Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing vs Hybrid Publishing

The publishing industry can be broken down into three categories: traditional publishing, self-publishing, also referred to as vanity publishing, and hybrid publishing. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the author’s needs and desires.

Traditional Publishing

This is the path people normally think of when it comes to publishing. Within this model, the author submits their manuscript through an agent to a publisher, and if the publisher accepts, the author is paid an advance on future royalties. The publisher pays for all publishing and printing costs.

Traditional publishing is often considered the most desirable route, but it has its downsides. It’s commonly thought that fewer than one percent of submitted manuscripts are published, though there’s no way to accurately determine the number of manuscripts submitted to all publishers. Plus, the author only receives a 5-15% royalty on book sales, which often amounts to 50 cents or less per book. This is only after the amount of the advance is reached. The publisher also owns the work once the contract is signed, and therefore they have the final say on all changes to the manuscript.


In self-publishing, the author publishes their own work, retains the rights to the work, and receives 100% royalties on the sales. However, they’re responsible for every part of the process. Self-publishing authors have to find and pay editors, proofers and layout and graphic designers. They also have to pay for printing and find distribution for their book.

Authors taking the self-publishing route are responsible for all the marketing for their book. Many authors aren’t willing to put in the time and money for marketing. For those who are, however, self-publishing can be the best choice. The high royalty rate allows authors who are willing to put in the marketing time to make a solid profit from their book sales.

Hybrid Publishing

As the happy medium between the two, hybrid publishers provide the services that traditional publishers provide, while giving the author royalties on their book sales, and still allowing the author 100% ownership and control of the work. The author signs a contract with the publisher and pays for professional publishing, editing, cover design, et cetera.

The author also has the option to pay for marketing and different types of distribution through the publisher. It’s often more effective than marketing and distribution done by the author, since the publisher already has connections in the industry.

Rebel Press is a hybrid publisher.  What sets us apart from other publishers is that we are selective about the titles who choose to represent.  For titles we feel have real market potential, we offer to contribute to the cost of publishing with our Publishing Subsidy Program. This exclusive program is designed to subsidize a percentage of the publishing and promotion cost in exchange for a small percentage of the royalties. Our aim is to reinforce our partnerships and vested interested in the ongoing success of an author’s book.