Hybrid Authors

the-amuletWhen you’re a writer, at some point you have to face the decision about whether to self-publish or pursue traditional publishing.

There are pros and cons to both routes, so it really depends on both the author and the book itself what the best option is. For some, that may be an easy decision. For example, they may decide to self-publish if they are only trying to reach a small audience or if they’re writing mainly for their own pleasure. For others, they may get a traditional publishing contract right away and never even think about self-publishing. For still others, they may spend years pursuing traditional publishing, and turn to self-publishing as a last-resort. Many people are somewhere in between and have an infinite number of reasons for their decisions.

And some are hybrid authors, with some books picked up by traditional publishers and others self-published.

I’ve wrestled with this decision ever since I began pursuing writing as more than a hobby. Traditional publishing is still my ultimate goal for my novels, and I’m not ready to give up on that quite yet.

However, over the last year or so I’ve begun seriously considering self-publishing some of my other things.

If you’ve been following me awhile, you know I recently had a setback in my traditional publishing pursuit (Dealing with Disappointment. Again.). As an offshoot of that, I’ve been thinking more about getting some of my work out there, even if it’s not a traditionally published novel.

Many of you may remember my series, The Amulet Saga, that I did here. Well, I finished that series, wrapping up the saga with a few extra stories that I never posted here, but since the rest of them are available online, it’s unlikely I’d even get a publisher to look twice at the series, anyway. So, I’ve decided to pursue self-publishing The Amulet Saga.

I have someone editing my manuscript, and now I’m looking into the cost of creating a quality cover. Then, I’ll start actively pursuing self-publishing options.

I don’t have a for-sure timeline, but my hope is to have a finished product in time for the Realm Makers conference.

So, that said, I’m open to suggestions. Have you self-published? What have you found to be effective? What do you wish you’d done differently? Would you buy a short story collection? What would make you more or less interested?


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

11 comments on “Hybrid Authors

  1. I self-published as a last resort, but later republished with a small press (that didn’t exist at the time I collected my mountains of rejections), but that small press is now not traditional, so it’s all rather blurry.

    I personally don’t care for short stories, either reading or writing. I don’t think I appreciate or understand it as a genre; I just don’t “get it”. Just about the time I start to like a character, the story is over and am left scratching my head and wondering what the point was.

    So no, I would not buy a short story collection. I also shy away from anthologies and magazines. Short works just don’t push the right reader buttons for me. Give me nice long novels, preferably with MANY sequels, and please do not kill off or substitute the MC!

    That said, you undoubtedly realize I am in the minority and the short form is very popular with others. Success would probably come from doing the exact opposite of anything I have done.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! Short definitely is not for everyone. It’s a niche, for sure.

      As for self-publishing, how did it go? Did you feel like it was worth it? Were you able to get readers?

      • Hmm. I self-pubbed a very long time ago, before CreateSpace, and I had to pay a lot of money. I feel Xulon Press misrepresented its services and I was not happy with them. Lulu at least didn’t over-charge me, but I spent a lot hiring my cover artist. Had I not self-pubbed, I would not have ever had the opportunity to find the small press (Splashdown).

        However, I got the most readers through Kindle publishing, not through any of the various paperback editions. Still, readership was far below my hopes and I spent far too much time, money, and heartache on “marketing” in the vain hope it would help.

        In the end, at least I know I truly tried EVERYTHING. I left no stone unturned. Nothing worked and I feel like a total failure. Not sure if that qualifies as “worth it”, but there you have it.

  2. Now, are the stories of the Amulet Saga a bunch of short stories, or more like episodes of a serial? If serial, then release them all separately and get them in Kindle Unlimited. Serials are gold over there, and so are short stories. I consistently make more off borrows than sales (and that with very little advertising!).

    Once my next novel launches, I’m planning to shop it around to reviewers of the genre, and market in newsletters like ebook soda, Bargain Booksy, and The Midlist. They’re not super expensive like Bookbub is, and altogether I think I’d spend 50 bucks. Hopefully I’d make that back in sales, since paranormal romance is still a popular genre.

    • Yes, more like a serial. Interesting, I’ll have to check into that!

      • You can use the same cover for each one–just color shift each one, so one is more red, the next is blue, or whatever. You just change the text. Price them at .99 cents, and release a “box set compilation” afterward for people who actually want to buy it. This would be about 3.99. But keep the episodes in KU to catch that “you get paid if they read 10%” thing.

  3. Short stories were my first love as a reader, and that love never faded. My love of novels came later but didn’t displace short stories. My bookshelves are packed with anthologies and collections as well as full novels and novel series.

    The length difference doesn’t bother me. Even with poetry, I enjoy both long epic poems as well as ultra-brief haiku.
    In novels, there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the characters, to sink into their worlds. It’s a vacation.
    To me, short stories are an art unto themselves regardless of genre. It’s an outing to the park.

    I write both as well. In fact, one of my first books released was a collection of my short stories representing those previously published, some that were accepted for publication but not published (due to the demise of a magazine or the change in a publisher’s project plans), and some never seen elsewhere. I’m currently working on publisher-requested revisions of a full length novel pending its re-release and on a collection of short stories set in one milieu (three stories of which also appeared in the first collection). The novel was available for a brief time from another publisher that closed doors forever, making the book a reprint (tough to submit anywhere!).

    My own brush with self-publishing was an unsatisfactory stint with Smashwords. My elderly computer wasn’t capable of creating .pdfs and I couldn’t get anyone else to do it for me. Fortunately, the indie press that picked up both my speculative poetry collection and the short story collection liked what they saw on SW. They not only signed me on for both books but also for the novel, and they want to see the focused milieu short stories when I finish work on that one.

    BTW, practicing the thrift of short stories is serving me well as I broaden into new writing territory (new for me): essays and creative nonfiction.

    Best wishes for The Amulet Saga, Avily!

  4. […] back, I wrote a blog about being a hybrid author. I talked about my publishing (or lack thereof) journey and how I plan to get my work out, one way […]

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