In the world of publishing, every writer has a different journey to success. There are the lucky ones. You know, the “I wrote my manuscript in one weekend and now I have a six-figure book deal” authors. Let me assure you – there are very few lucky ones. (Sad, but true.) Most writers spend years honing their craft before publication. Here is the more common path of a traditionally published author:
After completing their manuscripts, writers submit queries in the hopes of acquiring agent representation. After rejections, tears, and despair, an agent chooses to represent the writer. Then, the agent works with the writer to polish the manuscript before submitting it to traditional publishing houses. At the end of this process, there is a book deal and celebration. Sounds simple, right? But there are dozens of steps in between writing your manuscript and getting published traditionally.
I published my first novel, The Truth About Awiti, as an indie author. When I established Field Order Press in late 2014, my goal was to have creative freedom to publish what I wanted when I wanted. And I planned to slowly build a platform where other writers could do the same. In May of 2015, I was surprised and beyond excited when Emily Sylvan Kim of Prospect Agency asked if I was interested in representation. But before I could agree, I had one major question: What about Field Order Press?
Enter The Hybrid Author
A hybrid author has published at least one title through indie (self) publishing and at least one title through traditional publishing.
Hopefully, ‘hybrid author’ will be my official title soon!
My current manuscript was rejected by a few traditional publishing houses. *cries real tears* However, the editors gave constructive feedback and I had two options: (1) accept their criticism and make revisions or (2) publish my manuscript through my indie press. I want a traditional publishing deal and so I chose to make revisions. A lot of revisions. The revised manuscript is due to my agent on April 1st (I know, I know) and hopefully, l’ll move on to the next phase in the traditional publishing process.
Field Order Press is special to me. It’s the home of my first book baby, The Truth About Awiti. It provided a platform to establish myself as a writer, and it’s also one of the reasons I have an agent. I met an editor at a writers workshop who loved The Truth About Awiti. She recommended that I query two agents. One said, ‘no.’ (It was my fault. Never query before your MS is finished. I had read all the hoopla online and was certain it would take months for the agent to respond and ask for my full manuscript. And guess what? The agent asked for my full manuscript three hours after I pressed send – and it wasn’t finished. Major. Lesson. Learned.) The other agent, Emily, (who I queried after I finished my book) said, ‘yes.’
If you’re interested in being an indie author, I will assure you that it’s hard work. It will require a decent budget to hire a copy editor, develop book covers for your print and ebook, and marketing. If you’re interested in being a traditionally published author, it’s also hard work and challenging, and you may not see the fruits of your labor for many years. And if you’re interested in being a hybrid author, you might just get the best (and a little bit of the worst) of both worlds. Good luck on whatever path you choose!