Why Hybrid?

I wrapped up my novel Nests last week. I was sure that after wrapping up those final edits, I’d have it up on Amazon within a few days. But somewhere along the way during edits, I came to a startling realization…one that I already knew but has recently taken on more weight.

I suck at marketing. More than that, I hate it.

For the sake of honesty, I envy those writers that are great at both writing and marketing. I envy them because I fully understand that with self publishing, the writer needs to be the marketing force, too (unless they have the cash flow to pay someone else to do it for them).

Here’s the thing…I am one of those writers that just wants to write. I have no interest (or time, really) for marketing.

And that’s why I am resorting back to the hybrid way of things. That is why after Nests was completed, I sent queries out to some small presses and agencies. This is why I have started researching small press markets again. Because while I love the freedom and the atmosphere of self publishing, I am not a fan of having to become a marketer.

This poses a question, though. Many of the indies that have made it point to two main factors in regards to their success. Luck and a high volume of titles.

Luck we can do nothing about. That just happens. But the way I see it, the high number of titles theory makes sense. And I don’t see the difference in getting more titles out there via yourself or via a small press (aside from the percentage of profits made, of course). So that is why I am going the hybrid route again.

I know there are a few hybrid authors out there, as well as self published writers that have agencies that shop their projects around in traditional ways. The few I actually speak to seem to be pleased with aspects of both worlds.

So here I stand, a foot in both worlds. The weather is nice on both sides and I think I could be happy on either side.

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One comment

  1. Unfortunately, even if you do get signed by a major publisher they still want you to pimp out yourself like a piece of meat. Marketing is just part of the package now. Heck, that’s part of what a book proposal to an agent consists of: how can you help sell this book. That used to be primarily the agent’s job. It’s yours now, too.

    I know a few authors who are LA Times’ bestsellers — not household names mind you but still bestselling authors at some level — and they have to self-promote. They hate it and have even commented how they feel it’s shameful and humiliating. Yet they do it, tail tucked and all.

    Because they want to write.

    And if their book doesn’t sell, they might not get another contract.

    Unless you’re one of the few mega-star writers who can kick his/her feet up on the desk while someone else promotes your work, you can’t afford not to market.

    Why not leave comments on other writers’ sites — not people you necessarily know but authors you respect, self-published, small press, or big time? Get involved in a discussion of importance that interests you. That way you’re not there simply to plead for others to “read my book, please.” That turns people off. If you’re genuine, even if you came there to self-promote, people will still check out your writing.

    Hugh Howey comes to mind. His website is very open to discussion and you know the readers who go there are interested in learning about other writers. Let’s face it: some are there to self-promote as well. It’s not a terrible thing if done in a respectful manner. Writers understand how it works, even if there is some cringing to it.

    (By the way, have you read THE PLAGIARIST by Howey? If not, check it out. Short story. 99 cents. Reminds me in a way of 2 B R 0 2 B by Vonnegut. Different material but same feel.)

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