Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Decision To Go Hybrid by Heidi Chiavaroli

I never wanted to be an indie author. Mostly because I didn’t trust myself to put something worth reading out there all by my lonesome. But although I never planned it, the opportunity came to me this past year, and I surprised myself by jumping on board.

I had two books published with my dream publishing house, and I had just renewed my contract with them. An author’s dream! But as we began to plan the timing for my third book, we realized that deadlines and marketing schedules would leave a nineteen-month-gap between books—a problem for any author, but especially a newbie like me.

I was surprised when my agent suggested I release my own book within that nineteen-month time period but, for my situation, it seemed to make sense.

I’m excited about releasing my first indie book. And I’m a tad nervous, of course. But if all works out, I’m hoping that my decision to go hybrid will benefit not only my readers, but me and my publisher.

If your aim is to be a hybrid author, here are some things you may want to consider:

Know your craft, and the publishing industry.

If you are just starting out in this writing thing, don’t be too quick to independently publish and assume a traditional publisher will want to work with you in the future. Likewise, starting a contract with a traditional publisher is probably not the ideal time to decide to independently publish. Take it slow. There’s a lot to learn in both worlds. Publishing is hard work, no matter what. Make sure you know how to write (don’t just take your Mother’s word for it!), and make sure you know the industry before diving in to those indie waters.

Put your publisher first.

There have been many times these past couple of months when I’ve had to put my indie edits and marketing efforts on hold to work on something for my publisher. And I’ve done it gladly. As a hybrid author, they are my priority, and honestly, they are the ones who gave me a chance to begin with, so they will always come first.

If you are traditionally published and considering putting out an indie release, it’s always best to make sure your publisher is okay with you doing so. Make sure your indie releases are scheduled in a way that will benefit your traditional releases. You don’t want to be competing with yourself!

Release a quality product.

Honestly, this was my biggest concern from the beginning. I LOVE getting that brand new box of books from my publisher. The entire product, near perfect. Those of us in the indie world have likely had our share of publishing disasters. In fact, I just received my first box of books and was appalled to see some grainy covers and bubbly binding.

Obtain professional editing, cover, and formatting design. As far as is within your ability, make your product something you won’t be ashamed to have alongside your traditional releases.

If you are published, are you published independently, traditionally, or both? What do you see as being a benefit to how you are published? If you are not yet published, what kind of publishing goals do you have?

"I was surprised when my agent suggested I release my own book..." @HeidiChiavaroli #publishing #SeriouslyWrite


Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of
historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. Both her debut novel, "Freedom's Ring" and her sophomore novel, "The Hidden Side" are Romantic Times Top Picks. "Freedom's Ring" was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Visit her at