(Business) The Hybrid Writer

A new type of writer has emerged as a result of the digital revolution. She is called “the hybrid writer” because her work is published both with traditional publishers and with indie (independent) publishers or via self-publishing.  I am an example of a hybrid author.  Some of my books have been published by traditional houses and others via my own indie publishing venue.

Only a few years ago, an author published primarily through a traditional publishing house. Her job was to write the best book possible. Her agent’s job was to sell the book, and the publisher’s job was to print it and market it.  All that has changed. Today we are witnessing a major paradigm shift in the publishing industry, a shift which has placed the onus of marketing a book squarely on the author’s shoulders. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.

What concerns me most of all is the misunderstanding I am seeing between the traditional publishing world and the rapidly growing indie publishing world. Sad to say, this misunderstanding has often been expressed in vitriolic language that does no one any good.  What all parties concerned (authors, agents, traditional publishers, indie publishers, self-publishers, and hybridists) need to realize is that whenever a major change occurs, there will be conflict.  I prefer to describe this conflict as “growing pains” that will last a while until a new equilibrium has been reached.

So let’s not be quick to accuse or disparage one another. There is a place for all of us if we would simply pool our resources and trust God to lead us in the direction He wills for our individual lives. This writing journey is not about us and our personal agendas. It is about exalting Jesus Christ and building His Kingdom through the words we write. If the traditionalists, the digitalists, and the hybridists focus on Him, we will eventually all be of the same mind–the mind of Christ. And when we are unified in Him, our Lord will command His blessing on all of us (Psalm 133:1-3).
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Copyright 2013 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

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3 thoughts on “(Business) The Hybrid Writer

  1. I agree to a point, MaryAnn. The biggest problem I see with indie publishing or self publishing is that writers do not have their manuscripts looked at by a freelance editor. They, more often than not, publish things that are in no way ready to be published. This is what has given self publishing a bad name.

    I often explain it like this: I have a 22 year old autistic daughter who functions at about 18 months. She can scribble with crayons on paper. If I took her scribblings and self published them, I could call her a “published author.”

    If you have written something and self published without going through the editing process, you are merely printed. Not published. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But I wish writers who think they can pay to get their stuff published, but don’t pay to have it edited, would respect themselves enough to have a professional take a look and give them some help. They would have a much better product, better sales, and would feel better about themselves.

    I’ve read lots of self published books and some are very good. Most needed a sharp editing eye.

    • Thanks for your input, Pam. I totally agree with you about editing. Indie publishing does not at all negate the need for excellent content. In fact, the writer must take full responsibility for seeing to it that her work is edited. In trad publishing, the publisher helps with that.

  2. I have never heard this term before, but I’m glad you are pointing it out. Yes, I agree about the editing and content both you and Pam have mentioned, MaryAnn. Those are the biggies in all of publishing.