Hybrid Author: Self + Conventional Publishing

aleah collage

Courtesy of the author

Writing, editing, and publishing a book with a publishing house is hard. You have to collaborate with your editor, cover designer, and production team. You have to follow house rules. You need to meet deadlines and be on time.

Writing, editing, and publishing a book by yourself is also hard. Forget a pre-assigned editor and production time. You have to find your own editor (always get an editor) and your own cover designer. You end up doing most of the production work yourself, sitting cross-legged on your couch, while watching Netflix, and trying to avoid the attentions of an overzealous Labrador. (Oh wait, maybe that’s just me).

Some people only publish traditionally; they love the structure of working with a team. Some people only self publish; they love being able to do what they want, set their own deadlines, and answer only to readers.

I’m what’s called a hybrid author: I do both. Currently, I have two traditionally published books: Too Hot to Handle and Leaving Las Vegas. I also have four self-published books Dead Sexy; Dead Set, Tempting the Ringmaster, and The Pop Star Next Door.

Next year I’m going hardcore. I’m scheduled to publish five different books with two different publishers. I also hope to self publish at least two different books, installments of my Dead Sexy adventure series set in a post-zombie apocalypse Detroit.

How do I do it? My production schedule is intense. I write every day, and I edit every weekend. How else? Hard work, dedication, and a team of friends, beta readers, and editors.

No one writes in a void. Whether you’re writing traditionally or self publishing, you need other writers to cheer you on; an editor to tell you what you’re doing wrong (you’re always doing something wrong); and loyal readers to get the word out about your latest work.

So, what should you do if you want to be a hybrid author? Or a traditionally published author? Or a self-published author? Write. Write some more. Write today and tomorrow. Get some trusted people to read what you’ve written—trusted but cruel, kind readers never help you grow—and then put it out there for the world. Submit it to a publisher or, if it’s in an offbeat genre or you feel you’d do better on your own, self publish it through one of the many available platforms.

And then write some more.

And while you’re at it—check out two of my books coming out in early 2016 All In (January) and Out of Bounds (March).

Aleah Barley is a prolific author who writes explosive romance for everybody.