How to Publish a Book (Traditional vs. Independent vs. Hybrid Publishing)

Are you thinking of publishing a book but don’t know how to go about it? This is for you.

There are essentially three ways you can get your book published.

1) The traditional way.

Once upon a time, this was the only way to get published. That’s why almost all books were written by professional writers rather than by entrepreneurs willing to share their wisdom with the world or look for a lead generation tool.

The traditional way is still the dream for many authors (mostly fiction). Still, it’s not very practical if you’re focused on running a business and not on pursuing a literary career.

Most traditional publishing houses do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. That’s why you first need to find an agent who would represent you and then that agent would pitch your manuscript to a traditional publishing house. 

The process is long (think 1,5 – 2 years).

Even if an agent does take you on and manages to sell your manuscript, you will most likely be required to rewrite it numerous times in order to be in line with your publisher’s vision.

You will have little control over the artwork, so you might need to forget about that specific cover you envisioned.

Also, while you might think that the publishing house will market your book as their #1 release, the chances of them doing that for a first-time author are rather slim.

On the plus side, you will receive an advance but the royalties will be low (7-10%).

The best thing about going with a traditional publisher is that you get full distribution and your book will be available wherever books are sold.

Do remember that if you go that route you need to learn how to write a proposal, pitch it and you need to write the manuscript on your own.

The best way to get started with this route is by pitching agents included in the Guide to Literary Agents 2019.Recap:

  • Pitch an agent;
  • 1-2 year process;
  • get an advance;
  • low royalties 7%;
  • little control over artwork, marketing, content;
  • full distribution

2) The self-published way.

Traditional publishers became seriously challenged when in 2007 Amazon launched its ebook publishing unit, Kindle Direct Publishing.

Suddenly agents and publishers became unnecessary for entrepreneurial authors willing to publish independently.

There were no more gate-keepers. The market would decide if a book was a winner or not.

2010 was the year I self-published my first book while still working in the corporate world. When the royalties I made with the book exceeded my corporate salary, I left.

In 2015 I published How I Sold 80,000 Books, which positioned me as an expert on the subject (as we know books do).

The fact that everyone can publish a book doesn’t mean that everyone should. The main issue is that with the rise of self-publishing, low-quality books flooded the market.

It’s only natural – publishing and book marketing is a learned skill with many moving parts. It’s unrealistic to expect a great writer or a great entrepreneur also to be a great publisher and marketer (although sometimes it does happen!).

While self-publishing gives you all the freedom you want and 100% of the royalties, you don’t get an advance, you have to rely on yourself and you’re limited to publishing online.


  • anybody can publish;
  • no advance;
  • high royalties – no middleman;
  • no professional help;
  • limited to online retailers

3) The hybrid way. 

With traditional publishing on one end of the spectrum and self-publishing on the other, hybrid publishing came to life filling an obvious gap in the marketing place.

It’s a model in which the author finances the publishing (like with self-publishing) but receives professional expertise and access to full distribution in return.

This is what we do at Leaders Press. You come to us with a book idea, if we believe in it, we position it for success, interview you, get the book written and launch it to bestseller.

The whole process takes about 5 months if we focus on online retailers and 9 months if we also focus on the brick-and-mortar.

You have control over the artwork, marketing, and content, you get 90% of the net royalties (50% with the brick-and-mortar model).

Your book has the same look and feel as a traditionally published book, it can be found in the same outlets and is launched to best-seller, because every book we take on is a #1 for us.


  • best of both worlds;
  • faster than traditional publishing;
  • high royalties;
  • professional execution with control over content;
  • full distribution – wherever books are sold.

Again, every book we take on is a #1 for us and becomes a best-seller. Go to if you’d like to become our next #1!

4 thoughts on “How to Publish a Book (Traditional vs. Independent vs. Hybrid Publishing)”

  1. Although hybrid publishing companies are author-subsidized, they are different from other author-subsidized models in that hybrid publishers adhere to professional publishing standards. Regardless of who pays for editorial, design, and production fees, it is always the publisher that bears responsibility for producing, distributing, and ultimately selling professional-quality books.

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