August 9, 2021– Publishers can be pretty picky at times. Ok, that’s a lie. We’re picky all the time, but for good reason. Did you know that it costs a ton of money to produce a book? It costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,00 and up to have a book go to publication. We want to make sure that we at least make our investment back, but publishing is a business, so naturally, we want to profit. That’s why we choose books and authors so carefully!
A few posts ago, I spoke about the importance of meeting my authors in person, and this post will add to that. By meeting the authors I publish, I get a feel for their personality and work ethic by the things they say and the questions I ask. I want to see how invested they are in the success of their book and the outcome of their sales.
I want authors who are willing to do the work. Gone are the days where the publisher does everything (especially in small Houses, but even the big publishers are changing their tune) because, at the end of the day, the public wants to meet you, the author, not the publisher. We do a myriad of things behind the scenes, such as setting up book signing tours, school visits, local presentations, events, signage, inventory, marketing, press releases, and the list goes on infinitely, so why would it be unreasonable for us to expect our authors to pull their weight? That’s why some publishers are going hybrid!
What is hybrid publishing? Hybrid publishing allows the publisher and the author to make equal investments in the project and split the royalties.
Why do publishers like this model? Because it ensures that the author is just as invested in their work as we are. There are a few times (more than I’d like to admit) where I’ve made a mistake picking authors, and if they had to foot the bill for their book, they probably would have worked a hell of a lot harder. It’s the adage that you appreciate what you work for, not what’s given to you. Ask any kid who had to pay their own way in University or otherwise if they skipped any classes or if they threw responsibility out the window and said, “Ahh, screw it. I don’t feel like going to an 8 am lecture. I didn’t pay for the class, so who cares.” When you have to do your part and are invested, you work harder. That’s what publishers want. If the author doesn’t put in the work, we aren’t out our entire investment.
Why do authors like this model? Because they get a say in their creative work, they like the support they get from the publisher, and it’s more affordable than going it alone. Traditional publishing means that authors sell their work to the publisher to make the changes that the publisher sees fit. The publisher gets the control because we’re fronting the money. We give you a royalty in return. Hybrid publishing is a collaborative effort between the publisher and the author. The author gets more of a say regarding the manuscript, illustrations (if applicable), and marketing efforts. It’s not as free reign as self-publishing, but it’s closer than traditional publishing.
At Pandamonium Publishing House, we offer hybrid publishing as an option for authors new and existing. I think this model will be used more frequently by publishers in the future because it makes sense. That way, we know that the author is invested in doing the work, and if in the end, for some reason, they aren’t, we haven’t drained our bankroll, resources, and time working with someone who isn’t interested in being successful.
Publishers want authors to work as hard as they do. That’s it. That’s what we want. And if that’s not something you’re willing to do as an author, then maybe this business isn’t for you.