What is a hybrid publisher? We are joining with colleagues in strengthening our commitments.

Click on this IBPA image to see the full text of the best-practices pledge.

In early 2018, our team at Front Edge Publishing authorized me to sign the first nationwide best-practices pledge developed for hybrid publishers by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). Here’s my name among the early signers.

Our publishing house had been operating with this same business model since our founding in 2007, but our innovative ideas of partnering with authors were not given an official name by our colleagues in the industry until that 2018 pledge.

We’ve been promoting these principles all along, including these earlier articles:

Now, four years later, the IBPA has strengthened that original pledge and we remain committed co-signers. The basic concept remains the same, as described by the IBPA:

Hybrid publishing companies behave just like traditional publishing companies in all respects, except that they publish books using an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves and, in exchange, return a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. A hybrid publisher makes income from a combination of publishing services and book sales.

Then—just to be clear about that—the IBPA now has updated the entire pledge to include these 11 core commitments:

  1. Define a mission and vision for its publishing program.
  2. Vet submissions.
  3. Commit to truth and transparency in business practices.
  4. Provide a negotiable, easy-to-understand contract for each book published.
  5. Publish under its own imprint(s) and ISBNs.
  6. Publish to industry standards.
  7. Ensure editorial, design, and production quality.
  8. Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights.
  9. Provide distribution services.
  10. Demonstrate respectable sales.
  11. Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty.

Care to learn more?

Here is the IBPA’s more detailed description of these 11 core principles that we share.


About Susan Stitt

Susan Stitt is marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. Over the years, she has guided many authors through the challenging process of launching books and developing strategies that will grow readership. She also has worked widely with nonprofits. Now, she shares her expertise twice each month on our Front Edge Publishing website.

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