Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What IS Hybrid Publishing?

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog! 

Today we're discussing hybrid publishing and all the possibilities for publishing your book. Let's discuss this idea by leaving comments below. We'd like to hear how you publish your book(s) and your opinion on hybrid publishing. We can learn from each other's experiences. If you haven't published a book yet, what are your plans for publishing?

The Definition of Hybrid Publishing

The term, hybrid publishing, is used in two instances.

1.      Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords defines hybrid authors as “one who publishes books both with conventional publishing (traditional publishing) and who also self-publishes.”

2.      The second definition is when an author uses a company which will allow the author to pick and choose services such as book cover design, editing, formatting, distributing, etc. She Writes Press for women writers or Bookbaby are examples of companies who provide these service menus.

k    Let’s begin the discussion about hybrid publishing using Mark Coker’s definition--“one who publishes books both with conventional publishing (traditional publishing) and who also self-publishes.”

What are the advantages of using both traditional and self-publishing?
Traditional publishers benefit from self- published authors because they can sign authors who have stretched their writing and publishing muscles to complete a book. They have learned about distribution and marketing and established an audience of readers through self-publication.
Indie authors can supplement their income because they reap a bigger royalty percentage as a self-publisher.
A word of caution: you aren’t going to make a ton of money on self-published books and an author needs to sell at least 3000 e-books for a traditional publisher to look at your work.

I come from the retail business world where the saying is you can’t sell out of an empty cart. I believe the more books you have on your amazon page for sale, the more books you will sell. If a reader likes your book, then she’ll return to find more of your writing no matter how the books have been published.

The stigma attached to self-publishing books is fading due to the improved quality of the ebooks and the fact that well-known authors are doing it too! The MOST IMPORTANT advice I can give you is to write a really, really good story to attract and keep readers, edit thoroughly, and wrap it all up in an attractive professional looking book cover.

Self-publishing pros and cons
+Hone writing and marketing skills
+Build your platform (your brand)
+Royalties up to 70% on books from $2.99-$9.99 on amazon
+No printing costs for e-books-(Createspace told me to expect to spend at least $400 when publishing a print book)
-You are in charge of making all the decisions and doing all the work to get the book into hands of readers.
-You need a network of people you can depend on to shout about your book to the world.
-Most self-pubbed books sell only about 50 books.

If you are interested in learning more about self-publishing, here are two books that have been helpful to me.

Mark Coker’s Guide Smashwords Style Guide - How to Format Your Ebook FREE and Crush It on the Kindle by Michael Thomas

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) has a lot of information on their site for formatting and uploading a Kindle ebook.

Do you have resources that have helped you? Please share them in the comments below.

Traditional publishing pros and cons
+You don’t pay for anything. The publisher takes care of cover design, editing, formatting, and distribution. 
+You will still have to do the marketing, but you have a network of authors who will help you spread the word about your book on their blogs and social media.
-The publisher will take longer to get the book ready for publication. 
-Royalties are less.

Hybrid Author for you? Here are a few examples how authors use this model.

1.      Each author will have to decide for herself what is best. I started with the traditional publisher and have kept my mysteries there and then chose to self-publish non-fiction titles.

2.      Another author may want to self-publish first to get her name known, develop a network, and gather readers—all of which may attract traditional publishers who could offer a contract for your writing. Publishing a short story or information guide related to one of your books and making it permanently free is a good way to attract attention to your books.

3.      A third author may have a contract with a traditional publisher for print books, but self-publish his e-books by not giving up electronic rights to the books. It’s much cheaper to publish an e-book when compared to publishing a print book.

Whatever you decide, research any publisher first. Vanity publishers can charge you outrageous amounts to get your book out. Be sure to understand charges and services before you sign up for a vanity publisher. 

Successful hybrid author Hugh Howey offers 3 questions to help you make a decision.
1.      What are you willing to invest? (Consider both time and money)
2.      What do you want from your writing career?
3.      What should you expect?

Every author is different and will approach publishing in their own way.
Will you consider becoming a hybrid author? Why or why not? I'd love to read your thoughts on this discussion of hybrid publishing. Please leave a comment below. 

Connect online with me at these links:

Wishing you all the best in your writing career! J.Q. Rose

Every Friday join a guest author in the Readers Circle.
Meet the author. Discover great reads. Win prizes!
This Friday, July 28, mystery author Marsha R. West takes her seat in the Readers Circle. Please come on over. There's a chair in the circle reserved for you.

Click the cover to check out Crush It on the Kindle by Michael Thomas


Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. As you know, I've been published by MIU, the small Canadian e-press. They didn't want to print my books, and because I had people who wanted a print version. I printed my first two. At which point, I became a hybrid author. After I got the e-rights back on those first two books, I brought them out myself and went on to publish others. No now I'm a fully Indie author. I thought the info in the post was good. I may use some of it (with credit given) in the course I'm teaching in October for seniors at our local college. I've shared. Hope we get some other comments. :)

Beth Overmyer said...

Hello, JQ! I have In a Pickle out with MuseItUp in e-book. I might publish it in print, we'll see. This December, I plan on self-publishing Lady Catherine Says: 365 Tweets of Condescension. It's a collection of tweets "written by" Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. So, yeah, I'm becoming a hybrid author. My first desire is to be read, but making a living sounds mighty appealing, too. As for future projects, I'll be making decisions on a book-by-book basis, whether I go the traditional or indie route.

Helena Fairfax said...

Hi JQ, that's an interesting post. Thanks for bringing up this topic. I look forward to reading the comments from other authors, too.
I'm a hybrid author. I have a book with a traditional publisher, and the rest of my books are self-published. I enjoy the control I have over my self-published books. They are actually a better product than my trad pubbed book - better edited, and with better cover designs. I also have more control over the promo and marketing. The big downside for me these days is the amount of time I have to spend on the promo and on keeping the books' details fresh on Amazon. I'd love to be able to concentrate solely on my writing - but I know most authors say the same.
Thanks for the info in the post.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Marsha, I see how you moved into hybrid publishing with print books. Yes, you may use info from this post with your class this fall with my best wishes for the group. Thank you for sharing.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Beth, your tweets from the Lady sound intriguing. What a fun idea. Best wishes for the project. I agree, there are some books that are just right for self-pubbing and some that would do better with the power of the networking of a traditional publisher. It's wonderful we have the choice nowadays.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hello Helena, I think you have used the important word in self-publishing--control. Definitely you have the last word before publishing your own book. We need longer than 24 hours in a day when we become authors!! Thank you for commenting. I too am very interested in what other authors have to say.

Nan P said...

Very informative post. I know a few writers who have published with She Writes Press (which, as you mention, is a hybrid press) and have been very happy with the process, the quality of the books, and the reception their books have received -- winning awards, getting reviewed, etc. I believe She Writes provides distribution services to brick-and-mortar bookstores, which strikes me as a big plus. My understanding is that they have a flat fee for publishing, not a cafeteria-style menu. However, it's been awhile since I looked into their services, so I could be wrong.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Nan, Thanks for the info on She Writes Press. I appreciate your update on their process. Glad you stopped in.

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