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Fantastic article from Writer’s Digest!self publish

By: | August 11, 2016

Hybrid publishing is an emerging area that occupies the middle ground between traditional and self-publishing and therefore includes many different publishing models— basically anything that is not self-publishing or traditional publishing. “Hybrid publishing” is not a term all publishers or authors in this space use; other terms that describe this type of publishing include “author-assisted publishing,” “independent publishing,” “partnership publishing,” “copublishing,” and “entrepreneurial publishing.” But right now, because it’s a catchall, “hybrid publishing” is the umbrella term I’ll use throughout this book to refer to this middle ground.


brooke-headshot featuredgreen-light your bookThis guest post is Brooke Warner. Warner is publisher of She Writes Press, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Green-Light Your Book, What’s Your Book?, and How to Sell Your Memoir, and the co-author of Breaking Ground on Your Memoir. Brooke’s expertise is in traditional and new publishing, and she is an equal advocate for publishing with a traditional house and self-publishing. She sits on the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the Bay Area Book Festival, and the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). She blogs actively on Huffington Post Books and SheWrites.com. She lives and works in Berkeley, California.


The hybrid publishing space is somewhat controversial, in part because it’s new and in part because there’s no universal agreement about what it is. Because hybrid models almost always involve the author paying for some or all services (and always in return for higher royalty rates), some assert that hybrid publishing is the same as vanity publishing. For people who like to think in black-and-white terms, the hybrid publishing space upends their sense of order. Without hybrid, there are’ just traditional publishing and self-publishing. Black and white. You get paid to publish or you pay to get published. The hybrid publishing space is not for black-and-white thinkers. There are a number of models, and in my experience what sets them apart from vanity presses is that they’re run like publishing companies. Many of them have a submissions process, control their own cover design and editorial process, and have publishers calling the shots and curating the lists. There are also traditional publishers that are cutting hybrid deals, in which authors pay for some services in exchange for higher royalties.

The payoff for the author in hybrid publishing comes from having more control. The author is investing in their own work, or perhaps raising money through crowdfunding to finance their work, and then keeping the lion’s share of their profits, rather than giving it all away. Authors retain creative ownership and are treated more like partners in the process, instead of being at the whim of their publishers.

The following are four main kinds of hybrid publishing:

1. Traditional publishers that have been brokering hybrid publishing deals for years.

The precedent for hybrid models goes back years and years. A number of publishers have cut deals with authors for what might have been qualified as “distribution deals,” “hybrid publishing arrangements,” or “copublishing ventures.” All this means is that the author pays up front in some capacity. This might be for part or all of the print run or the cost of production. In exchange, the author is usually negotiating a higher royalty rate, since they’ve invested in their own work. The only downside to this variation of hybrid publishing is that it’s not transparent. Most of the traditional publishers who do it don’t talk about it, because the concept of authors paying to publish is so heavily stigmatized. In fact, it’s still the case that authors who subsidize any part of their work are barred from submitting their work to some reviewers and to many contests. These authors do not qualify for membership in certain writers’ associations. (Thankfully, many review outlets, contests, and associations are changing their tune on this, but not enough of them and not fast enough.)

[How To Write Novels When You’re A Parent]

2. Partnership publishing models.

Models like these include my own publishing company, She Writes Press. Our authors absorb the financial risk of their publishing endeavor in exchange for high royalties. We offer traditional distribution (which we’ll explore in detail in Chapter 6) and all the benefits that brings.

Partnership publishing models like She Writes Press are exciting in that they offer authors access—to review sites, to a sales force selling their books into the marketplace, and to a partnership with a publisher that has a strong reputation with booksellers. The downside, however, is that there’s a real financial risk. Publishers mostly don’t earn out their investments on books they acquire, and partnership publishing is no different. You are assuming the financial risk for access and for the possibility of a high reward. However, it’s a competitive marketplace out there, and I always encourage authors to go into this option with their eyes wide open. It’s not a foregone conclusion that your investment will be recouped. Other presses like ours include Ink Shares, Booktrope, BQB Publishing, and Turning Stone Press.

3. Agent-assisted publishing models.

Many agents are starting their own publishing companies in order to publish the works of authors whose books they cannot sell. For the most part, these efforts are valiant. Agents feel strongly about the work they’re seeing and want to find an outlet where these authors can be published. They’re hybrid because the authors are being published under the agent’s imprint. What these models lack to date is any kind of effective distribution method. Where they excel, and what makes them like the other two models above, is in understanding publishing and putting out quality books that their authors can be proud of. One asset here as well may be on the foreign-market side. If your agent continues to represent you and has published your book, it’s likely they will make strong efforts to sell foreign editions of your work, so be sure to ask. Examples of agent-assisted publishing include Reputation Books (a division of Kimberley Cameron & Associates) and the Curtis Brown Group out of the UK.


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4. Other assisted publishing models.

What makes assisted self-publishing models different from the partnership and agent-assisted models is that they may or may not be run by someone who knows about books. In these cases, you are paying someone to help you publish. You are not working with a team that is going to publish your work under their imprint. This model really qualifies more as self-publishing than as hybrid. However, I believe it’s important to include these models here, more as a caution to aspiring authors than anything else. Just because you are working with a company does not mean that it is a good hybrid company with services that will help your book succeed. The market for book publishing has exploded, and as a result a number of companies have cropped up to deal with the pain points unique to authors—namely, that getting a book from manuscript to publication is a complicated process. Many of these companies have given the word “vanity” some propulsion because they’re not vetting and they don’t care about editorial quality. That’s on the author, which is why I believe this is somewhat dangerous territory in which you need to be careful. This is basically expensive self-publishing, and some of these companies outright take advantage of authors. The company with the most notoriety in this space is Author Solutions (home of iUniverse, Balboa, WestBow Press, and Archway, to name a few). Not all assisted publishing models are bad, but some of them have a reputation for exploiting authors, so you want to be careful. Do your homework.

Until Next Time…

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how_-much_to_chargeI received an article with this information and wanted to share. Although I didn’t use Reedsy for editing and my book cover, I found I fell within most of the pricing ranges.

One thing I didn’t see on this infographic was the Q&A time with the editor. I certainly had questions as I moved through the process and the last thing I wanted was to be left hanging if my editor said, “this doesn’t work in the plot.” I’ve worked with previous editors who would make a comment and instead of being able to ask a few questions you had to make the changes, submit, and pay again. I’m not clear what Reedsy offers, but if you’re looking for an editor, it’s an important topic to ask about.

By Maryann Yin on May. 2, 2016 Reedsy Self-Publishing Infographic (GalleyCat)

Until Next Time…

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The novel plannerI have five million things going on at any given moment, and if I’m not organized I’ll lose everything. Identifying this has certainly helped me in all aspects of my life, but especially my writing. And, I have to admit, I love exploring and finding cool stuff for writers. If it’s something that is fun or helps us become more successful, I’m on it.

With that being said I didn’t find this next tool before I planned my novel, but I am using it for my next book. Kristen A. Keiffer of She’s Novel came up with this brilliant planner that can be used for two books! She’s packed monthly and weekly calendars, brainstorming, a resource center, story idea list, and more into a planner that is easy to carry with you.

What’s also great about it, the price. You can purchase one on Amazon for only $16.19. Click here to see the planner and take a peek inside.

If you’ve also found some great tools to plan a novel I’d love to hear about them.

Until Next Time…

 

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save moneyI mentioned in my last post that I stomped around like a little kid when I thought about outlining my upcoming novel (click here to read “How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars On Editing“). In fact, I pretty much threw a fit for several weeks until I went back and visited Larry Brook’s website and printed off the beat sheet.

Now, anyone who follows Larry knows he’s a bit of a hard *ss. His delivery can be almost rude and can easily discourage new writers. But, he knows his stuff, and he’s excellent at what he does.

Here’s the link to the beat sheet so you can easily follow along. And, don’t forget, using this tool saved me hundreds of dollars in the developmental editing stage!  http://storyfix.com/blank-beat-sheet-form

After my temper tantrum, I looked over my freshly printed beat sheet and filled out what I already knew in the story. The ending came to me first, so I filled in what was the 3rd plot point, and then I backed up from there. I then wrote down my opening including my hook and wrote a brief sentence of the scene that happened next, then next, and then next until I reached plot point 1, midpoint, etc. Before I realized it, I had my book planned out. There were times I wasn’t sure what happened next, but reviewing the previous scenes helped me stay on track.

Now, what was amazingly easy was changing my one sentence when a scene changed. This happened several times as I wrote and the story developed, but since I had a strong foundation, I stayed on track with my story.

Do you know the most amazing thing that happened by using this tool? It’s not the money I saved, although that was fantastic. I had the first draft with NO MAJOR REWRITES! The development of the story was strong. By planning out the plot points and just a bit of information that connected my scenes together I had a solid rough draft.

Now, don’t forget that developmental editing is not copyediting. Developmental editing covers the plot, characterization, pacing, and story development. Every novel needs this type of editing as well as copyediting.

Stay tuned for the additional low cost and free resources I used to save hundreds of dollars on developmental edits.

Until Next Time…

 

 

 

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scam-alert-picI don’t think I’ve ever posted about publishing scams, but we all know they are out there. I’m a subscriber to Indies Unlimited and they reached out asking if I would post this information concerning new scams. Since we are all writers, I thought it would be a good post.

Many Independent Authors Have Escaped from Predatory Publishing

Arlington, VA (April 7) – More than a quarter of independent authors who responded to a recent survey at IndiesUnlimited.com said they definitely had, or might have, fallen victim to a predatory publisher before turning to self-publishing. The survey results were published on the blog this week.

Indies Unlimited conducted the unscientific survey as part of its #PublishingFoul series, which featured true stories from scammed authors throughout the month of March.

“Although our 115 respondents were self-selected, I think our results are pretty accurate,” said staff writer and former journalist Lynne Cantwell, who created the survey. “For example, 76% of our respondents said they had placed just one book with their predatory publisher. That’s in line with what the biggest vanity publisher, Author Solutions, has said about its own business.”

Nearly half – 47% – of the survey respondents reported losing less than $500 to their questionable publisher. However, another 31% reported losing more than $1,000, and one author admitted to losing more than $5,000.

Cantwell said it’s easy to blame the victim for falling for these scams – but that’s unfair. “‘Buyer beware’ only goes so far when you’re dealing with a professional con artist,” she said. “Someone new to the world of publishing is usually so flattered by a publisher’s interest in their work that they don’t even think to do a web search to see if it’s a scam. And that’s what these predatory publishers count on. That’s how they keep their businesses going.”

Twenty-eight percent of authors responding to the survey said they had reported their bad experience to an authority. Typically, reports like these are made to a state attorney general’s office, or to a watchdog organization like Writer Beware. However, two respondents said they had kept the incident to themselves because they were afraid that their publisher would sue them if they complained publicly.

Indies Unlimited co-administrator K.S. Brooks said the website decided to do the month-long series after hearing numerous stories from authors who had been scammed. “Some of these stories just break your heart,” she said. “There’s a ton of advice out there on the web about avoiding predators, but not many first-person accounts. So we decided to give these authors a chance to tell their stories, in the hopes that others would read them and think twice about signing up with a scammer.”

“At Indies Unlimited, we cover all facets of independent publishing, from writing and editing to publishing and marketing,” said founder Stephen Hise. “We hope our #PublishingFoul coverage will be a resource for authors for years to come.”

Indies Unlimited has been named in Publishers Weekly as one of the top six blogs for independent authors. The website is http://www.indiesunlimited.com.

 

Until Next Time…

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Here’s a post from Kevin atautocrit.com. I love sharing these tips, but it also showswhyautocrit is such an amazing tool for writers.

Do you ever cringe when you see a story that begins “on a dark and stormy night“?
That’s because it’s a cliché. Clichés are phrases so overused they’re considered trite and unoriginal
Clichés and redundancies in your manuscript are a sign that you may need to work on making your writing a little more original.
Redundancies are words that could be omitted because they repeat what has already been expressed or conveyed in the sentence. 
 
The problem is that it’s not always easy to spot clichés or redundancies in our own work.   I have good news though, the AutoCrit can do it for you!
AutoCrit highlights those phrases and shows you the sections of text where you used them, so you can quickly decide which words and phrases you want to change or delete and which you may want to keep. For redundancies, deleting the redundant word usually solves the problem. For example: “He reversed the car back” can be simplified to “He reversed the car.”
Clichés are a tad trickier to replace. Here are a couple of my favorite strategies:
Let your characters be your guide: Replace a cliché with a phrase that is unique to your character. For instance, say you have a character who is a chef; instead of saying that she’s as “nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof,” say that she’s as “nervous as the day she threw her first dinner party.”
Use settings or situations as inspiration: Align your phrases with the scene itself. For example, say you have a character who is about to play quarterback in the big game; instead of writing, “Simon’s heart was racing,” say “Simon’s heart thundered in time with the drum corp marching its way across the field.”
Be specific: Clichés are often generalizations, so a quick way to revise them is simply to be more specific. For instance, instead of writing, “Penelope woke in the middle of the night…” say, “Penelope woke at 3 a.m.”
Eliminating those clichés and redundancies will make your story feel fresher and more original. So go on—show your manuscript some love.
Happy editing!

Keep writing! Until Next Time…

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Rest but never quit

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” ― Author Unknown

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” — Napoleon Hill

“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

“Hope is a function of struggle.” — Brené Brown

Until Next Time…

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