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What Is Hybrid Publishing?

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Erin K. Larson-Burnett, Production Manager at Atmosphere Press (submit your manuscript here!), is a born-and-raised Southerner currently living in Katy, Texas, with her husband and their small domestic zoo. She is an avid ink drinker who lives and breathes books—during the day, she works remotely with authors around the world, honing and perfecting books published through Atmosphere Press. By night, she crafts her own stories…or at least tries to. The Bear & the Rose is her debut novel.


For Many Authors, Hybrid Publishing Is the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid publishing is a publishing model that combines the best of traditional and self-publishing. As such, it gives authors the flexibility and control they need to bring their books to market. It is a relatively new concept, with the term “hybrid” first being used to describe this publishing model in the early 2000s. However, the idea of combining elements of traditional and self-publishing has been around for much longer.

Today, hybrid publishing is becoming increasingly popular as more authors seek to take control of their publishing journey while still benefiting from professional support and wider distribution. The hybrid publishing model has been taken advantage of by many bestselling authors, such as Hugh Howey, Mark Dawson, Bella Andre, Rachel Abbott, and CJ Lyons.

A key feature of hybrid publishing is that an ethical hybrid publisher—Atmosphere Press is an example—will focus on author satisfaction throughout the publishing process, taking the author’s artistic interests and desires into account more than a traditional publisher would. To enable this service-oriented approach, it is understood in hybrid publishing that the author will contribute financially to the project, and will receive a higher percentage of sales proceeds.

If you’re an author ready to take charge of your creative journey while benefiting from professional support, consider submitting your manuscript to Atmosphere Press. Elevate your literary aspirations and discover the unparalleled advantages that hybrid publishing can offer.

Read on to discover the top 10 reasons hybrid publishing might be the best option for you!

1. Control

With hybrid publishing, you have more control over the creative process and how your book is marketed and distributed. You can make decisions about the direction of your book and have a say in how it’s presented to the world. Ally Machate, book editor and publishing consultant, said it well: “Hybrid publishing is the perfect solution for authors who want to take their writing career to the next level, but don’t want to sacrifice creative control or quality.”

This heightened creative influence extends to the presentation of the book to the world. Authors partnering with hybrid publishers actively shape marketing and distribution strategies, tailor promotional campaigns, and contribute to discussions about market positioning. This collaborative approach transforms the publishing journey into a co-creative endeavor, where each book is a true reflection of the author’s unique voice and vision, making hybrid publishing a compelling choice for those seeking authenticity and control in their writing careers.

2. Quality

Hybrid publishers offer professional editing, design, and production services to ensure that your book is of the highest quality. This means you can produce a book that you can be proud of and that readers will love. Hybrid publishers, unlike vanity presses, have a rigorous vetting process to ensure that the books they publish meet certain standards. This process ensures that every book they publish meets and surpasses industry benchmarks. By upholding these high standards, hybrid publishers not only bolster the reputation of the authors they work with but also contribute to the overall credibility and quality of the hybrid publishing model itself. In essence, the commitment to excellence in both production and content solidifies hybrid publishing as a reliable avenue for authors striving to deliver books that stand the test of both literary and critical acclaim.

3. Finance

Unlike the traditional publishing model where the publisher shoulders the financial burden, or self-publishing where authors bear all costs, hybrid publishing strikes a balance. Authors contribute to the financial aspects of the project, recognizing it as an investment in the realization of their literary vision. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of shared responsibility and commitment, aligning the interests of both author and publisher toward a common goal—the success of the book in the market.

In contrast to self-publishing, where authors often bear the entirety of the financial burden and may receive a smaller percentage of sales, hybrid publishing frequently provides authors with a more substantial share of the book’s net revenue. This financial model aligns the interests of the author and the publisher, creating a symbiotic relationship where both parties are invested in the book’s success. Authors, therefore, not only benefit from the professional support and resources provided by the hybrid publisher but also enjoy a fair and transparent financial structure that rewards their efforts and contributions to the project’s overall success.

4. Support

Traditional publishers may provide support, but often with more control over the content. Hybrid publishers, on the other hand, offer comprehensive support throughout the publishing process, combining the expertise of professionals with the author’s vision to produce a high-quality book. From the initial manuscript review to the final steps of distribution, authors partnering with hybrid publishers benefit from a dedicated team of professionals. These experts, ranging from editors to marketing specialists, work collaboratively with authors, ensuring that their literary vision is not only realized but elevated to meet the highest industry standards.

5. Royalties

Hybrid publishing companies stand out not only for their comprehensive support but also for their groundbreaking approach to author compensation. Traditionally, authors grapple with modest royalty rates, typically ranging between 8% and 15% of the book’s list price, with publishers retaining the lion’s share to cover expenses and secure a profit margin. However, the landscape shifts significantly within the realm of hybrid publishing.

Authors partnering with hybrid publishers find themselves in a more lucrative position, reaping between 80% and 100% of the book’s net revenue. This substantial increase in royalties reflects a paradigm shift towards a more equitable and transparent financial model, where authors directly benefit from the fruits of their hard work. Such a favorable arrangement not only acknowledges the author’s investment in the project but also aligns the interests of the author and the publisher for mutual success.

6. Efficiency

Hybrid publishing companies redefine efficiency by offering accelerated production cycles, ensuring a quicker path to book publication compared to traditional presses. This swift turnaround is a testament to their author-centric approach, characterized by responsiveness to authors’ needs.

A proficient hybrid publisher not only expedites the publishing process but also serves as a guiding hand, navigating authors through each stage with precision. This streamlined and prompt journey from manuscript to publication caters to the contemporary reader’s appetite for timely content, positioning hybrid publishing as a dynamic and responsive force in the ever-evolving literary landscape.

7. Exposure

Hybrid publishing companies can increase an author’s visibility and exposure through the use of promotional efforts and book marketing tailored to the book and author. This is unlike self-publishing, in which the author often doesn’t have a support team to build influence for their book.

By leveraging the expertise of professionals in the field, hybrid publishing not only elevates the visibility of an author’s work but also positions it strategically in the market, fostering a broader and more impactful audience engagement. This collaborative and targeted promotional approach underscores hybrid publishing as a holistic solution for authors seeking to make a lasting impact in an increasingly competitive literary landscape.

8. Credibility

Although self-publishing has become more mainstream in recent years, traditional publishing still carries a certain level of prestige and credibility. Hybrid publishing can offer authors the opportunity to work with a publisher and gain some of that credibility while still retaining more control over the process.

9.  Accessibility

Hybrid publishers strike a balance between the selectivity of traditional publishers and the inclusivity of vanity presses. While they are more selective than the latter, hybrid publishers can accommodate a broader range of authors compared to traditional presses, providing a more accessible avenue for publication.

10. Distribution

A pivotal advantage of hybrid publishing lies in its ability to open doors to distribution channels typically reserved for traditionally published authors. This strategic access facilitates broader reach, enabling authors to connect with a wider audience and potentially elevate their sales figures. Hybrid publishers leverage their industry connections and established networks to place books in key retail spaces, online platforms, and bookstores, offering an unparalleled avenue for exposure.

This expanded distribution not only increases the visibility of an author’s work but also positions it for greater commercial success. In essence, this access to exclusive distribution channels stands as a compelling reason why many authors opt for hybrid publishing over self-publishing, seeking not only creative control but also a strategic pathway to wider readership and increased sales.

All in all, hybrid publishing is a nuanced and author-centric model that offers the best of both traditional and self-publishing worlds. By providing a flexible and supportive environment, hybrid publishing empowers authors to navigate their publishing journey with artistic integrity, financial transparency, and an efficient production process. As the literary landscape continues to evolve, hybrid publishing stands out as a comprehensive and strategic choice for authors seeking a publishing experience that aligns with their creative vision and long-term goals.

A writer is someone who writes. An author is someone who publishes. Are you ready to be an author?

Atmosphere Press has been guiding authors on rewarding journeys through publication and beyond since 2015. Our authors’ award-winning and acclaimed books have sold tens of thousands of copies across six continents, and our Press ethos is to put the power not in the hands of the publisher, but in the hands of the writer, where it belongs. Accredited with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, we partner with the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers, Winning Writers, and Writing Magazine, among others.

If you would like to explore taking this author journey with us, please reach out to us directly through our submissions page. We’ll look forward to helping you achieve your goals as a writer…and as an author!

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below. 

Atmosphere Press was founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome.

We hold true to those principles today.

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