Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What the heck is "hybrid publishing?"

There are not as many varieties of publishing as Baskin-Robbins has flavors of ice cream, but the number may be getting close.

I know about traditional, standard, commercial, trade, university, DIY, self, vanity, electronic, online, POD, instant, subsidy, co-op, independent, indy, independent self, true self, assisted self, etc. -- and have written about most of them. 

Apparently I've neglected HYBRID PUBLISHING.

Google shows nearly 13,000 links for the term, so apparently I've ignored something important.

Google's first link goes to Windy City Publishing. The company's website tells us: "As a hybrid publisher we provide authors the control, flexibility and speed of do-it-yourself publishing. But more than that, we also provide support with a team of experts that help guide our authors through the entire process."

  • Gee. That sounds like AuthorHouse, CreateSpace, Outskirts and many other 

RevMedia Publishing says Hybrid-Publishing [the company hyphenates the term] "is publishing your book with a minimal investment and getting paid royalties for bookstore sales and other retail revenues from a publisher.  It's getting your book in the wholesale market without warehousing thousands of copies costing you huge money that could be used in marketing.  It's getting your name on retailers book lists and providing access to major book retailers to order your book with out [sic] paying big dollars to publish your book.

  • Gee. That sounds like AuthorHouse, CreateSpace, Outskirts and many other "self-publishing" companies."

BQB Publishing wants us to know that "Hybrid publishing is typically a combination of the high-quality processes for acceptance, editing, and book design that are indigenous to the traditional houses, combined with the author’s financial participation that is a part of self-publishing.

  • Gee. That sounds like Vantage Press, Beckham Publications and others. 

The new She Writes Press says: "We are a hybrid because we are, in fact, a publishing company. What we’re offering is fee-based publishing, but we are also offering a partnership. With SWP, you own your content, but you publish under our imprint and our ISBN. You can have your rights reverted at any time, but we are bringing you under our umbrella when we offer you a contract."

  • Gee. That sounds like lots of other self-publishing companies.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the wonderful world of linguistics and word play again from so many self-publishing providers.

    This is a term I use on TIPM, but I'm not sure I agree with any of the definitions above. Don't ask me where the term originated - 'hybrid publishing' - but it can only describe a publisher or publishing service provider that offers the best of both publishing paths - self and traditional publishing.

    Penguin is a good recent example of a hybrid publisher, operating in the commercial world with the normal bells and whistles, but also operates a pay-for services division with Book Country. Hay House and Harlequin would be two others. As publishing companies, they have all crossed into paid services. You could technically argue that Bloomsbury and Faber are also hybrids - while not offering outright full-publishing services, both offer pay-for publishing consultation and academic writing courses for authors and support in-house 'talent-sourcing' programs.

    On the opposite spectrum, Vantage Press run a traditional imprint and also offer pay-for publishing services. Likewise Hillcrest Media, who own Mill City Press (a pub service) and Bascom Books (a trad imprint).

    You can't be a hybrid publisher if you only offer pay-services and don't operate imprints like a normal publisher, with multiple print methods and full commercial distribution to the trade.

    Hybrid Publishing is about breeding new developments and crossing divides and offering the best of both paths. You can't just cross a mouse with a mouse, and then call it a new kind of mouse! It's still a f**k**' mouse!

    Mind you, it's possible some of the publishing services you mentioned did attempt to cross a mouse with a giraffe, because some of them appear to have pretty long and hard necks if they describe their companies as hybrid publishers!