Dog Ear Publishing

Wheatmark Review

Wheatmark is a self publishing competitor that entered the market at almost exactly the same time as Dog Ear. Where Wheatmark differs from most is how they determine the author print price. Wheatmark’s discount for author copies is based upon the RETAIL price they set for your book - giving them an uncomfortable incentive to drive your retail price too high.

Compare the Numbers
Publishing Control:

Wheatmark: No

Dog Ear: YES

Book Cost:

Wheatmark: $6.78

Dog Ear: $4.28

Author Profit:

Wheatmark: $1.26

Dog Ear: $4.76

Total Expenditure:

Wheatmark: $1,997

Dog Ear: $1,527

How does Wheatmark compare to Dog Ear Publishing?

All of the self publishing companies we review on our site charge a fee to publish a book (like Dog Ear), most bring your book into distribution (like Dog Ear), and all offer you the ability to purchase books at an author discount. Where Wheatmark differs from most is how they determine the author print price. Wheatmark’s discount for author copies is based upon the RETAIL price they set for your book - giving them an uncomfortable incentive to drive your retail price too high. The reality however, is that a book has a fixed cost to print, regardless of what the retail price happens to be. Why should your cost to purchase your own book be based upon the retail price (that they determine)?

We include a link to what I believe is important in choosing a company to self-publish your book, click here to see our list.

On to our discussion of self publishing company Wheatmark.

We use the exact model project for each self publishing company competitive review. Information and self publishing costs are derived from the Wheatmark web site and contract.

  • 6X9 trim size, 150 pages, one color interior, 4 color cover, 5 interior images
  • Paperback or hardcover
  • ISBN and bar code included, Library of Congress Control number
  • Custom cover and interior - not just choices from existing templates
  • PDF or laser proofs delivered to author,
  • Available through the Google Booksearch Program
  • Available as a Google Editions eBook.
  • Available at Amazon and most major online retailers
  • Available through major distributors like Ingram and Baker and Taylor
  • Available for order at over 25,000 retail bookstores.
  • Available through the Espresso Book Machine
  • Author wanting to purchase 100 additional paperback units

(Our total cost for this package and options is $1,527, our per unit book printing price is $4.28, and you get 5 free author copies of your book.)


Wheatmark has a variety of packages available on the Wheatmark Book Publishers web site.

Nothing unusual about the services offered here, typical of the self-publishing industry. Wheatmark publishing packages range from $799 to $3999.

For $799 you will be required to perform all the design and composition services for both the interior and cover of your book. This is for press-ready only product - you get a better deal from Trafford or Lulu for this service.

Options of course increase as you spend more money ($1299, $1999, $2999 and $3999). In our opinion, there isn't an exact match in packages that offer the same services as Dog Ear Publishing. We started with their $1299 package - but you won't get the full design customization of Dog Ear. The only way to get custom design and design proofs with consultation was to go to the $1999 package... Since their customization isn't worth $700, we'll just use the lower package.

Wheatmark allows you to set your own profit and has a very nice profit and pricing calculator. Wheatmark allows you to choose the price you will charge for your book, as long as it is above their minimum retail. The $1299 publishing package allows for a moderately custom interior design - but you must start with a very simple style of book. It appears that more complex books only qualify for the $3999 package, or incur a $499 design increase. Wheatmark offers all of the standard trim sizes available. Printing costs / author copy costs are 40% off retail for units up to 100 - 50% at the 100 unit level.

Note the 'minimum' retail for this model book is $13.95

Standard Paperback Publishing - $1299
Custom Cover and Interior - $??? - sort of - but not cover
Library of Congress Control Number - $0
Proofs - NA (not applicable - digital proofs are free)
Printing Services - $6.98 / unit X 100 units = $698 (printing this book at Dog Ear is only $4.28 per unit)

Total Expenditure- Wheatmark: $1,997

Book Design and Production

Dog Ear creates a unique design for both the cover and interior for every book. The design is custom (literally from the ground up) for each and every book - no 'templates' are ever used. Dog Ear provides a Design Sample using your manuscript and allows you complete freedom to revise what our team has built. No other publishing services company provides this service FREE OF CHARGE - only Dog Ear. Every one of our books are designed and built by professionals with long histories and lots of experience from the traditional publishing industry. Your book is being built the same staff that created books for Harper Collins, Prentice Hall, Simon & Schuster, Wiley, Penguin and many others of the world’s most successful publishers.

Book Printing Prices (author copies)

Wheatmark charges a significant amount more than Dog Ear to print author copies - as noted above:

# of Units
Dog Ear
$3.00 or less
per unit savings
$1.48 or more

Wheatmark enforces a minimum retail price on each book - this book requires AT LEAST a $13.95 retail price. $13.95 is a fairly solid retail price for a 150 page paperback from an indie / self published author. At Dog Ear Publishing you could achieve a retail of only $8.98 and still be very profitable... (which, by the way is too low in our opinion, but you could easily do it if you wanted; and at Dog Ear you have that option)

Author Profit

Author profit from royalty payments is not strong with the Wheatmark programs when compared. At Dog Ear Publishing, when you purchase your own books, they are over $4 LESS EXPENSIVE per unit, with that money staying in your pocket.

Your author profit when selling through distribution (Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, etc.) - even using their required retail price - is a straight 20% OF NET, which means the money left after the wholesale discount. Wheatmark sells to distribution at an apparent 55% wholesale discount (which is way too high - YOU need to be in control of your wholesale), which means Wheatmark is paid $6.27 for the book. You get 20% of that:

Wheatmark Author Profit: $1.26

Your per unit author profit from each sale is over $3 MORE for each book with Dog Ear.

Dog Ear Author Profit: $4.76

Imagine what these numbers do to your profit over the life of your book. It takes the price difference you pay upfront and continues to magnify it, all the while putting more money in the publisher’s pocket.