Sunday, March 24, 2019

On Being a Hybrid Author

By the end of this month, I will be able to retrieve the rights to the last remaining books held by Simon & Schuster. It has taken over a year to dissolve my relationship with them, and right now, I'm still represented by three different publishers. I'm considering what to do with these last two books. Should I try self-publishing again? My first trip down that road was a failure, but I learned a lot.

A hybrid author, for those reading this blog who are readers rather than authors, is one who has a toe in both traditional publishing and self publishing. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of publishing, and it is refreshing for an author to finally have a choice in the matter, rather than to wait anxiously for word from a traditional house that they want, or reject, your work.

But as much as the freedom to be your own boss is with self publishing, there's something to be said for belonging to a traditional house as well. In addition to the marketing support you get, which in most cases is marginal, you become part of a sisterhood that can extend far past your contract with the publisher. Your universe of like-minded people grows with each publishing house and the benefits are great. Fellow authors are a great support system, and the more ways you can grow that list, the better.

I recently finished a manuscript and sent it off to a new-to-me publisher in hopes they'll consider it. Why would I consider adding a fourth house? To meet new people, to expand my reader base, to not place all my eggs in one basket. Take your pick of reasons. As for the two books reverting back to me? They may become my next attempts at self-publishing. Time will tell.

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