Once you’ve decided that hybrid publishing is the best way to turn your book project into a reality, how do you know who to turn to? Hybrid publishing has exploded in popularity with the decline of traditional publishing deals, the rise of new technologies (including ebook readers and more economical book printing options) and the forging of new publishing paths and business models. It has put authors back in charge, but with new options for authors, there are important decisions to be made as well.

The hybrid publisher you select will make a big difference in how your book looks, feels and is received – not to mention what experience you have with the book publishing process and how you will feel about your book going forward.

The hybrid publisher you choose to partner with should fit you as well as custom-made clothing. But how will you know which will fit you the best? Here are four things you should look for when selecting the right hybrid publisher for you.

The Right Genre, The Right Audience

Like traditional publishers, hybrid publishers often specialize in a particular type of book genre or book-reading audience. Dudley Court Press, for example, specializes in meaningful nonfiction books, memoirs and uplifting fiction.

It doesn’t matter if your book will be a soul food cookbook, a political thriller, an interior decorating how-to or a biography of your local hero. Your book should feel relatively at ease on the shelf with the publisher’s other titles. This will help ensure that your publisher has both the experience and the interest in making your title a top priority and a bestseller.

A Hybrid Publisher That Makes You a Partner

A good hybrid publisher is like a good friend: someone who is thoughtful, listens to what you have to say and wants to keep the relationship going. Someone you like and trust.

Sit down and talk to the hybrid publisher(s) you’re considering. What kind of attitude do they have? Do they consider your needs as an author and your goals for your book? Do they really listen to your ideas and incorporate them into the publishing plans? Or do they have a take-it-or-leave-it mindset? (That should be a red flag.) Do you think they’ll be up at night thinking about how to better sell your book, or do you think they won’t give your book a second thought after your book is released?

Will the hybrid publisher want to hear from you after publication? Do they want to continue working with you to keep your book relevant and selling for years after the initial launch? Or are they done with you once the ink on the book is dry?

Consider which hybrid publisher will make the best partner for you and your book project, at this moment and a couple years from now.

A Professional Hybrid Publisher

You want your book professionally published, distributed and represented. Otherwise, you probably would have already gone the DIY route.

Look for a hybrid publisher with the publishing expertise you need to get your book produced and selling. Is the hybrid publisher and are their books professional, knowledgeable and reliable?

From the front cover to the layout within, are the books they publish attractive and professional looking? Do they apply industry standards to every element of the publishing process, including copyright pages, ISBNs and managing book rights? Do they have established industry relationships to ensure that your book will be distributed right? Are their books currently selling?

Opt for a hybrid publisher who has both the expertise and the follow-through to set your book up for success.

A Reputable Hybrid Publisher

No one wants a subpar partner, especially when it comes to publishing your book. You and your book project deserve a reputable hybrid publisher who will do right by you.

Do some research about the hybrid publisher(s) you’re considering. What have others said about them? Like all endorsements and comments you find online or in real life, consider them with a critical eye. Do the comments, whether positive or negative, raise genuine issues, or would they apply in your situation?

Consider asking the publisher’s other authors (you should choose the authors, not the publisher) about their experiences. What went well with this publisher? What didn’t go so well? Is there anything they would have done differently?

While your individual experience with any hybrid publisher may be different, a hybrid publisher’s past performance is often a good indicator of what you can expect from them in the future (unlike the stock market!).

A Trusted Hybrid Publisher

Dudley Court Press works with new and experienced authors to publish more of the books the world needs – meaningful books with a message to share. For more information about our publishing programs and editorial standards, please get in touch at info@DudleyCourtPress.com, or check out our newest online coaching programs: Writer’s Sprint, Memoir Writing Made Easy and Aspiring Author to Published Pro.