We’ve answered the question, “What is Hybrid Publishing?” and looked at the Hybrid Publishing red flags. If you would like to learn more you can read “What is Hybrid Publishing” here, and get some more info about Hybrid Publishing Red Flags here.
Now the question is: Are there any criteria Hybrid Publishers have to follow?
The short answer: YES!
But before we get into it, let’s quickly chat about WHY we need a list of criteria & how exactly it serves you as a reader or writer.
Establishes measurable quality control
Protects the author’s rights
Isn’t a vanity press
Keep reading for the long answer.
There is a wonderful organization called the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) that has done the hard work of putting together a list of criteria for Hybrid Publishers. They also offer other services, promotion help, and classes about how to be a better hybrid publisher. It’s because of them that indie and hybrid publishers are on the map and able to compete with Traditional publishing. Overall, they are a really great association and Meraki Press is HONORED to be a recognized publisher according to the IBPA 😍
So, what are these Hybrid Publishing criteria? I’m glad you asked!
Hybrid Publishers MUST have a clear mission and vision for its publishing program.
Hybrid Publishers MUST vet submissions.
Only vanity presses accept every manuscript turned in to them. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you want. But to be considered a Hybrid Publisher, you must have clear standards. For Meraki, we only accept family-friendly, uplifting fiction and nonfiction.
Hybrid Publishers MUST commit to transparency and truth in business practices.
We touched on this in our Red Flags post. If a Hybrid Publisher is hiding things from you, they are NOT following the IBPA guidelines and you should run the other way. You are spending good money to publish your book, you have the right to know where that money is going and why.
Hybrid Publishers MUST provide a negotiable, easy to understand contract for each book published.
Hybrid Publishers MUST publish under their own imprint(s) and ISBNs.
Hybrid Publishers MUST publish to industry standards.
These are the standards that ALL publishers adhere to. Hybrid Publishers are no different. We aim to publish quality, professional works.
Hybrid Publishers MUST ensure editorial, design, and production quality.
That means Hybrid Publishers pay close attention to the quality of books printed. This isn’t just a quick run down to staples and printing something off. We are held to high quality, professional, standards.
Hybrid Publishers MUST pursue and manage a range of publishing rights.
This means we offer options. We’re able to adjust the contract terms and royalty rate to help authors afford our services.
Hybrid Publishers MUST provide distribution services.
We as the publisher are in charge of getting your book to vendors. Authors don’t need to worry about that. Although we encourage you to advertise your book and put yourself out there!
Hybrid Publishers MUST demonstrate respectable sales.
This means transparent pricing! We do not fudge the numbers nor do we take shortcuts (and charge more) to promise authors a spot on Bestseller lists.
Hybrid Publishers MUST pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty.
The average royalty percentage in Traditional publishing is anywhere from 5% to 15% but it doesn’t go over that. Hybrid publishers typically offer royalties of about 25% and sometimes more.
These are some pretty strict guidelines to follow, and that’s a good thing! It helps authors weed out the bad companies and find the ones that are professional, caring, and supportive of the author’s journey.
We at Meraki Press strive to uphold each and every one of these criteria so that our authors have the best experience possible getting their books out into the world.