The Next Best Thing
(Color Me Hybrid)
Today we will tackle the vexing issue of hybridness (I know that’s not a word) in the writing profession.
When I think about hybrids several things come to mind: animals who were unfortunate enough to be part of some weird experiment reminiscent of Dr. Moreau’s Island, the ever-so-energy-efficient cars of today or–and I realize this is probably due to my second language issues–Hydra of Marvel fame.
I don’t know about you but I really don’t want to be anything like the poor Dr. Moreau’s hybrids and I’m not interested in looking like a car either.
With all of that said, one of the lessons learned at RT was that being a hybrid author is the place to be right now. Think of it as getting the best of both worlds or finding a balance in a profession where this is so hard to find.
Take me for example. I’ve been published traditionally for about a year and a half. In spite of having a very supportive publisher, who does a lot more for her authors than most, I still spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find ways to market myself and create an audience who is anxiously waiting for my next book. Because I’m not well known–but totally expect to be in the future–I don’t sell very much. My books sell at a very modest rate which means that by the time everybody gets their cut, I end up with peanuts. And I mean one or two peanuts, not a bag.
As a self-published author (which is in my future as well) I would at least be getting the full profit. If my book is selling for $3.99 I would get almost all of that back for each book I sold since I wouldn’t be sharing the profits with anyone but myself.
Like in everything else in life there is a reverse to this coin. As a traditionally published author I technically don’t have to spend any money of my own to get the book out into the world. The publisher supplies the art work, the formatting, etc… As a self-published author you have to dig deep into your pockets for all of these things. There is no way around it.
So why hybrid? It’s the middle point, the one thing that balances the scale, the best–and conversely the worst–of both worlds. I have a novel that I finished writing a while back and I just can’t get anyone to publish it because it will be hard to market. But I have a special love for this one for many different reasons and none of them is vanity (okay maybe a little bit) and I want to see it published. So I’ve already lined up a cover artist (a real good one) and I will be editing, revising, and formatting it during the summer for a possible release at the end of the year or beginning of next. I will officially be a hybrid writer and will have benefited from two of the advantages of such label–being and not being in control at the same time.
By the same token, the audience/followers you gather with your publisher will help you sell your self-published books and the opposite holds true as well. It’s like having two engines instead of just one–more power for better results.
As to my Hydra reference it really has nothing to do with writing. Hydra Grant Ward (played by Brett Dalton) of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is so hot I wanted to reward you for reading my post by including him in this post 🙂 Enjoy.