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3 Reasons to Consider Hybrid Publishing

Updated: Feb 10

So you want to get published, but the ins and outs of self-publishing aren't appealing. Not to mention, you don't want to search for a literary agent and try your hand at traditional publishing. Or maybe you've received rejections from traditional publishers and agents, and now you're open to alternatives. Here's a thought, have you considered a hybrid publisher?

hybrid publishing, writers
Thinking about hybrid publishing?

If you're an author or you're involved in bookstagram or booktok, you'll quickly notice there's a subtle battle going on in your feed. A battle between self-published authors and traditionally published authors. Though many authors and dedicated book influencers choose not to get involved in this ridiculous battle, some do. In my opinion, it's an odd controversial topic. The typical reader couldn't care less who published the book they enjoyed. Can you name the publisher of the last book you read? I know I can't.

If I had to guess, the main reason for the battle stems from a feeling of competition. Maybe stigma. But I also couldn't care less. If I like the sample pages of a book, I'm going to buy it. End of story. And it's unlikely I'll be checking out who published the novel before clicking buy. Here's my point though - there's a third option to try.

If you research hybrid publishing, the search engine might trigger mixed emotions. Why? Because many who aren't familiar with hybrid publishing refer to it as vanity press. Not to mention, there are way too many posts stating "never pay to be published. It's a scam." I've spent a significant amount of time researching this topic, and a lot of those negative comments and posts come from people who don't understand hybrid publishing. They also come from those who stand to gain money from traditional or self-publishing like agents, traditional publishing agencies, self-publishing agencies, and writing coaches. My point, check the source. In the end, hybrid publishing is completely different from a vanity press. And a hybrid publisher might just be perfect for you.

Don't get me wrong. There are scammers out there. I work in the legal field at my day job. Scammers are everywhere, in every field. But a legitimate hybrid publisher is not scamming you. They're forming an agreement with you. They screen submissions and reject those they don't believe are up to par. If you've been offered a contract from a legitimate hybrid publisher, it's because your manuscript is polished, and they believe it's marketable. Often their contracts mirror the traditional contracts aside from the financial section. You share the financial risk and gain with the publisher. Most of the time, the hybrid publisher carries the larger portion of the cost. Social media is a great place to start if you'd like to learn more about hybrid publishing. Follow authors who share their experiences or follow those who actually work in the hybrid industry to get insight. You can also find more information from someone who worked for a legitimate hybrid publisher here.

There are pros and cons in all publishing avenues. Yes, even traditional publishing has some cons. But we're discussing hybrid publishers here. And let's be clear, when I'm referring to hybrid publishers, I'm not speaking of a vanity press. They still exist. And honestly, if you just want your book published, and you have the money, a vanity press might work for your needs. But what I'm discussing in this post is legitimate hybrid publishing. Below are three reasons hybrid publishing might be perfect for you.

  • One: You want to retain the rights to the novel. Authors choosing to sign with a hybrid publisher will be able to weigh in on various design decisions like cover design and editing, where a traditional publisher controls all aspects of the book.

  • Two: You want higher royalties. Hybrid publishers pay double to triple the royalties when compared to traditional publishing houses. Where you might see a 1-2% return on royalties with traditional publishers, the average royalty payout with hybrid publishers is 50%.

  • Three: You want someone with connections to handle the details. Hybrid publishers handle the editing, design, distribution, and marketing of your book. But here's the deal, all authors are expected to handle their own social media marketing to some extent. Remember, no one wants to sell your book as much as you. Yes, the publisher wants to see a return on sales, but they have over a hundred books a year to sell. Yours will get attention in the beginning and now and then, but the only person invested one hundred percent in your novel is you.

Of course, hybrid publishing only works if you can afford to invest in your book. The cost will vary depending on who you choose and who you are. During my research, I found the range to be anywhere from $2,000 - $9,500 for the author's portion. Some people believe self-publishing is cheaper but remember in self-publishing you get what you pay for. Skimping on graphic design or editing will cost you readers in the end.

If I had to guess, the book publishing industry will see an expansion in hybrid publishing. With the evolution of self-publishing, new emerging authors have more publishing avenues to explore. If industry agencies want to keep up, all the players will need to evolve.


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