We live in a wonderful world of diversity, freedom and expansion. So, the publishing industry naturally did grow with the world around it.  It’s now very fluid. Different types are common. From Hybrid to Traditional, Self-Publishing to Vanity. Knowing the difference is key.


One view we see an awful lot online is that Hybrid publishing is ‘self-publishing’, ‘vanity publishing’ or just an outright scam.That could not be further from the truth. To quote the Independent Book Publishers Association article about Hybrid publishing:


"Hybrid publishing companies behave just like traditional publishing companies in all respects, except that they publish books using an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves, and in exchange return, a higher-than industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. In other words, a hybrid publisher makes income from a combination of publishing services and book sales". – see full article here: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/hybrid-publisher-criteria-download


Wikipedia also has a great definition on hybrid publishers (with a section to show the difference between vanity and hybrid) to quote them:


"Vanity presses vs. the hybrid model-  A key differentiating factor between the hybrid model and vanity presses is that hybrid publishers usually still curate the books that they publish to particular categories, genres or quality standards.[9] Vanity presses on the other hand are typically less selective. This can make it easier for authors to get published through a vanity press but they may also be associated with less credibility than publishing with a hybrid publisher who is required to adhere to the standards listed above. The hybrid model is seen as the more credible model in comparison to vanity presses not only because of their curatorial function, but also because they have more stakes in the success of the book since they share in the books sales profit.  Therefore it is in the publishers best interest to sell, distribute and market the book effectively. Vanity presses are more closely related to the self publishing model since they do not take a cut of the books sales. Once the publishing services are completed, they are usually no longer involved in the process. The hybrid model has ties to both traditional publishing and self publishing, but uses the best practices of both models".  See full article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_publishing



To sum it up in our own words and research, here are the differences between different types of publishing!



Hybrid Publishers


Hybrid publishers practise exactly how a traditional publisher works, the only difference is the business model. Work that is not accepted as a free contract but still packed full of potential has a chance to shine. Their authors are split up into traditional contracts (100% free) and contribution when the work is still full of potential but it’s not exactly what they’re looking for– in this circumstance a contract is offered for a select fee (this fee can vary, but it’s usually not extortionate) this usually covers the first stages of production – that being the proofing, designing of your cover, the ISBN, printing costs, review copies and marketing. This marketing includes gathering contacts and contacting them on your behalf, setting up signings for you, looking into advertising, adding books to various databases (wholesalers, bookshops) creating you audiobooks, e-book, videos, banners, bookmarks, hosting giveaways, writing blog posts and various social media work for you. This is what we are. Notice the difference between us and self-publishing/vanity. Also, we and most hybrid publishers have warehouses and do not run off print and demand. We stock books in bulk.



Vanity Publishers


Vanity publishers is a phrase that is thrown around an awful lot at many publishing houses, that simply are not vanity publishers at all. Occasionally we are asked if we are vanity publishers. The short answer to that is simple, no – no we are not.


A vanity publisher works very differently to most publishers. Firstly, they usually charge a very large amount to be published. We’re talking upwards of £5,000. Once you’ve signed, they’ll quickly create you a cover (usually just a very simple design) proof your book once and then print it. They work by print on demand, so only print when they have an order and do not stock any books in a warehouse. They also hardly market their books at all. The quality of the books is usually very poor and they do not put your book on any databases for wholesalers and bookstores. So you’ll have to do all of that yourself. They also rarely provide you with an ISBN, so you’ll also have to find that yourself too.


Self Publishing


Usually, you agree with a self-publisher a set amount to do a certain package. These packages could be just creating you a cover and printing your book, some can edit, some also throw in marketing and the really expensive ones create you your own website along with putting your book on a database. The downside to self-publishers is they are usually print on demand (POD), which means the book will likely be very expensive to buy, which can be off-putting to customers.



Traditional Publishers


A traditional publisher usually only publishes work for free. They do fantastic marketing, add you to all of the necessary wholesalers, provide ISBNs and set up events. Pretty much exactly as Hybrid publishing works. The main differences are:

Royalties are low, the standard rate is between 5-15% of the net price. Hybrid is generally 15 or higher. You also get far less control in traditional publishing; your cover is made by the publishers without any huge direction from the author. Traditional publishers also mainly accept work from agents and rarely consider work sent in without one. Traditional publishing is widely considered the holy grail of publishing, for a good reason.