Ruling on publishing

I am interested in writing books and selling them. There are two methods I could use, self-publishing or traditional publishing.

Traditional would include (after writing the book), that I have a pre-sale campaign where people can pre-order a copy (that doesn’t exist in physical form yet). This money goes to print and assemble the book. They will receive a physical copy on a designated day that is agreed upon. Is this halal?

Self-publishing would include listing the book on Amazon (with its details). Whoever wants to purchase can just order, and this money would go into printing, creating and shipping the book. This is print on demand method. Is this method halal?

I’ve been confused ever since learning about the ruling of not selling what you don’t own and I’m confused regarding transactions of goods that are not hand-to-hand. Thank you!

Wa alaykum salaam,

In both instances, the book is already written and the content is known. As long as the specifications are clear, it is fine to sell in this manner as the actual sale item is digitally in existence. Just the printing is left.

Allah knows best