Six things about hybrid publishing that every first-time author should know.
Are you thinking about writing a book, or do you already have a finished manuscript in hand? Excellent! Now are you looking into the different options that are available for publishing your book and bringing it into the world? If so, then you might have already heard about hybrid publishing.
Hybrid publishing is a publishing model that is tailor-made for the times we live in. It combines the higher standards of traditional publishing with the greater openness of self-publishing, and is sometimes called partner publishing.
Hybrid publishing provides many unique benefits for authors who are looking for a home for their book; however, it won’t be right for every author. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages when publishing with a hybrid publisher.
Advantage: Your Voice Will Be Heard
Today, traditional publishers typically only publish the work of famous people, already popular authors or others with guaranteed, built-in audiences; however, this has the effect of silencing many voices that deserve to be heard.
Hybrid publishing allows a wider variety of voices to find their place in the market, establish their niche and grow their audience. It shouldn’t matter what the traditional gatekeepers say; hybrid publishing gives authors a better chance to put their voice to good use, earn the respect of others and thrive as a book author in today’s world.
Advantage: More Control, More Input
In traditional publishing, the publishers have all the power and they call all the shots. For example, if you don’t like the cover they chose for your book, there’s really nothing you can do about it. They’re akin to the parents in that relationship and they think they know what’s best for you and the book.
In hybrid publishing, however, the author is more like the publisher’s partner. Responsibilities are more evenly distributed in this professional relationship and each party can have the opportunity to use their strengths to the book’s advantage. As a result, authors with a hybrid publisher have more control and more input throughout the book publishing process.
At the same time, authors with a hybrid publisher don’t have total control like in self-publishing, where the author and publisher are one, and left to their own devices. There, they must do everything and all progress depends on them, which always requires a big learning curve. That’s why for some authors, self-publishing can be overwhelming and best avoided.
Hybrid publishing for many authors is a great middle ground; it’s a partnership, providing guidance, shared responsibilities and shared control from beginning to end.
Advantage: You Keep The Rights To Your Work
Self-publishers retain the rights to their work. But in traditional publishing, that’s not often the case and if a disagreement should ever arise with a traditional publisher, it may not be possible to just walk away and take your work with you. Or if it is possible, if may cost you very dearly.
Generally speaking, hybrid publishers are on your side. They want partners, not prisoners, and aren’t in the business of retaining your book against your will.
Important Tip: You should always make sure that you fully consider and understand the contents of any proposed contract, no matter what type of publisher you choose!
Advantage: Higher Royalties
Disadvantage: Process Isn’t Free
While self-publishers shoulder 100% of the costs related to book development, marketing, production, printing and distribution, they also get to keep 100% of the profits.
On the end of the spectrum, authors published by traditional publishers have no upfront costs and they receive royalties (a percentage for each book sold) from the publisher. However, the royalties generated from traditional publishers are very low. They can often be as low as 1%!
In contrast, the risks and rewards of hybrid publishing are more evenly distributed between the author and the publisher. The author is expected to share some of the costs related to the book publishing process, but at the same time, 50% royalties are not uncommon. Both the author and the hybrid publisher have a vested interest in the financial success of the book.
Disadvantage: You Have To Find The Right Hybrid Publisher For You
Like any form of publishing, hybrid publishers don’t typically knock on your door and ask authors if they can publish your book. (That said, I do know of cases where that has happened, but it’s not something that any author, no matter how well qualified, can count on.) And the right hybrid publisher for you may not be readily apparent at first glance.
You need to take a closer look at any prospective hybrid publisher. Consider what kinds of books the hybrid publisher publishers. Consider what you could expect from the hybrid publisher, and what the hybrid publisher might expect from you. Ask plenty of questions. It’s important to find the right home for your book, and especially so if you’re a first-time author.