speaker . Traditional publishers really have a need to know that they are going to sell a certain number of copies of books and the minimum is around 3000 copies. So when they look at you as a possible author they are going to assess whether they feel they can at the very least ‘break even’ by selling enough books to cover the costs of signing you as an author and going through the work to produce your book.


Below is a solid list of Independent Publishers in South Africa


QuickFox Publishing




Incwadi YoThando (Novels only)


Preflight Books



Dave Henderson runs a great business here, friendly, fast and efficient. They have a great vibe and know the business well.

Amazon Warrior | eBook only package

  The Wizard paperback only package

  The Spellsword | combined eBook and paperback package

  The Juggernaut | top package including all the steps from the Spellsword together with an author website!



Burnet Media

This is more high-end publisher than most, and they will both build an author brand and produce a world-class book.  Ideal for speakers and big players.


Staging Post (A division of Jacana)

We have used them a lot and highly recommend their professional service. They are experts in publishing and cover design.


Boutique Books

This is a small publisher based in Bloemfontein. They have an inhouse editor that keeps the costs affordable.


Reach Publishers

I haven’t used them but give them a chance to quote.


What is self publishing?

Instead of a traditional publisher signing a publishing deal with you and publishing your book for you, you are the publisher of your own book i.e. self publisher. This means that:

·       You own the copyright of your book.

·       You are the publisher of your own book so Reach Publishers only assist with providing professional publishing services to help you produce a quality book and display it to the world.

·       You control the content and look of your book.

·       You can market and sell to who you want and earn all the profits from your sales efforts.


Why should I have to pay to have my book published?


You are not only paying for printed copies of your book, but mainly for the cost of the professional services required to publish a quality book. Depending on your chosen package, these include: editing, cover design, layout, online upload, e-book conversion, ISBN registration as well as printed books.

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