Publishing Models

It’s 2017, and the publishing industry has changed. Dramatically so.

Being a writer in 2017 is not very different to being a writer in 1990. But, we have a range of different options when it comes to taking that next step and publish our precious books.

I am going to list the different options, and explain them to you.


Traditional Publishing

A traditional book publishing company buys the rights to an author’s manuscript.

This is how most best-selling novels out there has been published. It is a very straightforward model. You send your work to the publishing house; they take their six months to read and evaluate it, then they get back to you with approval. Traditional publishing doesn’t cost you anything. They edit your novel, promote your novel, and decide on cover and title. You get paid royalties on the sales; the percentage can vary.

This model is old and still considered the best by many aspiring writers. However, it is also the hardest. If you are not already known as an author to the public, your book is more than most likely going to get rejected. If you manage to get an agent before you send your manuscript, your chances are higher. Your book needs not only to be clean and solid – it needs to be brilliant and stand out from the millions of other manuscripts they receive every day.

Some traditional publishers:

Penguin House

Little, Brown books

Harper Collins



Want your book out there now? Want to be in complete control? CreateSpace (Amazon) offers a self-publishing option for writers. Many indie authors who chose this option says they didn’t have to pay a cent, which may sound great, but if you want to reach your readers – you will have to spend money on marketing your book.

Marketing can be done through social media, Amazon and Google. You are in control of the money spent on this.

There are also self-publishing publishers out there, who help you self-publish. They may feature your book on their website, as a bonus, and may help you with the marketing of your book, no fees involved.

The downside to self-publishing is that, unless your book sells extremely well, a traditional publisher may not consider this as ‘previously published’ if you decide to send another manuscript to them in the future. This is because everyone can self-publish, and I mean everyone. There are books out there written in poor English, with poor grammar, and poor storylines.

As always, you need to do everything you can to stand out.

Self-publishing outlets:




Hybrid Publishers

The hybrid publishing space is somewhat controversial. When searching for hybrid publishers on google, you may find a lot of bloggers warning writers, telling them not to touch these publishers with a ten-foot pole.

The model fits somewhere between traditional publishing and self-publishing. A hybrid publisher will read your work, and then either reject or offer a contract. The contract is a partnership between the publisher and the author, meaning the author is asked to pay for their book to be published. The publisher looks after editing, formatting and getting your book published, both hard copies and eBooks. Many hybrid publishers also help with marketing, they list your book on events, book fairs, and set up interviews with radio and newspapers. More often than not, they list your books on several different platforms, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and Booktopia.

People confuse hybrid publishers with vanity publishers, and this is simply because you have to pay to publish.

“What sets them apart from vanity presses is that they run like publishing companies. Many of them have a submissions process, control their 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 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.”

For more on hybrid publishers, please read referenced article here

Some hybrid publishers:

Austin Macauley

Olympia Publishing


Vanity Publishers

Not much to say here. Vanity presses don’t require to read your work before offering a contract. The only one I have come across so far is Xlibris. They simply ask you to pay them, then publish your book, regardless of quality.

Feel free to contact me here if you have any questions.

© Melina Wedin 2017

Happy writing!

Subscribe to my blog and writing tips!

Tagged , , , , ,

2 thoughts on “Publishing Models

  1. Excellent points and descriptions!
    I was considering hybrid, and have decided, after reading your post, to go ahead with it. It is a great way of establishing yourself as a published author!

    Thank you!

    1. I’m glad I could help 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *