In a nutshell – ‘hybrid publishing’ is a blend of traditional publishing with elements of self-publishing, creating the perfect choice for many authors.
A hybrid publishing house operates with the ethos and standards of a traditional publishing house but allows more creative and financial control for authors.
The revenue source of a traditional publisher is through the sale of books (and other related materials) that they publish, while the revenue of hybrid publishers comes from either book sales and/or fees charged for the execution of their publishing services.
In traditional publishing an author will receive royalties on books sold, this is usually around 8% -15%, so unless you are a well-known author this model is difficult to earn a full-time living from. Traditional publishers have control over elements such as jacket design, layouts, fonts etc. Authors are expected to undertake their own marketing, as publishing houses have so many new titles to publish, leaving a very short window of promotion time before the next book is released.
Self-publishing is a route many authors try, it does have its benefits – authors keep up to 70% of the royalties and are in full control over their cover design, layout, royalties and marketing. This option is suitable for those who have experience in self-publishing, but for many new authors it can be a difficult, expensive and time-consuming learning curve. Self-published books are published online, and mainstream book retailers and independent shops rarely accept self-published books, which many authors don’t realise. Authors are also responsible for 100% of the book marketing and promotion, and unless the author has experience in this area can make the difference between a book’s success or failure.
Hybrid publishing allows the author to keep creative control over the cover design, layout and fonts, plus the author is in full control of their royalties. In certain circumstances hybrid publishers will waive their initial fees and work on a royalty basis, the great benefit of hybrid publishers is the flexibility to be able to treat each author as an individual and tailor-make a solution to suit author and publisher. If the royalties’ route is chosen, the percentage of book royalties are often higher than traditional publishing deals.
All the functions of a traditional press including evaluating submissions, editorial reviews (including substantive, developmental and stylistic editing), copywriting, design, proofreading, and print production are all part of the services that a hybrid publisher offer.
Some hybrid publishers will also offer marketing strategies and will work together with the author, helping with launch teams, book launches, signings, distribution, speaking gigs, PR and Press. Established hybrid publishers have good network’s and often have opportunities available that wouldn’t be possible through other publishing routes.
Many people assume hybrid publishing and vanity publishing are the same, this is untrue – vanity publishers will publish any book regardless of the quality and standard of content and design. If an author wants to publish their book and is willing to pay, vanity publishers will oblige. Once the book is published vanity publishers usually relinquish all interest in the author and book and offer little promotional opportunities. Hybrid publishers uphold traditional publishing practices and each submission is reviewed and is only accepted if the publishing house deems it suitable to be published under their name.
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