Front Edge Publishing is a hybrid publishing house. That means we take on high-quality projects in a way that allows the publishing house and the author to share in some of the production costs and subsequent royalties for a book. This is why we can offer higher royalties than traditional publishing houses. While royalties vary per book, Front Edge never goes below a 50-50 split for the author. We are able to support our authors because book sales ensure sustainability for both of us.
Hybrid publishing isn’t for everyone. Check out our tips below on how to best equip yourself to work with us. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected], or by using the contact button at the bottom of this page.
I have an idea for a book, now what?
First things first: a book project begins life as a manuscript. The more complete a manuscript is, the more accurate production estimates are and the smoother production will be. At minimum, you’ll want to have written the body of the work: the chapters, an opening, and an epilogue or concluding piece, if appropriate. Depending on the project, you’ll want to also have completed a second or third draft to ensure your work is going into the world the way you envisioned it. That can mean a full writethroughs, full edit, or fresh draft. Nonfiction manuscripts may benefit from a restructuring edit, or specific spot edits for sections you know need additional attention.
Various front and back matter, such as a preface by an ally or an About the Author appendix, can be completed during the production process. If you’re working with Front Edge Publishing, FEP staff will assist you with completing these pieces as well as coach you about asking allies to support your book with endorsements, blurbs, and opening material.
You don’t necessarily need to hire an editor or copyeditor before working with a hybrid publishing house because the hybrid should provide those services for you. However, your manuscript needs to make a good first impression when you’re querying agents or submitting to publishing houses. Egregious typos, spelling errors, and grammar issues will stand out in an unflattering way.
While not all hybrids provide editing services, Front Edge Publishing is a signer of the IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher pledge, meaning we have agreed to fulfill each of these criteria and therefore make sure that each manuscript that we publish meets the highest standards of the publishing industry’s standards. Front Edge Publishing developmental editor and copyeditor staff work with you to polish your work.
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to pursue publication with your manuscript, you may want to consider asking a beta reader for their opinion. A beta reader is someone who reads your manuscript after you’ve finished a significant amount of work on it, perhaps even written multiple drafts. (Not to be confused with an alpha reader, which is someone who reads your work as you write it to give you immediate feedback.) Beta readers can be friends, family, or fellow writers. However, note that different kinds of beta readers will give you different kinds of feedback. Friends and family will, unless coached, likely give you feedback that is influenced by their knowing you, while other writers may focus more on the technical aspects of writing. To make sure you’re getting helpful feedback, consider enlisting multiple beta readers, setting a deadline for feedback, and providing guidance via questionnaires and post-reading interviews. Ask specific questions. Don’t be afraid to discount unhelpful feedback, but examine it carefully to determine where it came from and why.
If you ask a fellow writer to be a beta reader, it’s considered good etiquette to offer to beta read their projects in turn.
I wrote a book, now what?
To successfully work with a hybrid publishing house, you need a plan for book sales, engagement, and reach. Some authors and books have pre-established audiences. For example:
- An author who is also a frequent public speaker has the opportunity to promote their book at their events.
- A book published by a nonprofit can be used to fundraise, be included in promotion packages, and can be sold or provided to interested donors.
- An author who runs a business can use a book as a customer conversion tool or a first step for B2B consulting onboarding, or can feature the book at their place of business.
- An educator who has designed their own curriculum often has the experience to write a textbook for their own class or field.
But not all books and authors have a built-in audience. To develop a plan for sales, consider your angels and allies. Those are the people who will support your project. (For more about angels and allies, click that link or check out all the articles about angels and allies on the FEP blog.) Your angels and allies will help you get your book in front of your audience, the people who will buy your book.
But to start, you’ll need to do the heavy lifting of figuring out who your audience is.
If you’re intending to publish fiction, you’ll want to consider the genre and length (novel, novella, serial) of your work, and match your marketing and presence to where your kind of readers tend to congregate. For example, romance novellas do well when paired with an ebook on Kindle Unlimited, while longer novels benefit from a local fanbase, Amazon advertisements, and connections to your community through media appearances like radio shows, podcasts, and a social media presence.
Nonfiction books are very topical. Your readers are likely congregating in spaces devoted to discussion of what your nonfiction book is about. You may also find supporters in the form of organizations related to your topic. Front Edge Publishing books can even be customized for organizations and events in order to improve reader conversion and retention.
Ultimately, the key to a book’s success is pairing a business plan with an understanding of your audience. In other words, you need to know who is going to want to read your book and how you’re planning to reach them.
Working with a hybrid publishing house is more hands-on than working with a traditional large publisher. When a traditional publisher accepts a manuscript for publication, the author may not even see their book until proof copies land on their doorstep, at which point no significant changes can be made to the book. Working with a hybrid publisher is a collaborative process. If you work with Front Edge Publishing, you’ll be working with a team of editors and designers who are committed to the vision of your book. You’re the author, which means you’re the expert, and you understand how your writing should be displayed to best appeal to your audience.
That doesn’t mean you have to, or will, make all the decisions yourself. A hybrid publisher is well qualified to bring a high-quality book to market, with author input. Front Edge Publishing has been producing quality books since 2007. Our publishing professionals have decades of experience bringing exemplary books through production.
If you haven’t considered what you would like your book to look like, it may be helpful to consider the following:
- Do you have a cover concept in mind? That doesn’t mean you have to see what your final cover will look like in your mind’s eye. It could be a specific idea you want the cover to convey, a style (abstract, minimal, type, illustrative, photo-based) you’d like to see used, or another cover you like that you’d like to emulate various elements of.
- How do you envision the book’s interior? Is it spacious, easy to read, or dense, with little to no images? Does it fit in alongside standard size books, or are you envisioning a textbook or reference manual?
- Are you considering a premium option to drive sales, like a hardcover version? Or, do you want to offer a spectrum of access to your book, through affordable ebook editions, a mid-market paperback, and a top-end hardcover?
Do you publish textbooks?
Front Edge Publishing is uniquely suited to publish textbooks. We offers several advantages to traditional textbook publishing:
- By retaining control over the creative process when publishing your book, you can guarantee the textbook you write is displayed in the way that will be most helpful to students. For example, American History Made Easy is designed to be easier to read and understand for English language learners (ELL). One way this is done is by ensuring there are no hyphenated line breaks in the books, so there is no confusion between a true compound word and a word separated by a line break. Introducing Christian Ethics includes listen-along audio and video recordings of the lectures in each chapter, accessible via QR code in print editions and through hyperlinks or embedded media in ebook editions.
- Front Edge Publishing offers substantially higher royalties than traditional textbook publishers. We can do this by utilizing print-on-demand technology and avoiding enormous print-run investments. Simultaneously, textbooks published by Front Edge Publishing are significantly more affordable than the standard textbook. When you publish with Front Edge Publishing, you work with the team to set the suggested retail price for a textbook, granting you much greater control over the way your textbook is sold.
- Front Edge Publishing books can be produced in a variety of formats. Some textbooks do very well when paired with an ebook edition, as ebooks allow for search functions inside the book, easier annotations, and other features. By working with Front Edge staff to set your own suggested retail price, you control whether an ebook is provided as an affordable option or a same-cost alternate-feature option.
- Thanks to proprietary Front Edge Publishing software, our production team is able to make updates to existing books quickly and easily. That means you can update your textbook as often as every year, at a much faster turnaround speed and lower cost than traditional textbook publishers.
Do you publish poetry?
Front Edge Publishing does not typically publish poetry due to a mismatch between the services a poetry book needs and its potential audience. Poets may be better suited to pursue traditional publishing methods, query an agent, submit to small presses specifically dedicated to poetry, or to pursue self-publishing via a chapbook, ebook, or small print run. However, if you’ve read the above and you have a creative idea for hybrid poetry publishing, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Contact Front Edge Publishing through the ‘Contact Us’ button at the bottom of the page or email [email protected]. We’d love to hear about your project.
Querying Front Edge Publishing and submitting materials
If you read this page and got excited about the possibilities, we need to get in touch! Click the ‘Contact Us’ button at the bottom right of this page, or email [email protected] to tell us about yourself and your project. We’d love to know a little bit about your experience in your field, how you got the idea for your book, and any previous publishing experience you’ve had. Then, pitch us on the book:
- Who do you think your audience is?
- Do you have a marketing strategy in mind?
- Why do you want to work with Front Edge Publishing specifically?
Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers! But the more specific your vision for your book, the more likely Front Edge Publishing can bring it to fruition exactly as you see it.
You’re welcome to include the first chapter or two of your manuscript with your pitch. If our publishing team thinks we’re a great fit for each other, our staff will ask for your complete manuscript in order to do a full review.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you! For some inspiration, check out the Front Edge Publishing catalog.