Amazon Customer Review (Sabrina Ricci) – May 2, 2014
Dianne Sagan kindly gave me a review copy of her latest book, The Hybrid Author. Full disclosure: she used my article for IndieReader, “Why Traditionally Published Authors Are Going Indie,” as part of her research.
The Hybrid Author is a great resource, and really digs deep into what the relatively new term means. According to Dianne, there are four ways to publish a book: traditionally, subsidy, self, and vanity (she also later explains that the term can be applied to freelancers who write articles, speeches, copy, and more). To writers not familiar with the industry or those who are just getting started, it’s helpful to know the differences. The book provides an overview of each, along with the pros and cons to consider when deciding which path to take.
It’s also helpful to hear other writers’ journeys, what they did, and what worked and didn’t work for them. Dianne devotes a whole chapter to her own experiences as an author who has self-published and had books published by traditional publishers.
But the most value in the book can be found in later chapters. In addition to providing interviews with successful hybrid authors, who freely share advice and insight, there is a chapter that details how agents fit in with hybrid authors. The chapter reads like a well thought out FAQ section, with questions and answers that are both pertinent and well researched.
There are some areas that repeats advice often found online shared among indie and hybrid authors. For example, it’s important to research material and thoroughly edit manuscripts. Dianne also lists questions every aspiring author should ask themselves when deciding whether or not to pursue a career in writing.
I do wish that this ebook took a little bit more advantage of the format. Dianne has obviously done some great research, and she includes many facts and examples to illustrate each chapter. However, as someone who likes to learn as much as she can about topics of interest, I wish there were more links or at least web URLs so I could click through and find out more about specific subjects and read the articles cited.
Dianne also lists a number of resources that cover various aspects of the publishing process, which is a good starting point for writers just getting into the industry but is not fully comprehensive. And at the end of the book are examples of a publishing contract and literary agent agreement. These types of contracts are hard to find on the Internet, and they can be very helpful for new writers who want to get familiar with what to expect.
Overall, The Hybrid Author is a great resource for new writers, writers looking to diversify how they publish, and anyone in general who wants to know more about the recent big changes in the publishing industry. There are a lot of options today for authors, and it’s important for writers to stay informed in order to make the best decisions for their works and their careers.
First Chapter Review for The Book Connection blog, April 23, 2014, by Cheryl Malandrinos
Cover: This cover is a great choice. It’s simple. It’s uncluttered. The laptop makes you think of writing. Though I’m not always a fan of the title being blocked off, the color scheme along with the border make it stand out. Nice job.
First Chapter: Sagan starts off by giving an overview of the various publishing paths–traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, and vanity publishing. The hybrid author is someone using more than one path to publication. Cited surveys and statistics support what Sagan says is the biggest challenge for authors–keeping up with voracious readers.
Keep Reading: Definitely. As an author, I’ve found publishing requires a ton of patience. There are days I wish my books could make it to market sooner. This is part of why I’ve considered self-publishing, even though I enjoy working with both my publishers. Even just the first chapter of Sagan’s book has given me food for thought. The cited surveys and statistics indicate hybrid authors are finding success by boldly embracing multiple paths to publication, giving readers more of what they want–books.
Sagan’s conversational style encourages readers to continue, while her experience gained from more than a decade in the industry provides the security and comfort that she can speak on such topics. I’m eager to learn more about what she has to say on the topic of hybrid authors. I also want to read all the interviews included.
Dr. Bob Rich, Bobbing Around Newsletter and website, book review, April 21, 2014
This book is a treasure house of useful suggestions and resources for any writer, already published or still merely hopeful. While reading, I followed up some of Dianne’s recommendations, particularly in the areas of marketing and publicity, which are my weak points.
This useful information is logically organized, clearly presented, and is in a style that is a perfect compromise between being chatty and formal. My only suggestion for improvement is that each resource should have a web link accompany it.
I’ve been a hybrid writer for many years, but didn’t know it until I read Dianne’s definition. It is someone who has some books out through royalty-paying publishers, with other books, or other versions of these books, through a less conventional path such as self-publishing. She sets out the advantages and disadvantages of each of four options, and I cannot fault her reasoning. I agree with everything she has stated.
A useful feature is Chapter 8, which is a series of interviews with successful authors. I was fascinated by the commonalities and differences in these people’s opinions.
Chapter 10 is also particularly useful in a different way: it is an extensive list of questions to an intending author. Thinking about the answer to each will help you to choose the uniquely right path for you.
In short, this book is a useful resource for any writer.