Author Topic: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]  (Read 1781 times)  

Offline AmpersandBookInteriors

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Well, kind of. Partially anyway!

'"Authors Guild executive director Mary Rasenberger said that IBPA's creation of hybrid guidelines "provide much-needed clarity" to help authors "differentiate a reputable hybrid publisher from a vanity press." Since vanity presses and self-publishing service providers don't offer the full range of services that hybrid publishers do, Rasenberger believes it is important authors are aware of the differences. "Hybrid publishers provide a good and important alternative for authors today," Rasenberger added. "They fill a demand for authors that neither traditional publishers nor self-publishing services currently meet."'

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/76125-ipba-develops-standards-for-hybrid-publishers.html

For your reading and/or toothgrinding pleasure.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 03:44:46 PM by AmpersandBookInteriors »


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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Bah. Authors Guild.
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Offline David VanDyke

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Yes, Author's Guild.

I deleted everything I just wrote because it was so harsh, so let me just say this more gently: every time they should be standing up for authors, they seem to instead be doing the bidding of the publishers who throw them their scanty bones.

In this case, I have little doubt that someone is getting some benefit from these shady operators--advertising money or something.

We all know money talks. Heck, Author Solutions has a big pavilion at the Tucson Festival of Books, regardless of how many times people like me have protested to the people who run it that they are scammers. Why? Because they pay. A lot. People are willfully blind when the money starts flowing their way.


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Offline KelliWolfe

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"Standard royalties in traditional publishing were once calculated based on the list price or suggested retail price of the work. Nowadays, and especially among small presses and independent publishers, it is more common to calculate royalties based on net revenues."

Using the Harlequin model, no doubt.

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Offline dgcasey

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Oooo, the hybrid and vanity press scamsters. The publishing world's equivalent to that Nigerian prince scam email I got today. He says all I need to do is give him my banking info and he'll stick $20,000,000 in my account. What could possibly go wrong?
The Wrath - The Chronicles of Wyndweir Book #2: 100%

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Offline Herefortheride

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A while back I got pitched one of these through e-mail and the person had actually read my books and talked at length about the details he thought would sell if I wanted to go with his publisher.

But they wanted me to pay a flat rate for their editors and services. :o
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
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Offline she-la-ti-da

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What David said.
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Offline Doglover

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Oooo, the hybrid and vanity press scamsters. The publishing world's equivalent to that Nigerian prince scam email I got today. He says all I need to do is give him my banking info and he'll stick $20,000,000 in my account. What could possibly go wrong?

What? You mean that's not real? But I've already ordered the Aston Martin :)


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Offline Bill Hiatt

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In theory, it is possible to imagine a hybrid publishing model that wouldn't be a scam. For example, in theory it would be possible for a publisher to charge certain set fees but give authors a higher-than-the-norm royalty. The problem is that that seldom happens. The "hybrids" tend to wants fees up front and traditional royalties--and then don't really market the books.

I did encounter an author on another forum who runs what may be a genuine hybrid. Her process is selective. If she accepts a book that needs a little work, she offers the author a choice--take a somewhat lower royalty, or pay to get the work fixed. If the book doesn't need work, or once the work is completed, the royalty model is total pass-through. For instance, on Amazon an author gets the full 70% royalty, plus book promotion and a publisher label. The books all look professional and sell reasonably well.

It's also worth noting that some publishers that call themselves hybrid don't charge up front. Book Trope, for example, didn't the last time I checked. Publisher takes 30%, with the remaining 70 divided in a mutually agreed to way among the author, the editor, the cover designer, and the marketing person. (It's a team that shares in the profits. The publisher picks the books and facilitates putting the team together.) I haven't looked at them in a long time, though, so things may have changed.


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Offline PhoenixS

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It's also worth noting that some publishers that call themselves hybrid don't charge up front. Book Trope, for example, didn't the last time I checked. Publisher takes 30%, with the remaining 70 divided in a mutually agreed to way among the author, the editor, the cover designer, and the marketing person. (It's a team that shares in the profits. The publisher picks the books and facilitates putting the team together.) I haven't looked at them in a long time, though, so things may have changed.

Yeah, a small change. Booktrope shut down in Q2 2016. Get with the times, Bill! ;)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/70544-indie-authors-left-in-limbo-after-booktrope-closing.html

Offline notjohn

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Paying a percent of net is actually fairly standard practice when it comes to ebook royalties. HarperCollins paid me ten percent of list price for the paperback, 25 percent of net for the ebook. Since the ebook was priced at nearly $11, it didn't really sell enough to out perform the paperback (priced about $16, which Amazon generally reduced to about $12).
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Offline dgaughran

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The IBPA has lots of questionable members  and the Authors Guild thought it okay to partner with Author Solutions so perhaps not the best barometer here.
Stuff for writers thisaway

Offline dgcasey

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What? You mean that's not real? But I've already ordered the Aston Martin :)

I'd go ahead and follow through with the order for the Aston Martin. If you can't trust a Nigerian prince, who can you trust? ;)
The Wrath - The Chronicles of Wyndweir Book #2: 100%

City of Time: 29%

Brownies & Bullets: 20%
War is coming. They think he can be their leader. He's not so sure.
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Offline Day Leitao

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Quote
Brooke Warner, publisher at She Writes Press and chairperson of the IBPA advocacy committee

That's scary. If anyone is curious, I suggest you visit the website for She Writes Press to see what kind of press it is.

I feel really bad because this specific press focuses a lot on memoirs, so it attracts newbies who are not authors, don't know any better, and have no idea what the standard prices are and even where to ask or get help. 

Edit: I checked and now they are worse than before, because they removed their prices. Last time I checked, if an author was approved and didn't need editing other than proofreading, the price was 4 thousand dollars for amazing services like:
- cover design (ok, and their covers are pretty decent)
- interior formatting (ok)
- proofreading (of the printed copy, not copy editing)
- Distribution through Ingram (oh, my, how amazing)
- Conversion to epub
- Distribution to Amazon, Kobo and many other vendors

To be fair, they do provide services, but they are worth $1,500 or less, and I'm being generous here. So they'll overprice their services and then they'll take a share of the royalties... Nevermind royalties, I doubt these books sell. Their biggest selling point is that it's a curated press, so that authors feel good that they were "accepted".

Oh, to do that to old women, it breaks my heart. I wish there was a service shop for clueless people who don't want to learn anything about publishing, but that didn't overcharge, explore or give them false promises.

So the owner of this press is sitting at the IBPA advocacy committee. Impressive.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 04:28:22 PM by Day Leitao »

Offline David VanDyke

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IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2018, 06:39:25 PM »
Hmmm...

https://publishingperspectives.com/2018/02/nine-criteria-reputable-hybrid-publishing-ibpa/

The first 8 are no-brainers, a "given" that anyone would think are standard practice.

So, those 8 points are merely saying "hybrid publisher ought to act ethically." Well, duh.

The 9th is the only one that actually sets a new, or expected, standard. Well, sort of. "Should be" greater than 50% of net...

9. Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty. A hybrid publisher pays its authors more than the industry-standard royalty range on print and digital books, in exchange for the authors personal investment. Although royalties are generally negotiable, the authors share must be laid out transparently and must be commensurate with the authors investment. In most cases, the authors royalty should be greater than 50 percent of net on both print and digital books.

Don't get me wrong, this is a step in the right direction. At least it's publicity, and some newbie authors might get a sense of how things should be--and how not.



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Offline mojomikey

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https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/76125-ipba-develops-standards-for-hybrid-publishers.html

Has anyone heard of these guys? A woman in my RL writers craft has paid a hybrid to "publish" her book and keeps posting stuff like this on our Facebook page, defending her decision.

Thoughts, comments? She's obviously decided to go that route, but I'd like to have some cogent arguments against going the hybrid route -there are cheaper turnkey routes out there and you won't sign away the rights to your books. She doesn't get that a real publisher pays you, not the other way around.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 08:36:33 PM »
I've merged three threads here. Apologies for any confusion.

Offline Doglover

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 10:41:54 PM »
https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/76125-ipba-develops-standards-for-hybrid-publishers.html

Has anyone heard of these guys? A woman in my RL writers craft has paid a hybrid to "publish" her book and keeps posting stuff like this on our Facebook page, defending her decision.

Thoughts, comments? She's obviously decided to go that route, but I'd like to have some cogent arguments against going the hybrid route -there are cheaper turnkey routes out there and you won't sign away the rights to your books. She doesn't get that a real publisher pays you, not the other way around.
Unfortunately, if a 'publisher' tells an author that their book is amazing, that author is not going to listen. We had a similar thing with a member of my writers' circle 40 years ago and a vanity press. Everyone told him he'd be wasting his money, but they thought his book was great so he went out and borrowed 500 from his bank. Would be thousands now.


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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2018, 04:25:28 AM »
The IBPA has lots of questionable members  and the Authors Guild thought it okay to partner with Author Solutions so perhaps not the best barometer here.

Word. You can't trust people who endorse something when it's in their own best interest to do so.

Quote
A hybrid publisher pays its authors more than the industry-standard royalty range on print and digital books, in exchange for the author's personal investment.

See, the thing is, these companies aren't in this to make the author money, but to take money from the author. They don't care about royalty share, because they've made their money already, from gullible people who think they're being published just like their favorite author. So it doesn't matter what some group or other says should be done, or how these companies should work, in the end they're going to do what's best for them, which means they sell services, overpriced, poorly executed services.

Now, I'm sure some folks think their "hybrid" publishing business is on the up and up, totally fair to authors and doing a good deed for the world. But we've seen time and again how easy it is to fall into the trap of putting one's self in front of the authors being "published" or being sold "services", and eventually it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Except it's those poor authors in the hand basket.

I've thought about starting up a company that would help authors who just want to have someone take care of their book and get it uploaded. A business that wouldn't cheat them out of royalties, or promise them the moon, or run off with their money and leave them hanging. But just thinking about how much work that would be stops me cold. I'm not sure I could make enough profit to live on, without the temptation to skimp on what was promised to people. I'd need to find someone who could do marketing, or learn it well enough myself (though I guess using existing services like Bookbub, et.al. would work just as well). With the way my own writing is going, I'd probably do okay with it. Maybe next year!
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Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2018, 04:32:09 AM »
That is truly appalling. Hopefully some of the big name authors who've spoken about vanity publishing in the past will speak out on this.

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Yeah, a small change. Booktrope shut down in Q2 2016. Get with the times, Bill! ;)

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/70544-indie-authors-left-in-limbo-after-booktrope-closing.html
I stand corrected.  :D

However, the article does acknowledge that Book Trope was unique among hybrid publishers in not collecting upfront fees, so it's still a decent example that, in theory, a publisher using the hybrid label might be legit. PW speculated in the article that perhaps they couldn't make the business model work that way--they were perhaps business-sense challenged, though not ethically challenged. That doesn't mean someone else couldn't make a similar model work. It sounds as if the writers were satisfied right up until the point at which the business failed.


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Offline Elizabeth Ann West

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2018, 06:27:16 AM »
I think starting with some standards isn't a bad thing. I think OUR community would be wise to start something like this, standards of things we know from experience.... like on co-writing.

I see good co-writing setups and setups I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy... vague things that do not define what are "upfront costs" and exactly what costs and when come out of the royalties etc. Some people ARE doing co-writing ethically and awesomely. And other stuff . . . . well by this summer I predict we will start to see some fall out from the more slapdash set up shared world/cowriting/one person writes the other person does marketing and business decisions etc.

Then again... no matter what industry standards there are out there, people with a dream getting told they're just one credit card swipe away from having it all will often do exactly that. Swipe away.... because our brains aren't wired well to assess risk and probability of failure when given success stories and promises of wealth.


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Offline evdarcy

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2018, 06:37:51 AM »
I'm confused... are these talking about publishers that are deliberately labelling themselves as hybrid to avoid the term vanity? So not the likes of BookOutre (no fees collected from the author - no mention of hybrid) but one like this "Author Solutions" that I keep seeing people talking about where money is put up front?

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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: IBPA has released 9 criteria for "hybrid" reputable publishing [MERGED]
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2018, 01:53:32 AM »
Quote
I'm confused... are these talking about publishers that are deliberately labelling themselves as hybrid to avoid the term vanity?

Basically, yes. It's the latest thing to take money from people who want to be writers without being a true publisher and taking the risk on themselves. Why worry about sales, when you've already made your few thousands off the writer? There's just far too much conflict of interest when you combine being a publisher with being a service provider, and your target is the same people.

You can put makeup on a pig, but it's still a pig. No offense to pigs, they're nice animals, but you get what I'm saying. All the "should do" so-called standards mean squat. And people were perfectly happy with some of the small presses that have failed, right up until they weren't.
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