Skip to content
Home » Blog » The Best of Both Worlds—Understanding Hybrid Publishing

The Best of Both Worlds—Understanding Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid Publishing - A Comprehensive Guide for Authors

The publishing world can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the book industry’s jargon and terminology. Maybe you’ve heard “hybrid publishing” but aren’t entirely sure what it is.

Most people are familiar with the basics of traditional publishing and self-publishing, but what is hybrid publishing? We’ve broken it down into simple terms.

So, What Is Hybrid Publishing?

Hybrid publishing mixes features of traditional and self-publishing. It’s similar to self-publishing in that authors pay to publish their books.

And similar to traditional publishing in that the publisher is responsible for the work that goes into constructing the book, such as editing, cover design, and formatting.

Hybrid publishing strikes a balance between self-publishing and traditional publishing to create a unique option for authors who want to maintain more creative control than a traditional publisher allows while still enlisting the expertise of experienced publishing professionals.

What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Publishing?

There are pros and cons for any publishing model you choose, whether traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing. You should assess all options and find the best fit for you. 

Hybrid vs. Traditional

Getting published by a traditional publisher requires querying agents who, if you are selected, then query the publishers to find a home for your book. The process can take years with very low odds of being selected. 

A traditional publisher will often drastically alter your story to meet their demands and allow you no say in those decisions.

Finally, while they will usually provide an advance, they keep the vast majority of income from the book and only begin paying you a royalty when their costs (including your advance) have all been recouped.

And any royalty you are paid is then reduced by the agent’s percentage (usually 15%).

On the other hand, hybrid publishing does not require the tedious process of querying agents, and you have much more say over the edits made to your story.

This is not to say that your manuscript will not undergo edits—because the publisher ultimately needs to sign off on the book, too—but it’s a collaborative process compared to the lack of collaboration in traditional publishing. 

Some hybrid publishers take a royalty, whereas others, like DartFrog Plus, do not.

Ultimately, what matters most in a hybrid publisher is its commitment to your story and working with you to make it the best possible version of itself.

Hybrid publishers who just publish what you tell them to publish should be avoided.  

Read: Proofreading vs. Line Editing vs. Developmental Editing: What’s the Difference? 

Hybrid vs. Self-Publishing

As the name suggests, self-publishing is self-directed, meaning the author has complete control over the book and the finished product.

Some traditional and hybrid publishers offer self-publishing programs to aid authors in producing and distributing their books. 

You always want to make sure that if you hire a company to help you self-publish, they will point out flaws or issues they see in your book.

You retain the right to reject their advice, but there’s no use in paying a publisher to help you self-publish if they are going to ignore issues or errors they see in your book.

If you think self-publishing is the best option for you and want a publisher who will work with you to produce the best version of your book possible, check out DartFrog’s self-publishing imprint, Canoe Tree Press.

How to Choose the Right Hybrid Publisher

As you research the various hybrid publishing options, only choose a hybrid publisher that curates their collection.

Traditional publishers do not accept every book that is submitted to them, nor should hybrid publishers. 

Also, choose a hybrid publisher that manages marketing for your book through established and quantifiable marketing platforms/campaigns.

Part of what you are paying for when contracting with a hybrid publisher is their ability and commitment to market your book.

Third, always check to ensure the hybrid publisher has been approved by the Alliance for Independent Authors. If they have not, find a hybrid publisher who has.


We hope this blog helped you understand the basic components of hybrid publishing and the key points to be aware of/look for when shopping for a hybrid publisher.

DartFrog offers a comprehensive hybrid publishing and marketing option under our DartFrog Plus imprint. If you want to learn more, please check out our website or schedule a free video call.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the meaning of hybrid publishing?

A: Hybrid publishing is a mixture of self-publishing and traditional publishing. The author typically pays to publish their book, but the publisher is as involved as they would be for a traditionally published book.

Authors can expect to receive a majority (or all, depending on the publisher) of their royalties and maintain a say in how their book is edited and designed.  

Q: What are the examples of hybrid publishing?

A: There are many different hybrid publishing companies to choose from, and each varies in what they offer.

Most hybrid publishers manage all aspects of the book’s production but differ in post-production promotional endeavors.

Typically, hybrid publishers will publish all genres, but some may specialize in a niche.

Before submitting your manuscript, ensure the hybrid publisher aligns with your genre and story.

Q: Is hybrid publishing good?

A: Hybrid publishing is a terrific option for many authors.

While it’s still selective, hybrid publishers normally do not require that you go through an agent like traditional publishers.

Q: How much do you pay for hybrid publishing?

A: The costs of hybrid publishing differ based on the publishing house. Do your research to compare prices and benefits, especially when it comes to marketing your published book.

The more marketing a hybrid publisher offers, the better. 

Look for which hybrid publishers provide the highest royalty, as that, combined with the marketing they provide, will allow you to assess the potential for earning your investment back.