I’m considering hybrid publishing

Hybrid publishing is the middle ground between self-publishing and traditional publishing

Hybrid publishing refers to the middle ground between self-publishing and traditional publishing.

  • A: With pay to publish—self-publishing—the author pays for the publication of their book.
  • B: Traditional publishers are selective about the books they publish (after all, they’re footing the bill), and they offer something the self-publisher can’t get on their own—most importantly, sales reps calling on bookstores.
  • C: Hybrid publishers reside in the intersection of A and B. To qualify, industry standards dictate hybrid publishers must be selective in the books they accept for publication and have sales reps that contact booksellers. Authors pay to publish plus the hybrid publisher keeps a portion of the royalties.

The reality is that most hybrid publishers are not selective and do not have sales reps.

So, the most important question to answer is: what are you giving up that you can't get by remaining in control of your book?

Here’s a comparison of 12 considerations.

Know the facts: compare these key publishing considerations
Hybrid Publishers
AuthorImprints
1. Do you get paid 100% of your book’s royalties?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
2. Can you always choose or use your own editor?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
3. Do you have final approval of your book’s cover?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
4. Do you have final approval of your book’s text/content?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
5. Can you buy copies of your book at cost?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
6. Do you have a choice between POD and traditional printing?*
Not always possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
7. Do you have a choice between POD and traditional distribution?*
Not always possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
8. Do you own the files used to publish your book?*
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
9. Are publishing accounts in your name and under your control?*
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
10. Can you change the price of your book at any time?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
11. Do you have control over how fast your book is published?
Not possible with hybrid publishing
Always YES when you work with AuthorImprints
12. Who manages the publishing process for you?
Hybrid Publisher
AuthorImprints

*FAQs

How do royalties work?

  • With a hybrid publisher, royalties are paid to the hybrid publisher. They keep a portion and periodically deposit your share into your bank account.
  • With AuthorImprints, royalties are paid directly to your bank account by the retailer or distributor. You do not pay AuthorImprints any royalties.

What is the difference between POD (print-on-demand) and traditional printing (a print run)?

POD is used to print books individually and it is used by self-publishers, hybrid publishers, and traditional publishers alike. The beauty is that there are no storage fees, and books are automatically listed in industry sales catalogs that bookstores and libraries order from.

Traditional printing is necessary if your requirements are not met by POD—any type of publisher can print this way. However, it requires a several thousand dollar upfront investment, a place to store the books, and books are not automatically listed in industry sales catalogs.

It is not uncommon for a hybrid publisher to require their author to invest in traditional printing.

Why would you want or need traditional distribution?

You need traditional distribution if you traditionally print a book.

What do sales reps do?

Sales reps work for book distributors and proactively sell traditionally printed books to bookstores and libraries. Examples of distributors include Publishers Group West and Two Rivers. Note: IngramSpark is not a distributor and does not have sales reps. Industry standards dictate hybrid publishers have contracts with distributors, but very few do (see additional resources for hybrid publishers that do).

Literally anyone can make their book available for bookstores to order by using Amazon KDP and/or IngramSpark. And remember, the majority of book sales now happen online, not in stores. (See additional resources below.)

Why is selectivity important?

Selectivity builds expertise and reputation. Over time, a publisher, hybrid publisher, and even an author can build credibility that opens doors and creates opportunities. It's a journey that requires experience, industry contacts, focus, capital, and a bit of luck!

Why are publishing files important?

You need these files so you can make the required changes for republishing. If you don’t have the files, you need to start over and recreate them.

What does it mean for me to “own my accounts?”

When it is your account, you can make changes to the price, description, keywords, and so on. Most importantly, you can see reports, and royalties are paid directly to your bank. Hybrid publishers hold your book in their accounts and may or may not allow changes.

What happens to my book if my hybrid publisher goes out of business or stops responding to me?

When using a hybrid publisher, you grant them exclusive rights to distribute and sell your book. For you to republish your book, you’ll need the publishing files and their written approval. If necessary, you will need to take legal action.

With AuthorImprints and traditional self-publishing, there is never any risk.

“If you’re the kind of author who can’t imagine being published without in-store placement and an effort to build relationships with bookstores and libraries, you’re probably looking at a top-shelf hybrid publisher, investing in a print run, and spending north of $20,000.” — Jane Friedman, What Is a Hybrid Publisher?

AuthorImprints gives you a choice and manages everything on your behalf

It’s the best of both worlds: we manage the process, and you retain freedom, control, ownership, and 100% of the royalties.

We are a family business with more than 40 years of publishing experience. Contact us today to see if we are a fit for you and your book. There is no obligation or aggressive sales tactics.