Skip to content

Understanding Publishing Models

There are generally three models for getting a book published:

  • The traditional model: This is what you might think of if I say, “New York publishing house.” They offer a contract with a royalty structure and maybe an advance on royalty. Editing, proofreading, design, and marketing are done in-house.
  • The self-publishing model: This is the person who has a story to tell and a community to reach and who is willing to become their own publisher. They put together a team to help them get a file ready for Print on Demand at Amazon or IngramSpark. The team may include a professional editor, a proofreader, and a book designer. This person also may pay for marketing help.
  • The partnership or “hybrid” model: This is a publisher who asks the author to provide some financial resources up front. In return, the publisher creates the team, involves the author in every step of the process, and pays a higher royalty on book sales.

At Soulstice, we follow the third model. We create meaningful books that meet the highest standards of the publishing industry. To achieve that, we use a partnership publishing model with our authors and arts patrons. This means the author (and sometimes a sponsor) subsidizes publication costs in return for a higher share of sales proceeds and greater involvement at every step in creating their “book with soul.”

Soulstice has pledged to meet IBPA’s partnership (aka “hybrid”) publisher criteria:

“A hybrid publisher makes income from a combination of publishing services and book sales. Although hybrid publishing companies are author-subsidized, they are different from other author-subsidized models in that hybrid publishers adhere to professional publishing criteria.”

According to IBPA, a partnership publisher must:

Define a mission and vision for its publishing program. At Soulstice, our mission is to partner with authors to create books with soul that inspire readers with stories of human potential realized and celebrate our unique position in the Southwest.

Vet submissions. Good partnership publishers don’t publish everything they receive, and they often decline to publish. Check our current catalog to see the kinds of books we typically publish. Soulstice actively seeks authors whose visions align with our own.

Publish under its own imprints and ISBNs. Starting with our first book, To Imogene, a Flagstaff Love Letter, we have always published under our own imprints and ISBNs.

Publish to industry standards. Books released by a partnership publisher should be on par with traditionally published books. Soulstice produces award-winning books that meet the highest standards in our industry.

Ensure editorial, design, and production quality. A partnership publisher is responsible for producing books edited, designed, and produced to a professional degree. At Soulstice, one of our founders manages every project, leading a team of professionals to ensure that every book achieves its full potential.

Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights. Soulstice negotiates rights such as audio, foreign, etc. on behalf of authors to reach the widest possible readership.

Provide distribution services. A partnership publisher has a strategic approach to distribution beyond simply making books available for purchase via online retailers. Soulstice has a distribution contract with Independent Publishers Group, where a team of sales reps actively markets and sells our books to retailers and online booksellers.

Demonstrate respectable sales. Soulstice and our authors jointly develop and implement a marketing strategy to engage the right audiences for each book.

Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty (the standard royalty is typically 5% to 15%) on print and digital books, in exchange for the author’s personal investment. Our contracts provide a transparent royalty structure that is usually higher than 50%, commensurate with the author’s investment.

To read the complete criteria, visit www.ibpa-online.org/page/hybridpublisher.