This is probably the newest route to publication; it’s essentially a “pay-to-publish” blend of the two options already discussed: traditional and self. The idea is that you get the structure and guidance of a literary team (as you would with traditional), combined with creative freedom and flexibility (as you would get with self) if you agree to pay $10,000 USD, for example. It is basically assisted self-publishing.

You still keep 100% of the rights to your materials, reap majority of the royalties (at least 60%), and have more credibility and prestige than you would with self-publishing. However, you are at a higher risk of being targeted by vanity presses.

Vanity presses are designed very similarly, but are much more deceptive and much less ethical in their business practices. They usually loop you into a restrictive contract where you would surrender many of your rights in exchange for a much lower profit margin. They offer bare bones services and make it sound exciting/legit.

In fact, I recently made a video calling out vanity presses which you can watch here.

How It Works

To view the image in full screen, click here.

Whether hybrid or vanity, these presses have a very similar process to traditional publishers (if not the same): Acquisition > Editing > Design > Production > Marketing > Distribution.

With a quality hybrid publisher, there is still a vetting process in which you would submit your work for consideration and then onboard with an agency. These are usually going to be smaller or mid-size at the most (that I’m aware of). Consider taking a look at the IBPA’s (Independent Book Publishers Association) Hybrid Publishing Criteria for a better feel of what you should expect with a quality press.

Pros & Cons

I think it’s important to summarize hybrid publishing by outlining what its benefits and disadvantages are, so I’ve listed these below:

PROS

Creative Flexibility: You’ll get a lot more creative autonomy with a hybrid press than you would with a traditional publisher. They may still encourage you to discard certain aspects of your manuscript, but because you own the rights, you can afford to push back and say no if you want to.

Higher Royalties: You’ll get to reap majority of the royalties (~60% minimum), meaning you keep most of the profit from book sales. A hybrid press may take a percentage or only issue a flat fee, depending on their business model. You can always request a consultation and ask those questions before signing with one.

Faster Timeline: You significantly decrease your publishing timeline if you hybrid publish by completing publication in a matter of months. (Larger traditional presses can take a year or two to get you published.)

Retain ALL Rights: You can expect to keep 100% of the rights to your book since you are funding the assisted publishing.

CONS

Higher Cost: It is a huge financial investment to hybrid publish your work as it can cost a minimum of $8,000 USD. There is no guarantee that you will earn back your return on investment (ROI), meaning it is likely you will be operating at a financial deficit.

Vanity Presses: As I mentioned earlier, you do risk getting lumped in with a vanity press by mistake. Please refer to the IBPA’s Criteria for any questions you have. If you get a membership with the Authors Guild ($135/yr), lawyers will also review any contracts you receive as well.

Risk Minimal ROI: As mentioned, you’ll want to be very strategic about the decision to hybrid publish—how much value are you placing on your book and/or this particular publication method. Is it worth the investment? Are you able to recoup most of it?

Extra Research: You’ll want to take some time to do some extra research on hybrid publishing, ask questions, and maybe hop on a couple calls with some presses to make sure it’s a good fit.

Other Resources


⭐ Let’s keep the conversation going! Email me at lauren@laurenericksonofficial.com 

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