Dianne Sagan kindly gave me a review copy of her latest book, The Hybrid Author. Full disclosure: she used my article for IndieReader, “Why Traditionally Published Authors Are Going Indie,” as part of her research.
The Hybrid Author is a great resource, and really digs deep into what the relatively new term means. According to Dianne, there are four ways to publish a book: traditionally, subsidy, self, and vanity (she also later explains that the term can be applied to freelancers who write articles, speeches, copy, and more). To writers not familiar with the industry or those who are just getting started, it’s helpful to know the differences. The book provides an overview of each, along with the pros and cons to consider when deciding which path to take.
It’s also helpful to hear other writers’ journeys, what they did, and what worked and didn’t work for them. Dianne devotes a whole chapter to her own experiences as an author who has self-published and had books published by traditional publishers.
But the most value in the book can be found in later chapters. In addition to providing interviews with successful hybrid authors, who freely share advice and insight, there is a chapter that details how agents fit in with hybrid authors. The chapter reads like a well thought out FAQ section, with questions and answers that are both pertinent and well researched.
There are some areas that repeats advice often found online shared among indie and hybrid authors. For example, it’s important to research material and thoroughly edit manuscripts. Dianne also lists questions every aspiring author should ask themselves when deciding whether or not to pursue a career in writing.
I do wish that this ebook took a little bit more advantage of the format. Dianne has obviously done some great research, and she includes many facts and examples to illustrate each chapter. However, as someone who likes to learn as much as she can about topics of interest, I wish there were more links or at least web URLs so I could click through and find out more about specific subjects and read the articles cited.
Dianne also lists a number of resources that cover various aspects of the publishing process, which is a good starting point for writers just getting into the industry but is not fully comprehensive. And at the end of the book are examples of a publishing contract and literary agent agreement. These types of contracts are hard to find on the Internet, and they can be very helpful for new writers who want to get familiar with what to expect.
Overall, The Hybrid Author is a great resource for new writers, writers looking to diversify how they publish, and anyone in general who wants to know more about the recent big changes in the publishing industry. There are a lot of options today for authors, and it’s important for writers to stay informed in order to make the best decisions for their works and their careers.