The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) has released its nine-point criteria for hybrid publishers. The freely available “IBPA Hybrid Publisher Criteria” aims to support both authors and independent publishers by dispelling misconceptions and concerns about hybrid publishing.
Over the last few years, we have seen the non-traditional publishing market expand as more and more books are being self-published and new business models are being experimented with. Hybrid publishing, as the name implies, lies somewhere between traditional publishing and self-publishing. Like traditional publishers, hybrid publishers perform a gatekeeping function by curating titles and catalogues, and they also distribute through all of the traditional trade distribution streams. But like self-publishing platforms, they provide no advances, and they typically pay higher royalties and exert less control over rights than traditional publishers. Like any new business model, the advantages of hybrid publishing come with certain risks and uncertainty; the IBPA’s criteria are intended to help authors navigate those risks and identify the reputable players by setting clear and balanced standards.
You can read the IBPA’s press release announcing the criteria here. And if you are an Authors Guild member interested in exploring alternative publishing models, including hybrid publishing, we encourage you to read Chapter 3 in The Authors Guild Guide to E-Publishing, which further elaborates the risks and benefits of non-traditional publishing.