Dealing with Hybrid Publishers

This is an excerpt from The Gigabooks Guide to $0 Publishing that was written in a special section called Author’s Aside.

The biggest issue I have with hybrid/vanity publishers is that they will tell you how impressed they are with you or your proposed work and that they would LOVE to publish your work but you have to ask them: “If you like my work so much, where is your investment in me?”

I had one quote for $49,000 for a publishing, distribution, and marketing package. I talked them down to $15,000 for the same package but at that rate, I would have to sell 1700 books to break even and there wasn’t even any sort of guarantee of success. They simply said “our other authors did well with this package”. That’s not a guarantee and a line I have heard many times from other hybrid publishers.

If they really believe in you or your work, do this: Demand a guarantee of sales within a specified time frame based on the break even cost of the package. I know that is a mouthful, allow me to explain.

If it takes 1000 book sales to break even, ask if they can guarantee – in writing – that you will be able to sell 1000 books in 6 months. If you do not sell the books, the percentage of unsold books will be applied to the cost of the package and that amount refunded.

In other words, if you get a guarantee of 1000 book sales in 6 months to break even, but only sell 800, 20% of the cost of the publishing package should be refunded to you under the agreement.

This is the kind of investment all hybrid publishers should be able to do if they believe they have an effective marketing system. This guarantee is how you get them to invest in you and your book. It will also weed out the outfits simply trying to take your money.

I ask this of advertisers and media consultants all the time.

The Gigabooks Guide to publishing is available here.
Find the e-book here.

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