The rise of self publishing, the ebook, and the indie author have brought forth challenges in the publishing industry. With indie authors came all kinds of niche experts and self publishing companies. The traditional publishers still seemed to reign supreme…for a while. Now indie books are taking them on from both very good companies or the avid DIYers.
The main ingredient of this success?
The author’s involvement in the creation of the book–well, at least the ones who take great care in all parts of the work.
So what is a hybrid publisher?
A hybrid anything is usually a splice between two species where the best traits are bred into a new type of animal. That’s the way it works in the animal kingdom. Think mules, hennys, ligers, etc. Sometimes the hybrid may express more of the traits of one of the parent animals over the other.
So, in essence, a hybrid publisher is a splice between a self publisher and a small press traditional publisher (there are no large publishers that are hybrids–yet–or if there will be).
What are the traits of a hybrid publisher?
- Author is involved with the creation process of the work; they are not excluded. The publisher makes certain that the work is also up to industry standards
- The publisher offers traditional distribution channels and traditional marketing strategies
- The publisher also provides tools or services for laser targeted internet marketing strategies in addition to traditional strategies
- Royalties range from 50+ to 100% (higher than any regular traditional small press or large publisher–self publishing levels)
- Publishers will assess the work to double check quality before they will publish. If not up to standards they will not publish
- Still has a submissions process of one kind or another
- Provides ebook publishing and distribution or the author keeps the digital rights to publish the ebooks where they wish
- The contract is usually a shorter amount of time than most traditional publishers (1-5 years)
- After contract term and/or renewal, rights revert back to the author
Like I mentioned earlier, these hybrids may express more traits of one parent animal than the other. There are self-publishing hybrids and traditional publishing hybrids. Below are some examples. There could be more out there now or coming soon.
Example of a Self Publishing Hybrid
Mill City Press is one example of a self publishing hybrid. In addition to their POD service they have services available for traditional distribution and marketing. They also employ advice and services for targeted internet marketing and a sister company that publishes ebooks. Since this is a self publishing hybrid you must purchase the services you want. Only the author can decide if it’s worth it. They are always coming up with new and innovative ways to market books. Some services are accessible to outside authors, but quality checks are in place. As long as the book looks good, they don’t care where it comes from.
To be able to access the traditional channels you’ll need a well edited book and any inside images you want. The cover can be designed by MCP or your own designer. The books will have to pass the assessment to have clearance. If you take special care in editing you should be fine. If you pass they give you precise instructions on what to do next.
The prices for this comprehensive stuff will beat the prices of some self publishers–definitely Author Solutions’ companies. Since everything is up front, they take no royalties whatsoever. They have their own inhouse printing and give the author wholesale printing cost per book.
Examples of the Traditional Hybrid
Evolved Publishing Is a name that see recurring in several of my author groups. I have a couple friends who have had their books published here. They have a submissions process and open and close accordingly. They help you with marketing, and even though they behave much like a traditional small press, you can’t set on your laurels. Doing your own marketing in addition to theirs is ESSENTIAL. You will still need your platform, connections, and indie marketing activities.
They offer royalty rates ~70%. That is unheard of in traditional publishing. A hybrid? Definitely.
Some of my connections who have published and/or are involved in this publisher started out as indie authors.
Grit City Publications is a specialty hybrid publisher that specializes in “emotobooks”. I talk more about what they are in another post. The submissions and quality checks are in place. The royalty rate is ~25%, and that depends on a lot of factors, but it is more than what you’ll get at Random House.
From their site, their editors and artists will work with the author to transform their book into the “emotobook”. They do have a submissions process and determine if your story is a good fit for an emotobook.
I have heard much of this publisher from people following me on Twitter. I had to do the research to find out what “emotobooks” were exactly.
***Since you pay nothing up front and these publishers are helping you with marketing they take a royalty. It’s never a bad idea to ask questions about their marketing plans for your book in addition to your own plans!!
What Authors Need to Know
When you are with a hybrid publisher you feel so small press but yet so indie–almost like if a mule asks, “Am I a horse or a donkey?”. You have someone there to help you and when you get out there you have even more people to help you. You feel independent and can participate in indie activities like other small press authors.
Being with a hybrid publisher doesn’t make the marketing incline any easier to assail; they just provide you with more options and more channels. There is still things you need to do on your own. You’ll still need to build your platform and work with other people just like everyone else. You’re a hybrid author so you can plug into the indie community–we are a cooperative community sharing intel. Reach out!
Do you of other hybrid publishers that are out there? Love to hear your thoughts! 🙂