The Hybrid Author

Hybrid – the word doesn’t just refer to a new car any more, it applies to the literary world too. It’s the new term being whispered agent to agent, a term that denotes not only a traditional publishing route but also a self-publishing route – in the same up-and-coming author!

According to one of Kristen Nelson’s blogposts –  -apparently this is a promising path for new writers. It is one that expands their market and allows them to both have the joys of traditional publishing and the freedom of self-publishing. Apparently the agents want these two warring options to meld in order to further the author (and themselves).

Intrigued? I am too!

So many questions arise out of the ashes of the traditional vs. self-publishing duel. How will the traditional publishers take to writers who are self-published already? How much will doing both cost? What will the copyrights look like? What will the contracts look like? What took them so long to figure this out?

It’s little surprise the traditional publishing avenue is hard – there are so many steps to even contact the publisher (an agent must do it for you, most of the time), so many hoops to jump through, so much money to doll out. It’s a process that could take years.

Many also know the self-publishing avenue is hard, too – you have to do everything yourself (obviously), from finding the right company to self-publish with, footing the entire bill the whole way through, making your own cover and blurb and generating marketing ideas.

But the end of both is the same – a book has been successfully published. (I’m speaking of both the hard-book and the e-book categories, as they go hand-in-hand now.)

While I don’t know very much about this new term or how wide-spread the idea has become I believe it’s a good idea – if allowed to flourish. Speaking as a writer, doing both the traditional and the self-publishing route would be better. It would allow the writer to generate more content of differing genres – the traditional publishing would stick to one or two, while the self-publishing could be anything at all. It would allow writers to showcase smaller stories and poems and such while the larger, more time consuming projects are being worked on, thereby allowing the readers to be active and engaged in the writer year-round. It could be a way to publish both in hard-copy traditionally and self-publish e-books (though, to be fair, the traditional publishers are doing both now).

If allowed to flourish I think this would be a lovely avenue for writers, agents and publishing companies alike. Expanding the marketability, getting your work to as many people as possible, is key to being a success out there. Plus, I think it would be fun to be a part of both worlds (and yes, I’m humming Little Mermaid now, too) 

Are Hybrid Authors the new thing? I hope so.

Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,


6 thoughts on “The Hybrid Author

    • Hugh is an excellent role model (and a good friend). The one thing to keep in mind about him though, is he and Bella Andre and Colleen Hoover (all of who have print-only deals) are outliers. They have sales volumes that most people can’t get near. But there are many like me that have much more modest sales that are finding the advantages of the hybrid model so you don’t have to be a “superstar” to make it work.

  1. I definitely see hybrid as the way to go. A recent survey at DBW shows that hybrid authors earn 15% – 20% more than their traditional counterparts. I recently made the shift to hybrid (self-publishing Hollow World) and I used Kickstarter to fund the up-front costs so I could hire the same professionals that my big-six publisher uses for covers and editing. Today a guest post I did on my transition posted: I think it answers a lot of the questions you asked, but if you would like me to come here and address them one at a time for your blog – I would the opportunity to do so.

    • Hey Michael, thanks for the comment!

      I see hybrid as the way to go – it’s much more flexible and allows the writer to see (and be involved in) both worlds. Which questions can you answer?

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