FAQ Category: Three Types of Publishing

What is Hybrid Publishing?

Judge a book by the book itself, not the way it is published.

Hybrid Publishing: You may pay a set amount of money to help offset the cost of publishing your book. Author royalties are significantly higher per book since you have paid your publisher upfront to do the work for you.

Advantages: Your books are vetted and professionally developed. You are published under an actual imprint of a publisher. Your funding helps the process to move along faster.

Our company offers hybrid publishing as one model. We don’t have many books in this model as hybrid publishing requires the same level of vetting and intake that we give to books under our traditional-publishing. No matter how much you love your book, regardless of your pile of money you might offer, we look at the book with an objective eye. We reject most books for a variety of reasons, including the clear intent of the author to just “get it published.” You can’t pay us enough money to randomly publish your book. We will have a vested interest in your title and it will become a part of our front-list as it bears our imprint. We have books that are both traditionally published and those under the hybrid model.

Our publishing house follows the guidelines and professional standards of IBPA’s “Hybrid Publisher Criteria.” Learn more at IBPA Hybrid Publisher Criteria

We won’t let you front-load (buy too much inventory of) your books.

We are as invested (for and with you) in hybrid works as we are traditional works.

The world of publishing is changing significantly. Once-true thoughts take a long time to update and change. Old rules and old guard are in the winter season, with a new spring season upon us.

Don’t get bullied or shamed into accepting or rejecting any model of publishing. Do your homework. “Your mileage may vary.”

We do not speak for the IBPA, but we support the work. Our membership with them has been an important part of our outreach and advocacy.

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What are the choices in publishing models?

There are currently three strong models for publishing in North America.

Traditional publishing is where a house/company vets and approves your book, creates the product and pays you small royalties based on sales. In addition to the work of the publisher, you will still need to take an active role in marketing the book.

Hybrid publishing uses the same vetting and acquisition process, and you as an author may help offset the cost of the publishing of the book by helping pay for the production of the book (a fee) ahead of time or, in some cases, by offsetting the cost against future royalties. Royalties in this model are usually and significantly higher as you have already helped pay for the production of the book. Both the publisher and the author share the load on marketing the book.

In Self Publishing, you are fully and completely responsible for your work. You and you alone determine it the book is even worth publishing. You might hire freelancers here and there to help, but the risk and reward(?) are all yours. All marketing is up to you.

Note well that vanity-style publishers will publish absolutely any trash you bring them as long as you have the money. The traditional and hybrid models are not the same as vanity publishing. This is an important distinction.

What are some issues with self-publishing?

The biggest problem with self-publishing (and we’ve helped people do that) is the author’s inability to take an objective look at their own book.

We’ve seen self-pubs that are awful and many that are genius. Objectively, where does your book fit in? Once you go through that assessment, then determine what is “bad or inauthentic.”

It is okay for you to call yourself a published author if you self-publish. Before you do that, take a fearless inventory of the book you have published.

What is the quality level? Does it stand up against others in the same field?

How was it proofread? Proofreading a book is not the same as proofreading an internet posting or FAQ :-).

What is the layout like? Formatting is a problem for many people.

How did you create/buy/use the ISBN? Be cautious of using the ISBN that you get from POD sites.

Was the cover designed individually for the book or did you just use some random cover creator? Most self-pub covers look like a package of clip art exploded on them.

Have you had eyes not your own on the book for an evaluation?

In short, is the book that you’ve produced compatible enough to sit on the shelves of local bookstores? The publishing models of traditional, hybrid and self are all legitimate choices these days.

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Self Publish or Use a Publisher?

The world of publishing is rapidly (whiplash, head-spinning) changing and many of the old guards are working hard to convince you of the last words of any dying organization: “We have always done it that way.” Publishing is no different. Change is hard.

IN 2009 or so, folks were just starting to discover the newest POD (print on demand) services that could free them from a vanity press. Vanity press is “publish everything with no vetting or editing, as long as you have the money.” These companies should be avoided. In the early days of POD or Ebooks, there were very few diamonds in the slop of publishing anything and everything, especially as the Internet Marketing crowd got their greasy fingers in the process. This phase of really rough times still makes people shy away from all works that are self-published.

Books should be judged on the quality of the work, not the method in which they were published. Times are changing and the ability for you to take a book directly to market can be very freeing. Self-publishing is a legitimate way to release a book.

Self-publishing is hard to do well, expensive, and time-consuming. Are you ready, as a self-published author, to create a high-end, edited, researched book? Do you know which model of printing you will do, ranging from offset to POD? Do you have a thick skin so that your real friends can honestly tell you if your books are actually good or awful? Will you hire a coach that can help you with deep, honest, and maybe-hard-to-hear advice and feedback? Are you prepared to spend the money (yes, it’s expensive) to do it correctly or are you just going to print anything and wait for the offer of the movie rights to come sailing in? “Ain’t gonna happen.”

Write because you want to write. It’s fun and rewarding. Publish because you feel that is right for you.

Modern publishers will not penalize your future works for having a self-published book in your corral . . . unless you created a horrendous book that you let your ego (instead of your brains) publish. A platform is everything; we’ve all seen about fifty different shades of how an author’s platform can rule reality.

Now if you want to make money at it, the next question must be “how will I market this book?” Agent or not, most old-school, traditional publishers are more concerned about the size of a new author’s platform before they are even thinking about the content of the book. This is a dark secret that the old-guard doesn’t want you to know about. “Platform” is why celebrities are now suddenly published authors, putting the power of their celebrity-driven platform behind good-enough, ghost-written books.

As authors, we urge you to write and get your words out to the world. As a publisher, we invite you to be deeply honest about what your self-published work will be. As well, every book you write will take you through this same process of reflection.

Enjoy the process. We mean that sincerely.

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