May 15

Self, Indie, and Hybrid Publishing – Which is for You?

Most of my clients take the self-publishing road. It’s important, though, to understand what self-publishing means as there are other terms in the arena: indie authors and hybrid publishing.

It’s important to know the difference before jumping in.

Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is kind of a catch-all for anyone who writes a story and takes it through to publishing and distribution.

This includes formatting and designing the book, creating print-ready files and uploading to aggregators like IngramSpark and/or retailers like Amazon for distribution and sales.

This is not to say the author has to do everything herself, she may hire services to help with some of the phases.

All the costs are on the authors’ shoulders.

In this group, creating a book does not necessarily mean the author intends to sell it. It could be for family, friends, a specific event, etc.

This group is a mix of everyone who produces a book on their own whether for sale of not. It includes one-time writers and career writers.

It also includes less than professional writers, those who don’t take the time or put in the effort to learn how to write before putting their name on the book cover and publishing it.

The unprofessional authors in this group is why self-publishing still has somewhat of a stigma to it. There are a lot of terrible self-published books.

Indie Publishing

Originally, indie publishing was a term used for small publishers, like the home-grown, mom and pop publishers that filled in the cracks of the 5 large publishers. And it still is, somewhat.

Lately, though, the term is more in line with the author who does it all on his own.

According to Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), “An indie author is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry books who self-publishes their own work and retains and controls their own publishing rights.”

You may pause here and question: Isn’t that the same as self-publishing?

The answer is yes and no.

Self-publishing encompasses everyone who takes control of publishing their book.

But indie authors specifically write and publish with the intent to make money, hopefully to make a living at it. They’re in it for the long haul and take pride in their books.

These authors spend the time and put in the effort to get it right.

-They learn how to write.
-They learn about the genre they’re writing in.
-They learn about revisions, editing, and proofreading their work.
-They learn the process of going through to publication.

This doesn’t mean they do it all themselves. The author may hire a formatter or a designer. And if writing a children’s picture book, she will hire a professional illustrator, unless she is a professional illustrator.

I’m sure some indie authors hire quality publishing companies to help them from formatting to publishing to distribution.

But they are in control and it’s a business to them.

Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid publishing is a newer publishing model.

This publishing path is a combination of traditional publishing and self-publishing. It’s a partnership between the publisher and the author.

The publisher is vested in the author’s success because they invest in the book by covering some of the expenses.

The author covers whatever the hybrid publisher doesn’t cover. How much depends on the company, so always read your contract.

Hybrid publishing provides a more affordable avenue outside of the traditional publishing road, which keeps getting more and more difficult to get on to.

It is important to be careful, though, as there are a lot of scam services out there. Some are vanity presses with a new title. It’s up to you to do your research and know who you’re dealing with.

Look for a service with a track record, one that knows what they’re doing and is in line with industry standards.

A tell-tale mark they’re legit is a quality service will publish under their own imprint with their own ISBNs.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Think carefully about how you want to enter the self-publishing arena.

Choose the type of publishing that will work best for you. Sometimes budget is the deciding factor, especially if you’re writing children’s picture books or even chapter books. These books need illustrations which can be costly.

If you take the hybrid road, look for a quality service. The same goes for self-publishing and indie publishing to work with.

There are probably more scam services than legit services out there, so again be careful.

References:
(1) https://www.allianceindependentauthors.org/what-is-an-indie-author/
(2) https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-use-hybrid-publishing-to-get-your-novel-published#quiz-0

I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can help turn your story into a book you’ll be proud to be author of. You can contact me at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

If you’d rather do-it-yourself, check out my book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book.

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Dec 23

Publishing Your Book the Hybrid Way

Book publishing with the hybrid publisherAs with everything, the publishing industry has changed. With the difficulty in getting a traditional contract through queries and proposals and the hands-on learning and doing of ‘real’ self-publishing, there is a third option: Hybrid publishing.

So, what exactly is hybrid publishing?

According to Ingram Spark, “Hybrid publishing combines some elements of traditional publishing with those of independent publishing.” (1)

But, that definition is kind of vague as there are different formats within hybrid publishing.

The partnerships

There are some hybrid companies that offer publishing assistance. These companies have expertise in the arena, whether it be editorial, design, marketing, or all aspects. This type of publishing has a form of gatekeeping to ensure quality. They will NOT print just anything.

While an upfront fee is required, it’s more of a partnership. These companies work with you. They’re vested in your book’s success. They make money from sales just like you do.

The pay to play companies

Then there are the hybrid companies that will publish anything as long as the author pays for it. There is no quality control. Back when, vanity presses were noted for this. These companies don’t care if you sell a single book, they already got their money.

And, there are variations in between. So, pretty much, any company that helps you get your manuscript published and turned into an ebook or paper book for a fee is a hybrid company.

It really is confusing.

In fact, a while after I published this article, I received a query to ghostwrite for a hybrid company. Looking into the company, I found that the author paid 100% of the publishing fees and the service took a percentage of each copy sold besides that. My first thought was how could they call themselves a hybrid – they’re a full fledged vanity press.

It really is confusing.

Even if you’re offed 100% royalties, be suspicious.

Publisher’s Weekly has an excellent in-depth article on hybrid publishing. It’s definitely worth the read if you’re think of paying to help get your book published: The Indie Author’s Guide to Hybrid Publishing

And, publishing expert Jane Friedman offers great advice on How to Evaluate a Hybrid Publisher

What they all have in common

Before you can think about self-publishing a book, no matter what route, you need to write a story. And, since your name will be on that story as author, you should write a quality story, one that you’ll be proud of.

I can help with that. I’m a children’s ghostwriter and can turn your idea into a publishable story. Or, if you have a story, but it needs a lot of work, I can rewrite it for you.

If you’d like to discuss a project, shoot me an email at kcioffiventrice@gmail.com

You can also check the Contact Page for my phone number if you’d prefer discussing it over the phone.

References
(1) Publishing Options: Traditional, Hybrid, Self-Publishing

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