What are the types of publishing?
  • Traditional Publishing
  • Partnered Publishing
  • Supported Self-Publishing
  • DIY Self-Publishing
  • Incubated & Accelerated Publishing
  • Traditional Publishing

    In this form of Publishing, Publishers screen content, select manuscripts submitted from authors directly or from literary agents, pay advances (occasionally), publish the book (edit, proof, design, paginate & print), market and distribute the book, and pay the author royalties after they receive revenue from the sales of the book.

    Partnered Publishing

    In this type of publishing, the process remains the same as traditional publishing, except that when some traditionally published authors are confident of the success of their work, they pitch in, reducing the publisher’s investment. They also might work on some parts to bargain for a better royalty or get quicker turnaround time. In most cases, they take care of the marketing, in part or entirely. Or, they will take care of the pre-press stages or media relationships.

    Sometimes they have the ability to sell a large number of books themselves, so they buy many in advance, invest together with the publisher, and share revenues instead of a meager royalty. This essentially reduces the publisher’s risk on the project or helps in taking the marketing beyond what the publisher would generally do. It also enables them sometimes to offer the book at a very aggressive price in the market.

    Supported Self-Publishing

    In this type of publishing, the author publishes her/his own work using services from a publishing firm for services she/he deems required. Most work done by a traditional publisher is available in supported self-publishing as paid services. The author here dons the role of an artist-entrepreneur, with complete control on how the process gets delivered, when the book should be released, how the book needs to look, what the pricing strategy should be, which markets to target, in what formats to present the work to the audience, etc. Since the author is investing and it is her/his work, they get the majority of returns.

    This kind of publishing is for authors who want complete control of the publishing process and the rights and are willing to invest time and resources on their own work. They are commercially inclined to maximum returns on their investment.

    DIY Self-Publishing – Limited and Expanded

    In this form of publishing, the author publishes her/his own work using the publishing platforms provided by a publishing firm or themselves. Here the author is in control of the entire work of the publishing process – from the editing, proofing, pagination, and cover design, to marketing the book. DIY is further classified into limited and expanded.

    Limited: The book is available only on the retailing services of that platform, i.e., books published via a platform are only available for sales on that specific platform.
    Expanded: The book is made available for sale across several platforms in eBook and print format.
    Incubated & Accelerated Publishing

    This form of publishing is where the author uses the Publisher’s platform to publish her/ his own book. The same works in three stages, i.e. Publishing, Incubation & Acceleration.

    Stage-1: Publishing: The authors use the Publisher’s platform to create, publish, and distribute the book in eBook and paperback format worldwide. The distribution in the first stage is the widest available for eBooks and paperbacks (via Print on Demand) across all major markets, globally.
    Stage-2: Incubation:The platform reports how readers are reading the book on its own e-reader app. The analytics enables the author to identify where all the readers of the book are going slow, where they quit the book, what is the reading speed of the readers, where do all the readers come from, and more. Using the data and analytics, the author can make changes to the book to improve the reading experience and keep the interest of the book for the reader going. The revised and improved version enables higher readership.
    Stage-3: Acceleration: Once the book is showing sufficient traction among readers, both in sales and readership, the book moves to the acceleration stage or commercial publishing, where the book is further enhanced by a team of professional editors, designers to improve the product and is released as a commercial book with strong marketing and distribution support from the Publisher’s end. The book is then also put into various offline bookstores. Presented to all the partner publishers, for translations or representation in their local markets, The book is presented to OTT (Video on Demand) platforms like Netflix & movie studios, for screen adaptations.
    What is Pencil Publishing?
    What kind of content can I publish on Pencil?

    In terms of books, there is a genre-no-bar. In addition to books, one can use the Pencil writing platform to publish shorts in the form of short stories, poetry, blogs, or articles. This gets published on the Pencil Reader App. For more details, you can check our community guidelines.

    Where can I find the Pencil author-publisher agreement?

    While signing the agreement is the last step of the publishing process, in case you are looking to read the author-publisher agreement beforehand to understand the various clauses, click here.

    What is expected in the manuscript?
    What are the platforms that my book will be available on? Will I get real-time sales reports and analytics from all the platforms?

    In case of eBook, your book will be available on 400+ platforms including Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Google Play Books, Kobo, and the Pencil reader app to name a few.

    In case of Paperback format, your book will be available on all major retail platforms online like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Flipkart.

    You will get transparent and almost real-time sales reports from all the major platforms. However, in the case of a few platforms, it might take up to 50 days to reflect on your dashboard, especially for paperback sales.

    You will have access to real-time analytics only via the Pencil reader app.

    What is the meaning of real time analytics? How is it helpful?

    Real-time analytics is like the pulse of your book. This includes access to data that will help you understand how a reader consumes your book. In addition to knowing the basic demographics of your reader, you can also check the readability index of every page, how many people started to read the book, and where they left it among other things. This can help you understand and improve your book.

    For example, if you understand from the data that a lot of people are dropping out at a certain page, you will now be able to change your book accordingly and republish the new version worldwide.

    How much time does it take to publish a book via Pencil?

    In case you have a ready manuscript and cover design, then it takes barely 30 mins to publish on the Pencil publishing platform. The distribution to other eBook retailers takes about 2- 4 working days, subject to the content not having any challenges of plagiarism or not following platform guidelines. Paperback availability takes about a week, in most cases.

    In case you opt for additional services, then the timeline is dependent on the chosen scope of work.

    Who owns the copyrights, if I publish my book with Pencil?

    The copyrights are always owned by the author. With our agreement, we become your publishers. The same allows us to distribute your work (book) to multiple retailers worldwide. The agreement is also valid till any of the parties do any breach of trust, i.e. don’t honor their parts of the commitment to the contract.

    How do I make changes to my book once published?

    When you want to change the book significantly, you will need to stop the distribution of the book first and when you ‘re-publish’ the book, the platform creates a new version. Once you have stopped the distribution of a particular version of the title, the same will stop new sales of that particular version of the book. For the same to happen, it will take about 24 hours on the Pencil reader app. To stop distribution of the old version of the book across eBook platforms takes about 2- 15 days, depending on the platform. The paperback versions take up to 28 days.

    Also, please be aware that, if the previous version has been purchased by a few people. the eBook retailer will have to keep that file on their systems, including the Pencil reader, i.e. the customer of that version can download the prior version even if she/ he has deleted the same from her/ his device. The new version gets available with a mention of the term ‘Version 2’ added to the edition. Once the next version is published, the prior version stops selling. However, a lot of times there are issues of both versions being available at the same time at a few retailers. Please note that in the lifetime of your book, you can use this feature a limited number of times for free, and it is chargeable after 3 iterations.

    In case I need personal help or support at any stage, how do I request the same? What does the process look like?

    At every stage on the writing platform, you will have an option to request for a service depending on the stage of publishing you are at. For example, when you are writing your book, on the same screen you will have an option to request for editing service. Similarly, when you are designing your cover, you will have an option to request for a designing service on the same screen. Services can also be accessed from the home screen tab.

    Once you click on the same, you will have to fill a form to brief our team about your requirements. Once you submit the same, our team will allot a project manager who will then get in touch with you and initiate the project as per your requirement.

    How much royalty will I earn via Pencil for each copy sold?

    For every copy that a reader buys on the Pencil reader app, you will receive 70% of the retail price (amount received from the customer) as royalty. For every other platform, your royalty would be 50% of the net receipts.

    How much time does it take to get distributed to the retailer platforms after publishing on Pencil?

    Once you sign the agreement and publish your book, the book goes live on the Pencil reader app within 24 hours. The distribution to other eBook retailers takes about 2- 4 working days, subject to the content not having any challenges of plagiarism or not following platform guidelines. Paperback availability takes about a week, in most cases. This timeline can be tracked on your author dashboard.

    How to create an Author account on Pencil?

    You can create an account on Pencil using your Facebook account, Gmail account, or any other email account. Once you complete signing up, you can use the same credentials to log in to our writing platform and reader app.

    Is it safe to enter my bank details on Pencil?

    All the personal details that you share while publishing your book will remain strictly confidential and encrypted. For more details on this, kindly check our Privacy Policy .

    How do I start writing on Pencil?

    Once you create your account and log in on our writing platform, you will be directed to our main dashboard. At this stage, you can select the option to ‘Start Writing’ to write using our editor. In case you have a ready manuscript, you can copy the text from your source file to the Pencil editor chapter by chapter.

    What if I do not manage to complete the book in one go on Pencil?
    I have a ready manuscript, how do I publish on Pencil?

    In case you have a ready manuscript, you can log in on our writing platform and copy your manuscript from the source file into the Pencil editor chapter by chapter.

    Do you accept color books?

    For now, while we do accept color books for eBooks, the same is not available in Paperback format.

    Does Pencil offer its services to people across the globe?

    Majority of the premium services are available for all geographies. If any particular service is not available, those are mentioned in the relevant places.

    What does it mean to have a dedicated project manager?

    Once you have initiated your publishing process, if need be, you can avail of editing or designing services. In this case, a dedicated project manager will then get in touch with you. This person is responsible for managing your project until all the services you have purchased are delivered. As soon as the service is activated, they will set up all the key tasks and associated milestones of the project.

    What if I am unhappy with my purchased services?

    Should you not be happy with the services, you are free to report that to our support team. We will take all necessary actions after understanding the issue.

    How do I submit my manuscript for evaluation purposes?

    There is no manuscript evaluation necessary before going ahead with the publishing process. However, if you wish to evaluate your manuscript, you can purchase it as an editing service.

    Do you provide genre specific editors as per the script, like horror or spirituality or Sci-Fi?

    Yes, we do so for most of the popular genres. In case we don’t have an editor for a particular language or genre, the project manager shall discuss the same with you.

    I need a better understanding of which service best fits the requirements of my work, will you be able to help?

    Yes, we can. Please get in touch with our support team.

    Are there any minimum requirements to distribute my book in eBook and Paperback format?

    In the case of eBook distribution, there are no minimum requirements. However, in the case of Paperback distribution, please note that your book’s page count should be at least 50 pages. For paperback distribution, we would recommend avoiding image-heavy or colour-heavy text since we use a standard 5X8, Black & White Print-on-demand model for distribution.

    What is the minimum page count for Paperback distribution?
    Does Pencil offer Marketing services?

    No, Pencil does not offer any marketing or promotional services under our paid premium services. We only offer editing and designing services.

    Does Pencil help to promote my book?

    Pencil does offer a few fixed tools that help you with promoting your book like pre-ordering, discounting your title, or running promotion codes, among other things. However, this changes from time to time. Drop us a line on for our publishing advisor to guide you with the same

    In addition to this, Pencil regularly hosts an exclusive marketing webinar under Pencil Masterclass Series on How to Sell and Market your Book Worldwide. Please note that this is complimentary for authors published with Pencil

    What is an ISBN? Is it necessary?

    ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a 13-digit number that’s used internationally as a unique identifier for books. We need the ISBN to identify each book that is published, and each edition of the same book. ISBN also identifies the publisher of the book. It is the standard ID number used to identify books by booksellers, libraries, book wholesalers, and distributors. If you plan to sell your book in bookstores, libraries, or through online retailers like Amazon, you will need an ISBN. ISBNs are issued to publishers, who then assign them to individual books. ISBN is mandatory if you wish to list and sell it via retailers; if you wish to have the book only for private circulation, then ISBN is not necessary.

    Will you get the ISBN number for the book or do I have to get it? What about the bar code?

    An ISBN for your work is registered under us as publishers for your book. The ISBN will be inserted on the copyright page and on the back cover of the book with the barcode. The barcode is a digital image that sellers can scan to identify the ISBN. Separate ISBNs are assigned for paperback, hardback, and eBook versions of a book. We will assign ISBN(s) and create the required barcode(s) for your book.

    I already have the ISBN number. Can I use it to publish my book with you?

    Yes, you may. Please get in touch with our support team.

    Are different ISBNs used if a book appears in different languages?

    Yes, it’s a unique identification for your book, so different ISBNs have to be used.

    Can I get an ISBN registered in my name? How is the barcode registered?

    The ISBN assigned by us is registered under our name. If you wish to have an ISBN registered under your name, you could apply for the same with Raja Ram Mohun Roy Agency, which is the authorized agency to assign ISBNs in India. The ISBN website has relevant agencies in other geographies.

    Barcode for your book is generated from the unique ISBN assigned to your book. It is not registered separately.

    I have a paperback ISBN, can I use the same for the eBook version too?

    As per the ISBN authorities, the eBook and paperback versions should have different ISBNs. A few retailers carry the same ISBN, while most prefer not to. We strongly recommend separate ISBNs.

    How do I decide the MRP or retail price for my book?

    When you reach the price-setting page on the writing platform, depending on the page count, you will get a system-generated Minimum price. Keeping in mind the suggestion, you can set the selling price accordingly and check the royalty calculator to understand your earnings on each copy sold.

    How do I track the sales and royalty of my book?

    You will receive a monthly sales report at your registered e-mail address. Please note that in case your eBook was sold on Pencil’s Reader App, the sales will reflect in the next month. In the case of sales of your book in eBook and Paperback format across Third-party Domestic and International retailers, the sales will reflect within 30-60 days from the month of sale.

    When will I receive my royalty earnings?

    In the case of eBook sales on Pencil Reader App, the royalty will be credited within 30 days from the month of sale. In the case of sales of your book in eBook and Paperback format across Third-party Domestic and International retailers, the royalty received from these platforms will be credited within 90 days from the month of sale.

    What is royalty?

    Royalty is the amount paid to an author for each copy of a book sold. For every copy that a reader buys on the Pencil reader app, you will receive 70% of the sales price i.e. the amount the customer paid the retailer. For every other platform, your royalty would be 50% of the net receipts.

    How do I track Royalty?

    Your sales and royalty report is available on your main dashboard on the Pencil Publishing Platform.

    How does the net receipt get calculated?

    Net Receipt is the amount we receive from retailers and / or distributors for the sales of your book.

    What are Shorts?

    Shorts refer to short format content pieces. This includes short stories, poems, blogs, and opinion pieces.

    Do I get royalty on Shorts that I have posted?

    As per our current model, we don’t charge readers to consume your shorts. Hence, there is no royalty involved.

    How do I upload shorts?

    In case you are not writing directly on the Pencil writing platform, you can copy your short from the source file to the Pencil editor.

    Can I also write on the app?

    Currently, you can use the reader app to post updates in image or text format. However, in case you want to write a book or a short, you will have to use the web platform

    How do I create a reader account?

    We have a universal user account, the same works for the writers and the readers as well. Only when you are publishing a book with us, the ‘author-publisher’ agreement comes into place. In case you have signed up on our writing platform, you can use the same login credentials on the Reader App. In case you haven’t, you can sign up on our App using Facebook, Gmail, or any other email account that you use.

    How do I purchase an ebook on the Pencil app?

    You can check our discover page for discovering new books, or in case you have a specific book in mind, check the search page to find the same. Once you click on the book, you can click on the ‘Buy’ option and make the payment to purchase the book.

    Where do I find paperback formats of the ebooks that are published on Pencil?

    You can find the books published on Pencil in paperback format on major e-commerce retailer platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, and many more unless the author has requested otherwise.

    I have published my book on the Pencil writing platform, why am I not able to view the book on the reader app?

    Once published on the writing platform, your book is available within 30 minutes on the reader app. In rare cases of error, kindly write to our support team.

    Why am I unable to get a verification email to create an account?

    While such instances are rare, request resending the verification email. In case you still don’t receive it, please check your spam folder.

    What is the age criteria to register on Pencil?

    While there are no age criteria for registering on Pencil, but in case of account holders below the age of 16, parental guidance is advised. In case you are a minor publishing a book, we might need a legal guardian to sign the agreement.

    What are Book Summaries?

    A book summary includes a theme-wise layout of key-insights from a book. Best suited for non-fiction, book summary helps retain action points from the book in a faster and effective manner.

    How is it different from a book review?

    While a book review is mostly a critical, opinion piece, a book summary remains objective and unbiased. Both these forms of writing serve different purposes.

    Can I write a Book Summary on the app?

    You can choose to write or copy the book summaries from the source file as a short in a format suitable to you using our writing platform. However, the Book Summaries section in the Reader App includes professional curated summaries put together as Pencil Select for our readers.

    Can I write a Book Review on the app?

    Once you have read a book on our App, you can write a review for it. In addition to this, you can also review a book of your choice as a post update on your profile in the Reader App.

    Do I have to pay to read the Book Summaries on the Pencil Reader App?

    You can read one free Book Summary every day. This is valid for 24 hours (12:00am - 11:59pm). In case you have read half of it during this timeframe, to finish reading, you will have to make a payment. You can optionally buy our Annual Subscription to read unlimited summaries at a nominal cost.

    How does the Book Summaries’ Subscription work?

    The Book Summaries’ Subscription is billed annually or paid monthly. You can read unlimited book summaries from the Pencil reader app, within your subscription period.

    What is the process to stop distribution?

    Pencil offers authors the unique chance to stop the distribution of their book and update their book to re-publish as Version 2. However, the author has to submit a request for this to the Pencil team with a valid reason (analytics, user data, etc). Our team reviews the same to then approve/disapprove the request. Check our blog here for more details on this.

    Can I stop distribution in case there are grammatical errors in my manuscript?

    We highly recommend against this. While publishing, please ensure that you publish a polished, edited, final version of your manuscript. Although we provide options to stop distribution, logistically, this can take up to 10 weeks to successfully de-list the book from major retailers. Please ensure you utilize this chance for absolutely valid reasons only.

    How do I delete my book from Pencil?

    In case your book is in the draft stage, you can directly delete it from your dashboard. Once you publish your book, the following are the two possible scenarios for deleting your book:

    • In case you want to stop distribution based on reader analytics to release a new version of your book, you can file a request to stop distribution along with a valid reason to our team from your dashboard. To know more details, check out our detailed blog on things to keep in mind to stop distribution here.
    • In case you want to delete your book/unpublish it, you will have to terminate the author-publisher agreement that you have signed while publishing your book. The agreement can be terminated without any notice as long as both the parties involved mutually consent to this. To file a request to terminate your agreement, write to us at with the subject line: ‘<Book Name>: Request to Terminate Author-Publisher Agreement.’ Our team will connect with you within 2-3 business days to initiate the needful.
    How do I delete shorts?

    To delete previously published shorts, you can go to your author dashboard and directly delete them from your list of published titles to delete them from the platform.