When it comes book publishing, we often think we only have two options – work for years and years to land a literary agent and a book deal with a traditional publisher or strike out on our own and try our hand at self-publishing. But there is another way to get your work into the world and that’s through hybrid publishing.

What is Hybrid Publishing?

As the name suggests, a hybrid publisher is a hybrid of traditional publishing and self-publishing. As with self-publishing, you, the author, will have to front the cost of publishing your book with no advance on royalties. However, unlike with self-publishing, you will have a team to help you with editing, design, distribution, and more.

Angela Broyles of hybrid publisher Bluewater Publications recently led a virtual workshop on hybrid publishing for the See Jane Write Collective.

To watch the replay of her session you’ll have to become a member of the Collective. (Enrollment reopens June 22. You can apply to join here.) But in the meantime, here are some highlights from her workshop and three things you should know about hybrid publishing.

Your manuscript might get rejected.

Reputable hybrid publishers aren’t going to accept any and every manuscript that comes their way. And this is a good thing. You want to work with a publisher that vets manuscripts. This means that the publisher has a mission and wants to be sure the manuscripts it publishes align with that mission.

“Know your goals,” Angela says. “If your goals don’t align with the publisher’s mission, you’re not going to have success.”

The vetting process also means the publisher is serious about only accepting books that it can actually sell.

You get what you pay for.

Hybrid publishing is going to cost you much more than working with a printer or so-called vanity press.  Publishing packages at Bluewater Publications start around $5,900. The all-inclusive publishing package at She Writes Press is $7,900. But you get what you pay for.

A reputable hybrid publisher will make sure your book cover design is professional and the interior layout is top-notch. A trusted hybrid publisher will ensure your book has a proper ISBN and other important metadata.

“We must create book that will compete in the market,” Angela says.

A hybrid publisher will keep you from relying on selling books out of your trunk.

Best of all, a good hybrid publisher will help you with distribution, getting your book in bookstores, in catalogs, and in front of book buyers.

But you have to do your part, too. One thing Angela shared with us was the importance of authors building a strong social media presence. She said that book buyers often check an author’s social media presence when deciding whether or not to purchase a book.

So, if you think social media doesn’t matter, think again!

Have you considered hybrid publishing?