The Book Business Is Evolving: How to Make Hybrid Publishing Work for You

– by Alinka Rutkowska

Before describing Hybrid Publishing and sharing how it can supercharge your business, let’s make a few assumptions:

  1. You have a wish list of credibility boosting items you want to implement as soon as possible;
  2. You’ve seen many thought leaders produce amazing results by writing and publishing a book;
  3. You haven’t written a book yet;
  4. You’re a busy executive/owner and can’t imagine carving out the time to write a book;
  5. People have told you to write a book to command authority and scope in your industry/niche;
  6. Knowing you should write a book and not knowing how to start is causing frustration for you.

If the above list describes you, then this article is for you.

You may be incredibly talented and knowledgeable in your industry. Others might rank you in the top fraction of professionals in your field. However–none of that matters if you don’t have a powerful way to create thought leader status in your niche.

The most commonly used strategy to create respect and branding is social media marketing because it’s highly effective. Many resources and advisors can help you form and launch a robust social media package. One excellent example is The Art of Online Branding, a podcast interview with Denise Alison, a social media expert.

There’s a potent hack that should be embraced by every great thought leader. It adds gasoline to your social media fire. Ignore all doubts and negative thoughts you have about writing a book and write one.

“Write a book?” you may ask. Yes. I am challenging you to write a book. It may sound daunting and overwhelming, but Hybrid Publishing can make producing your work an enjoyable and fun experience.

What is Hybrid Publishing?

Traditional publishing was tough for upstart authors to crack into in the recent past. Because there was no digital publishing platform (it’s hard to imagine that now!), marketing and printing a book was expensive and risky. Companies that took a chance on an author could lose thousands or even hundreds of thousands of investment dollars. So, it’s understandable that they were very cautious and strict with inking book deals. The old school publishing model still exists, but almost exclusively serves established authors who pose a low risk.

Enter the digital publishing revolution. Almost no one could have predicted how quickly platforms like Amazon, Createspace, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Scribd, and others would change the publishing horizon. Now anyone can publish a book! Thousands of new books are published online every day and now a massive glut of material exists, which creates another dilemma.

You can write and publish on your own (although it is still confusing and time-consuming), but that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg for getting results for your book. You must know how to carve space to get noticed amid all the other books. Otherwise, the effort will be like dropping a drop of water in a swimming pool: no one will find you.

In between those two extremes is something called Hybrid Publishing. This model has many different variations depending on the company you hire, but it combines the best aspects of traditional and self-publishing.

The author doesn’t have to land a book signing deal. Also, he/she also doesn’t have to watch hundreds of training videos on how to self-publish. Neither scenario allows the author control and results.

How does the author gain control and get results with Hybrid Publishing?

I compiled a shortlist of the experts needed to publish a great book. The author supplies the content, but that only begins the process. Whether you were lucky enough to land a traditional book deal or self-publish, all these steps and more are required to produce a dynamic product.

Can you imagine completing all of these steps on your own?

  • Being interviewed or dictating recordings of your material;
  • Getting the content transcribed to text;
  • Knowing how to write a great book;
  • Editing the rough document (which usually involves at least three types of editors);
  • Creating a book cover – this one component creates massive success or a major failure;
  • Formatting the book for the various digital platforms when they’re all different;
  • Navigating the tricks for each platform to boost rankings and create awareness/sales;
  • Picking the right niche for your book;
  • Deciding which mediums you will use to publish – eBook only? Hardcover and paperback? What about audio?
  • Most important–marketing your book effectively using a focused plan.

Self-publishing can be done entirely on your own, but it’s risky. Writing and publishing a book is not enough. With so much at stake, would you want to leave something as crucial as your flagship book to chance? Hybrid Publishers have all the experts on staff that you need, and you hire them to do it all. You provide content. They take it through every stage listed above.

Voila! You have a book!

Create your Hybrid Publishing project

I’m giving readers of BizCatalyst360 a free copy of a resource I produced, Outsource Your Book. There are many excellent guides, so there’s no reason to go in blind. Read my book and digest as much as you feel you need from more than one source. Then make your plan.

In your plan, you should have a list of questions for the Hybrid Publishing company, such as:

  1. pricing
  2. process/timeline
  3. reporting progress to you
  4. marketing plans
  5. examples of success
  6. which platform(s) they utilize and why
  7. how much you will be participating in the book writing
  8. if they will be writing in your “voice”

Write a book. It can be the most valuable and useful tool you create for your branding and credibility. Do your homework and utilize a hybrid publishing model. You can have a great book in a surprisingly short time frame.

If you have comments or questions, please post those below.

I wish you all the best for your business!

Alinka Rutkowska (www.leaderspress.com) is a USA Today best-selling author, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and a top 100 Amazon best-selling author in business and money. More than 100,000 copies of her books have sold online, and Entrepreneur magazine has featured her book creation process.  As Founder and CEO of Leaders Press, she has launched all its titles to bestseller status. (If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get your book ghostwritten, published and driven to bestseller status, go to www.leaderspress.com). She’s also the founder of LibraryBub, which connects independent authors with 10,000+ librarians. A sought after lecturer; she has been voted Top 5 Speaker and named Most Creative Book Marketer at the Bestseller Summit Online. Alinka has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox Business, Writer’s Digest, Alliance of Independence Authors, International Book Publishers’ Association and many more.

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