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Self-Publishing vs Hybrid Publishing vs Traditional Publishing

When your manuscript is far enough along that you’re thinking about taking the next best step, things are about to get (more) real. This is when you choose an editor and start looking at different types of publishing routes; self, hybrid, or traditional.

You have options, so let’s break them down.


Many authors will tell you that when you self-publish, you do all the work and you keep all the money. It’s all about autonomy. You decide when and how you want your ideas shared with the world.

If you like being the boss and love working on your own, this is a great option.

With the tools and resources available on the market today, such as Amazon KDP and IngramSpark, it’s easier than ever to self-publish your own work and make it accessible to bookstores.

You will still need expert services for certain aspects of the process. For example, you will need to source an editor, book designer, PR, etc., and then manage them yourself, but the result can be exciting and rewarding.

Traditional Publishing

Noah St. John – the only author in history to have works published by Hay House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Mindvalley, Nightingale Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher – jokes that with a traditional publishing house, “You do all the work and they keep all the money.”

Signed authors receive a cash advance or a signing bonus in exchange for a big share of their royalties.

TIP: The rule of thumb is that if your bonus is huge, the publisher works for you (to recoup their investment), and if it’s small, you work for them. Having a “big five” publishing house on your book opens doors that might otherwise be slammed shut.

Traditional publishers like to see authors with an established following, a social media presence, and preferably a good-sized mailing list and expect their authors to leverage those lists for sales and marketing.

In a podcast interview, John Grisham said, “Writing books is easy. It’s selling them that’s hard!” That’s probably why publishers want to know that their authors’ fans and followers will be dying to buy their book on launch week.

TIP: A good hybrid publisher offers PR and marketing help to build your presence leading up to your launch date.

For most new authors, trying to get signed by a traditional publisher comes with the added bonus of submitting your manuscript to multiple publishing houses and waiting for a response that may never come. It’s a bit like making cold calls, but possibly even more soul-crushing.

That said, if you get picked up, it’s your ticket to the big show and we’ll be cheering for you from the sidelines as you live the dream.

Hybrid Publishing

Without a doubt, hybrid publishing is the best of both worlds.

Like with self-publishing, the author maintains autonomy. You still choose your book positioning, your title, your cover, etc., but with hybrid publishing, you have guidance from a team of experts to help where needed. You collaborate with your hybrid pub team to decide when and how you want your ideas shared with the world.

You’re still the boss but you’re no longer alone.

Hybrid publishers offer your choice of services: cover design, interior page design, editing, marketing, launch events, sell sheets, book descriptions, distribution access to stores, tech support, prepress, email lead funnels, author websites, and more.

With hybrid, you invest in your book’s production costs in return for expert services and all or most of the royalties and sales.

This is us.

Entourage is, by design, a smallish (meaning you deal directly with Jenn, Chris, and the team), boutique-style, hybrid publishing house offering all the service options our authors need, but with the expertise and one-to-one support every author deserves.

We are chaos coordinators and book nerds. Our playground/zone of genius is somewhere between rough drafts and autographs. We take on only books and authors we believe in so that we are as invested in your vision and success as you are. We take only enough royalties to keep skin in the game so that when things go right, we can celebrate together!

TIP: At Entourage, we know that creative autonomy is a precious commodity and we respect that. We know your book is your baby and as such, suggest that you think of us as the best godparent your baby could ask for – we’re smart, we’re fun, we offer rescue services when you need them, and we often bring presents when we visit.

On Key

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