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The Fine Print of Self-Publishing Contracts

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With Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing: The Contracts and Services of 48 Self-Publishing Companies Analyzed, Ranked, and Exposed


As self-publishing becomes more common, you’ll enjoy an increasingly wider choice of companies that can produce your book. Which ones will give you the best deal, and what should you look out for when signing their contracts? Today’s guest can help you answer these pressing questions.

Mark Levine is CEO of Click Industries, Ltd., an ecommerce company that provides small businesses and creative individuals with startup and asset protection products and services. He co-founded the company in 2000 after spending nine years as a corporate, entertainment, and intellectual property attorney.

Levine graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with dual majors in political science and journalism and later earned his law degree from Georgetown University. In addition to The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, he is the author of several scholarly works and two novels. Levine’s law review article, “Home Office Deductions: Deserving Taxpayers Finally Get a Break,” was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992. His first novel, I Will Faithfully Execute, was published in 2000, and was read by former President Bill Clinton. It was also awarded his publisher’s Book of The Year Award for 2000-2001. His second novel, Saturn Return, is a coming-of-age novel that examines who we are, where we’re going, and who we’re meant to be with.

As a self-published author himself, Levine understands the difficulties that new authors face when publishing their first book. He wrote The Fine Print of Self-Publishing to help simplify the confusing and potentially treacherous worlds of self-publishing. The idea for the book arose from his experience representing several writers who were led astray by dishonest self-publishing companies.

Levine resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he enjoys writing, cooking, and rollerblading.

Join Mark and host Paula B. as they sort through the fine print of self-publishing contracts, including:

  • What writers should look out for when evaluating a self-publishing company
  • How and why Mark is trying to change the self-publishing industry
  • Whether he thinks authors can negotiate contract terms with the companies
  • What criteria he used when ranking companies
  • How much he estimates a good book cover should cost
  • What it means to get royalties on a gross or net basis
  • How author royalties vary across self-publishing companies
  • How much it costs to print a book
  • What tasks are involved in producing a book.

Mark and Paula also run some numbers to see what typical costs might be to self-publish a book, how you’d have to price it to make a profit, and what you might net.

Interviewee: Mark Levine
Host: Paula B.
Date: February 5, 2007
Running time: 01:19:06
File size: 57 megabytes
Rating: G
Mark Levine’s Web site: Book Publishers Compared


Purchase The Fine Print of Self-Publishing at

2 Responses to “Podcast: The Fine Print of Self-Publishing Contracts”

  1. Georganna Hancock Says:

    Mark was kind enough to send me a copy of his book for review before all the madness overtook my life. I did get it read and though it quite useful for anyone contemplating self-publishing. Some of the financials are pretty eye-opening!

  2. Administrator Says:

    Yes, Geo. A much needed book.

    Paula B.