A recent article in the Huffington Post by author Kristen Houghton explores this option and what it means for both author and publisher.
Publishing new authors is an expensive and time-consuming business for publishers, she explains. Publishing houses use staffers to read proposals and manuscripts, and have teams of editors, cover designers, book lay-out designers, printers and distributors, and all of this work is done without any guarantee that a book will find an audience. All of which makes a publisher hesitant to take risks – which is what new authors pose for publishers.
Hybrid publishing, Houghton says, is a relatively new concept and it is popular with many new as well as established authors. Hybrid publishing, she says, is not self-publishing or traditional publishing, but a “comfortable combination of the two”.
The example she uses is an author whose career started with traditionally published books and has now decided to go with a hybrid publisher so that he or she can retain deadline and financial control. (Traditional publishing usually has a long waiting period – sometimes more than a year from finished book to launch date.) At hybrid publishing, you also have control over the book cover and all of the sales revenue.
But hybrid publishing also has benefits for traditional publishing houses. It is less of a risk for them because they do not need to invest quite as much time and money, and they can use it to woo new authors who have begun to establish an audience.
As with self-publishing, hybrid publishing makes you the CEO of the company – which is no bad thing, according to Houghton. She estimates the costs of bringing a book to print in the region of $1,800 to $2,500 (presumably this includes the costs of a good cover, layout, editing and proof-reading, and marketing, as well as the work done by the hybrid publisher), but that many authors consider it a worthwhile investment.
The third way of publishing Houghton outlines is digital publishing – a real boon for authors because it is the least expensive way to publish a book, and the book is often less expensive than a hard copy making it more attractive to readers. And of course if your book does sell well this way you can follow up with a print version – CreateSpace, IngramSpark or Nook Publishing offer this option.
As Houghton points out, whichever way you publish you do need to get people reading your books. And that is the key to success.
Read the full article here. Pic thanks to freeblogphots on flickr