What Type of Publisher Do You Need?

by | May 11, 2018 | Publishing Industry

Terri Gerrell
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Terri Gerrell

Publisher at Southern Yellow Pine Publishing and FAPA Past President

Most of us are aware that the publishing business is evolving daily at a revolutionary pace. Customers, technology, and modern innovation are continuing to push this trend. The entire publishing model has changed. I am frequently asked, “What type of publisher do I need?” I strongly encourage authors to learn about their options.

Traditional publishers continue to exist. They are generally separated into three groups: large (Big 5), midsize, and small presses. These groups absorb the costs of publication.

The non-traditional models include:  self-publishing (DIY), assisted self-publishing, and hybrid presses. The label of assisted self-publishing now includes what has previously been known as subsidy publishers, vanity presses, and fee-for-service groups. Self-publishing and assisted self-publishing groups do not necessarily work within industry standards.  

The third phrase we are hearing frequently is the term hybrid publisher. In an effort to define this entity, IBPA has recently developed a description and usable definition of the hybrid model. Here are the essentials.

  • The author does pay something. Maybe not all. Individual services and sometimes packages can be purchased.
  • Contracts and royalties are more flexible and depend greatly on how much risk the publisher is taking on versus the author.
  • Industry Publishing Standards must be adhered to.

All the models are viable and workable if used carefully and correctly. Each has pros and cons for the author and the publisher. Before making your decision, look carefully at the type of book you want to publish and the audience the book will appeal to. Jane Friedman has compiled a succinct chart with the various types of models available and many of the considerations an author should look at. You can find a link to the information here.

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