Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hybrid Publishing

Through the years, I have had many people ask me where I publish my books. 

When I tell them I published with a local publisher for my first book, later bought the rights back, and now publish strictly through hybrid publishing means, they want to know more. 

What is Hybrid?

Hybrid, like cross-breeding flowers, means taking the best publishing methods and making something incredible from both sources. Hybrid is the middle ground between traditional publishing and self-publishing. It is a place many are turning to simply because it's so difficult to get their work published the traditional way; plus, they have more control over what happens to their work. Here are some thoughts to consider:

Money talks

With hybrid publishing, you pay upfront for the service, but you make a higher percentage from sales on the back end - up to 70%. There are a few companies out there, so check to see how they do things. The company I run, Idea Creations Press, has the writer pay their upfront fees, gets the book done, and the money made after that goes completely to the author. Not all hybrid publishing companies do that - in fact, most want a small percentage of the book's sales, so make sure you know what you're getting before you sign on the dotted line.

The importance of an editor

You want to have an editor look over your work before it becomes your final draft. This is important with both traditional and hybrid publishing. In traditional publishing, what the publisher says usually goes, even if you don't agree with the changes. In hybrid publishing, after the suggestion is made, you can take it or leave it.

Book cover design

With traditional publishing, you have little to no say on the cover. With hybrid publishing you do. You can create your own cover if you want. You can study what makes a great cover by looking over those published by traditional publishers. You can hire out who you like.

To decide on the cover for this book I went to the library and perused the shelves for book covers I loved. Once I had a few in my hand I went through the reasons why I loved the cover. What I finally decided on (and found online when I returned home) was a simple stock photo mostly in white. I wanted readers to imagine themselves sitting here. I like the light that comes through the window lighting the room. The photo was purchased (inexpensively too) and my husband created the cover.

Me and my husband, Doug. We work together on all of my books.

Marketing mayhem

Marketing is perhaps the best reason to go traditionally, and yet, even traditional publishers need you to do most of the marketing. They may get your work there to the general public through electronic means like a website or snail mail, but it is up to you to do book signings, send your work out there through social media, and to create whatever else is necessary to get your name known. 

Flower for your thoughts?

Don't get me wrong. There is a place for traditional publishing. Book stores for one. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get your hybrid book into a huge bookstore chain like Barnes & Noble. Sure, you can get your hybrid book on their online bookstore, but not always will hybrid books make it onto the shelves of a national book store chain. You can, however, more easily get your hybrid published book into a local book store, and that may be okay with you. 

I am open to traditional publishing, again, if and when it opens up to me, and the publisher is the right fit. I love having everything wrapped up in a pretty package and seeing how others envision my work. But there is also something to be said for wrapping the gift yourself.

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