Hybrid: The Offspring of the Union of Two Distinct Species.*
Hybrid Publishing: the best of both worlds.**
In our last Free Range Writers' post, Pam Beason wrote of her experiences as a fully self-contained, independently published author. Pam is one of the most successful authors I know at creating excellent work—then publishing it and marketing it herself.
Yet Pam was kind enough to share her dream that someday she would be represented by a reputable traditional publisher. Frankly, I don't harbor that wish because I have found the best of both worlds. The hybrid publisher.
First, let's talk about marketing. Every artist must learn to market their work. Where authors are concerned, that is true whether you are published independently like Pam, with a hybrid publisher like me, or traditionally like amazing author Dave Butler. (See Dave's post on traditional publishing next week.)
Summer's Coming by Dave Hall.
I asked my friend, Dave Hall, who I consider to be not only an excellent artist but an excellent marketer, to share his experience marketing this stunning landscape painting (above).
Summer's Coming sold as a result of my monthly e-newsletter in which, I introduce a new painting each month. Most of my work, however, is sold through galleries, sometimes as a result of my newsletter. My newsletter has been coming out monthly for about a dozen years and I haven't missed a month, primarily because it takes me very little time to do. And folks have been trained to know they can get in and out in thirty seconds. Unless they choose to link to details at DaveHallFineArt.com.
Dave Hall's e-newsletter is one of a myriad of ways he markets his paintings. And an e-newsletter is one of a hundred ways to market an artist's work. But the essential elements of what his newsletter accomplishes are: communication, consistency, ease of access, links for learning more, growing and training your audience, and as Dave writes, "The results versus my time and money expended are very high." That valuable lesson could be applied to just about any successful marketing endeavor.
As for publishing, I want what every author wants: to see my books on independent bookstore and library shelves, to have a following of readers who engage with my characters, and to educate as well as entertain my readers. And, yes, it's nice to make some money.
I also love it when I hear from someone who found one of my books in an interesting place. The most recent was my personal physician in Salt Lake City, Utah who discovered one of my books in a drawer while visiting a friend's bathroom.
That brings me to Wise Ink, my hybrid publisher. The professionals at Wise Ink vetted my recent novel, Rare as Earth, accepted it, and then performed every service that a reputable traditional publisher performs. The major difference being, I chose services from a menu and paid for the services chosen. Another difference, I have the ultimate say and I retain all the rights. (wiseink.com)
I won't list all the services that the wonderful folks at Wise Ink offer (shoutout to Graham and Victoria). Suffice it to say, if you can imagine that a traditional publisher offers a service, I can pretty much guarantee Wise Ink offers it too. And in many cases they may well do it better.
And the support post-publishing has been amazing. Without hesitation folks at Wise Ink have been diligent in helping me solve post-production problems that were really the fault of the printer/distributor. Working with Wise Ink required a financial commitment but it was worth every penny.
In fact it was a Zoom seminar offered by Wise Ink free to their authors on the subject of social media marketing that inspired me to put together a production plan and crew to produce a YouTube interview about Rare as Earth that I will also use on my website. (gzeiglerbooks.com)
That interview was shot recently in Sedona, Arizona and for the record the process was Covid-19 safe. I'm in the process of editing the video with the the talented director/producer, Art Fitzsimmons. (email@example.com)
Sandstone feature near Sedona know as Snoopy.
So, I'm happy with my hybrid publisher and my approach to publishing. And I do not dream about being picked up by a traditional publishing house. (I had an agent for my first book but I didn't feel she fulfilled her promises so we parted ways.) And as for the big traditional publishing houses, I've heard too many negative things.
What I dream about is the award-winning feature films my novels will be made into someday. Glad I retained all those rights.
*Webster's Writer's Dictionary