When you hold a book in your hand or see the words on the page of an ebook reader, it’s magical. As a reader, you are instantly transported to a land full of knowledge and wisdom, or stories and poetry. Yet, as an author who has something worthwhile to share, the publishing world may seem fraught with roadblocks.
Most writers won’t have the chance to secure a traditional publishing contract. The competition is fierce and opportunities for new authors continue to dwindle while traditional publishers prefer to publish books from established best-selling authors. Even for authors who have already had traditional publishing contracts, the experience doesn’t always leave a good taste in their mouth. Some authors actually prefer to have more creative control over the final book.
However, on the other side of the pendulum, self-publishing doesn’t paint much of a rosy picture either. The truth is that most self-published authors don’t know how to produce a professional book and, even worse, they will sell fewer than 100 copies over their book’s lifetime. This means that, sadly, almost no one will ever read what the author wrote.
These are some grim prospects, but what other options does an author have?
In a recent article, I introduced you to the new hybrid publishing model. I also highlighted some of the differences between a traditional publisher and a hybrid publisher, and gave some tips on what to look for in a hybrid publisher. But how does hybrid publishing benefit both authors and the reading public? Let’s take a look.
How Hybrid Publishing Benefits the Reading Public
Not every book needs to be a mass-market paperback. Hybrid publishers are better equipped and more willing than traditional publishers to serve small niches and less profitable genres and, perhaps more importantly, to work with new authors. As a result, readers gain access to more high-quality books than would be the case without hybrid publishers.
Think of it like this: Some people enjoy eating at McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and other casual restaurants that serve mass-produced food, but that doesn’t mean they want to eat there at every meal. The same is true for what they read – readers like to have variety and choice, not just what’s most popular.
If readers could only read books from the biggest publishing houses, then we would all miss out on some other amazing books and fresh perspectives. Hybrid publishing allows less widely known, but still worthwhile, voices to be heard.
What about your own voice? Do you have a message to share?
How Hybrid Publishing Benefits Authors
Traditional publishing can be like a shooting star, brilliant but short-lived, while self-publishing can be like a cloak of invisibility, doing little to find you an audience. Hybrid publishing, however, is different. It offers most authors more advantages and fewer disadvantages than traditional models.
Here are some of the ways hybrid publishing can be beneficial to authors. Hybrid publishing:
- Encourages new voices: While traditional publishing ends up keeping all but a few authors out, hybrid publishing allows more voices to rise to the top and get heard. Hybrid publishers can help hard-working authors (both first-time authors and more experienced authors) to publish their books, build a platform, connect with their market and actually enjoy the royalties from their book sales.
- Offers higher author royalties – more money earned from each sale of your book: With a traditional publisher, an author might receive a 7% royalty, but with a hybrid publisher, an author might receive a much larger 50-70% royalty, allowing him or her to keep the lion’s share of a book’s earnings. At the same time, a hybrid publisher will put the full weight of their publishing contacts and marketing know-how behind that title to give the author a much better chance of success than they could expect as a self-publshed author.
- Provides the right amount of creative flexibility: Traditional publishers have strong ideas about how a book should fit into literary trends, while self-publishers have complete creative control and have to make dozens of critical decisions with limited knowledge and experience. Good hybrid publishers, on the other hand, provide solid professional guidance and support to help you shape your book, but also give you the right amount of creative flexibility. Their goal is to help you make your book your own, but still the best version of itself.
- Allows a partnership: A good hybrid publisher is someone you can count on to guide you through the pre- and post-publication process and is invested in your success over the lifetime of your book, not just a literary season.
Hybrid publishing provides multiple benefits to readers and authors, including first-time authors and aspiring authors – clearing away the roadblocks put up by the traditional publishing world.
Write the Book You’re Meant to Write
Do you have a message to share? If you do, I encourage you to take a look at Write the Book You’re Meant to Write: A Guide for First-time Authors. It’s full of guidance and tips to help you bring your book into the world.