A Hybrid Publisher is Not the Same as a Hybrid Author

by Pamela S. Meyers, @pamelameyers

I recently attended a writers group meeting on Hybrid Publishing. I went into the gathering thinking we were going to learn about being a hybrid author, which is someone who publishes some books with a traditional publisher and other books independently (“indie”), another word for self-publish. Boy, was I ever wrong.
When I first began writing fiction for publication, I was strongly advised to never, ever use what is sometimes called vanity presses. I was told that these companies accept all submissions, rarely edit or, if they do, they don’t edit well, and usually have “cheesy” covers. All done at a very hefty price tag, which is fully paid for by the author. The usual end result is few sales and a bazillion copies of your book sitting in your garage.

I came out of that writers meeting with the realization that although there is a slight similarity to the business model of a vanity press, hybrid publishers are far different and can offer a viable solution for publishing to authors who do not want to take on the responsibility of contracting with professionals to prepare their book for publication. This would include a professional editor, a cover designer, and a formatter who makes the manuscript workable for digital publishing. You need three different formats to gain maximum usage: A Kindle version, an ebook version (for tablets and Nook), and a print version. Especially for someone new to the process, this can be especially daunting.

To learn more about hybrid publishers, I enlisted the Google search engine and several sites popped up that broke down the definition of hybrid publishing and, for the most part, gave similar descriptions.

A Writers Digest article by Brian Klems (http://bit.ly/2blCsSv) summarizes the different types of hybrid publishers in a clear way. Here’s a short summary of what he says. Check out the link above for a more in-depth explanation.

Partnership Publishing-authors pay to publish in exchange for high royalties.
Agent Assisted Publishing—some agents have their own publishing companies to provide a means of publishing for clients whose work is difficult to place.
Assisted Self-Publishing—The author can pay for everything necessary to get their book published, or do it cafeteria style, choosing which services provided by the publishing company you will pay them to provide and which you will secure services for on your own.

In our discussion at the meeting the other night, we all agreed that for some authors, hybrid publishing is the right way to go, but not for all. If you think it’s a viable solution for you, do your homework before you sign. Try to talk to clients of these companies and ask a lot of questions.

I am both traditionally published and also self-published, making me a hybrid author. At this point securing the assistance of a hybrid publisher is not for me, but I’m glad I now know the difference.

Have you used a hybrid publisher recently? If so, I’d love to hear about it.


A Hybrid Publisher is Not the Same as a Hybrid Author by Pamela S. Meyers (Click to Tweet)

Hybrid publishers can offer a viable solution for publishing to authors.~ Pamela S. Meyers (Click to Tweet)

Pamela S. Meyers lives in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Second Chance Love, and Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Her novellas include: What Lies Ahead, in the The Bucket List Dare collection, and If These Walls Could Talk, in Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Midwestern spots for new story ideas.