Category Archives: Hybrid Publishing

Correcting the Publishing Imbalance

The influence that traditional publishers hold now far outweighs their power. It’s time to correct that imbalance, and restore the publishing relationship to a symbiotic author-publisher collaboration.

Not long ago, big publishers controlled assets that you needed. That’s why they got to be the gatekeepers to the world of publishing, and writers groveled for whatever scraps they might offer us.

But with the advent of digital technology, you don’t need a big publisher in order to gain access to markets and retailers. You don’t need a publisher’s big capital to print your book.

You can get your book out to retailers without them.  You don’t need their connections, you don’t need their logistics or warehouses, and you can market your own book (which, frankly, they would expect you to do anyway). With e-books and print-on-demand technology, the success of your book is not based on your financial ability to print thousands of copies up front.

Their power is gone. So why do we still tolerate their influence?

The power of the Big-5 publishing companies remains only as long as we collectively, voluntarily give them this undue deference.

So let’s stop, let’s correct the imbalance.

But that doesn’t mean that we should throw out the system entirely. The publishing process was carefully honed over decades, centuries even, to produce the best, most marketable books with the most precise and efficient application of energy. Your book needs that.

Your book still needs to be well written. Your book still needs to be well produced.

And that’s the vision that Boyle & Dalton was built upon.  Let’s correct the imbalance without reacting and rejecting all of the things we’ve learned.

We vet manuscripts for quality before we accept them for publication. And then we ask the author to contribute to the cost of producing the book.

In a traditional arrangement, as long as the publisher is fronting all of the money, they carry all the risk and once again sit in a position of power to dictate to authors what will and won’t be successful.  It is the publisher’s prerogative to only accept what fits their narrow profitability landscape, and to tell everyone else to go pound sand.

You want to contribute to the cost of the production of your book, not just because you’ll increase your royalty rate by 10x, but because it equalizes the power structure. It restores the author-publisher arrangement to a symbiotic relationship of collaboration, rather than a employer/employee relationship.

By correcting the financial imbalance, we can form a true relationship with our author as equal partners.

You have this manuscript that is good. We have these skills which will catapult your manuscript to achieve its maximum potential. We’re both taking a financial risk, and we’re both invested in the success of this manuscript. That makes sense, right?

And that’s how hybrid publishing with Boyle & Dalton works. And that’s how we can pay royalty rates that are 10x the industry standard rate.  And that’s how books like The Black Lens win Writers’ Digest annual grand prize.

We’re building the future of publishing. We’re building a new world, without forgetting the lessons we learned in the old one.

Today, we’re looking for new authors to partner with. If you have a manuscript, let’s start a conversation.

Photo by Murray Barnes – used with permission (Creative Commons)

How Hybrid Publishing Works — A Better Way to Publish

Boyle & Dalton is a hybrid publisher. We partner with the author for the publication of the book, and the author shares in the production cost of the book.

Our unique approach combines the economic advantages of self-publishing with the quality standards of traditional publishing.

This means that while our authors pay for some of the cost of their books up front, we pay a royalty rate that is 1,000% (that’s 10x) the industry standard royalty rate.

We also vet books for quality and insist that every book undergo a rigorous, professional production process, which is identical to the process a book would undergo if published through a traditional publisher.

Because the author shares in the cost, it reduces our risk, which means that we can look solely at quality when evaluating manuscripts, and take risks on projects that might be passed over by traditional publishing houses for reasons other than the quality of the writing.

And because the author is contributing to the production cost, we give them full creative control of the project, ensuring that the final product is consistent with their artistic vision, but produced to the quality standards of our expert production staff.

Traditional publishing is outdated and slow to adapt. It’s producing poor books for the wrong reasons and letting great books slip away unpublished. And self-publishing is too risky for some authors. There are too many variables and in so many cases, the production quality suffers.

Hybrid publishing is a win-win.  We’ve captured all of the benefits of self-publishing, but maintained the quality and production standards of traditional publishing.  Authors retain the creative control they would have if they self-published, but with the support structure and quality assurance of traditional publishing.

This system has worked well for our authors. Writers like Chris Sumlin, Christopher Stollar and Joseph Downing have proven that it not only works, but the sky is the limit.

We are looking for more great manuscripts. If you have a quality manuscript that isn’t getting the attention it deserves from agents and traditional publishers, let’s start a conversation.

This is the future of publishing.  Let’s create something beautiful together.

Author Spotlight: D. Thourson Palmer

We recently announced that we’ll be publishing D. Thourson Palmer’s debut novel, Ours Isperf5.000x8.000.indd the Storm. We had a chat with Palmer about his creative process, and finding inspiration when writing. Get some insight into this Boyle & Dalton author here, and look for Ours Is the Storm on January 14, 2015.

Interested in becoming a Boyle & Dalton author? Submit your manuscript here. 

B&D: Ours Is the Storm is your first novel. Have you always been a writer? What inspired you to take the leap and write a 350+ page book?

Palmer: Even when I was young I loved books. I remember my parents reading these great, weird Uncle Wiggily stories to me, and my mom always made sure I had a book near at hand. I found a massive box of old books in the garage once, including a set of the 1960s editions of Lord of the Rings. They were in terrible shape and I put them back together with scotch tape, and they’re still on my shelf. From the time I could hold a pencil I used to write and illustrate little stories – even before I could write. They were just marks that were as close as I could get to words, filling pages of notebooks I kept around. I started longer stories and novels time and again throughout school, but it wasn’t until college and after that I started finishing stories in between classes. Ours Is the Storm somehow just kept getting longer until it was done.

B&D: What’s the writing process like for you? Do you find it easy to write, or are you forcing hands to keyboard like most of us?

Palmer: I wouldn’t say easy, but one thing that does come to me is the freedom to be crappy. Just to write, and write poorly, and fix it later. That may have come from OITS too, as when I started on it I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I didn’t start with much of an expectation or plan for it. Something else that helps is writing longhand. I write everything in pen on paper first, because it’s too much work to go backwards and edit. My work rate plummets when I’m typing. I spend way too much time fixing and adjusting individual words or agonizing (futilely) over phrasing. When I’ve got an empty notebook and a pen, though, there’s nowhere to go but forward.

B&D: What was your inspiration for OITS? I know you’ve done some traveling–did you channel any of those experiences into your writing?

Palmer: Definitely. At the time I started OITS, I was assistant-teaching English at a high school in Japan. Being pretty far out of my element, being unable to speak to most people, that was something that made it into the book. Learning about other people, other places, and comparing those things to what I always thought I knew but didn’t. Feeling lost. Actually getting lost. I got stuck on a mountain climb once while the sun was coming down, a good couple hours from anything, again in a place where I could barely speak to anyone. This was also around the time it began to occur to me that a lot of my life wasn’t going to be what I had long thought it would, but that didn’t mean it was going to be bad. Just different than expected.

B&D: Which character was the most fun to write?

Palmer: I think Tak’la ends up a lot of people’s favorite, and he’s hopeful and good and all the best things. He’s a stupendous fighter, and I like writing kick-ass fights. I liked some of the side characters the most, characters that aren’t always in the fore. Draden was fun, oddly enough. The Rider was fun to write. Rahi’sta surprised me, I started her in as an aside and she just kept coming back or poking herself in where she hadn’t been before.

B&D: Why did you decide to go with a hybrid publisher like Boyle & Dalton instead of seeking a traditional publisher?

Palmer: I like the idea of working in the community. I’ve been a lot of places but I love Columbus, and I want to see good things come from this city. Collaborating with individuals, instead of some conglomerate or committee or whatever, that’s awesome. I like being able to get away from dollar signs and tell the stories I want, the way I want, and indie and hybrid publishers like Boyle & Dalton are part of that ability. Ursula K. Le Guin spoke at the National Book Awards recently (also, go read The Left Hand of Darkness, I command it), and she said we need “writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art.” I don’t know if  can put myself in the latter camp, but I want to.

B&D: Do you have any advice for first-time authors who have just completed a manuscript?

Palmer: Don’t stop now. Do it again.

B&D: What are you working on next?

Palmer: I tried to overturn or examine some fantasy tropes in OITS while still staying in the genre, and that was fun, so I’m working on a tragic, heroic family saga, set in Feriven, like OITS. The next book follows three generations of the heroic Warden family, and mostly it’s them doing their best and everything going awfully wrong. It’s about watching these heroes and really getting into the insanity that would be part of their lives. All the violence, the loss, the expectations – there’s a little bit of work out there where the heroes have to deal with that stuff, but not a lot.

Ours Is the Storm will be released to all major retailers on January 14, 2015. Interested in becoming a Boyle & Dalton author? Submit a manuscript for review here. 

We’ve Solved Self-Publishing’s Two Biggest Problems

There are two good objections to self-publishing.  We’ve solved them both.

Boyle & Dalton takes the technological advantages and economic model of self-publishing, and applies what self-publishing lacks — validation and structure.

Validation. You’ve worked hard on your manuscript, you want to know that it’s good.  You want to be confident about your work before you invest any money into it, and you don’t want to publish if you’re the only person that believes in your work.  Those are legitimate and honorable sentiments.

Boyle & Dalton uses the same vetting process as a traditional publisher.  We only accept manuscripts that we believe are of exceptional quality and that deserve to be literature.  The advantage to B&D is that we can consider your manuscript based on quality alone, whereas traditional publishers have to consider market demographics, profitability, author platform, and brand appropriateness.

The bottom line is that if the manuscript is good, we’ll take it and we’ll make sure it’s produced correctly.  Since the author takes home the bulk of the profits anyway, if you’re willing to take a risk on the marketability of the book, so are we.  If we don’t feel the manuscript is fit for publication, we will decline to publish it.

Structure. There are about a thousand ways to self-publish your book, and at the end of the day, you’re out there all alone.  Not anymore.

Boyle & Dalton uses the same production process that traditional publishers use.  In fact, B&D authors receive the same quality of editing, design and production (with the same talented people), as our sister company, Columbus Press, an independent publisher.

No more deciding which services you need and don’t need.  We know one really good way to produce exceptional books, and that’s what you get.  You still maintain creative control and make all the decisions regarding the content and design, but there’s a structured, inviolable process to take you from start to finish.

When you’re done, you have access to the same resources and infrastructure as an author who went through a traditional publisher.  Publicists, designers, marketing specialists and more are all available to you.

Hybrid publishing combines the excellence and quality of traditional publishing with the technology and royalties of self-publishing.

When you publish with Boyle & Dalton, you receive the same services and production as a book that is published through a traditional publisher.  But because you invest in your book alongside B&D, you take home 80% of the book’s profits.

We only accept quality books, and we insist that every book we publish be subjected to a rigorous professional production process.  Your reservations about self-publishing were valid.  Boyle & Dalton resolves these issues and provides a legitimate path forward.

We are actively seeking new manuscripts for publication, both fiction and non-fiction.  Find more information about submitting a manuscript to us here, or e-mail us at submissions@boyleanddalton.com.  If your book is excellent, and you’re interested in moving it to market, please get in touch with us.  We’d love to speak with you.

Introducing Boyle & Dalton – Hybrid Publishing for the Future

The publishing industry is changing.  We think it’s time for publishers to change too.

Hybrid publishing retains the quality controls and time-tested processes of traditional publishing, but provides the royalty rates and creative control that authors expect from self-publishing.

We are seeking exceptional manuscripts of both fiction and non-fiction (submission info).  Because authors share in the cost of producing and marketing their book, we can evaluate manuscripts based on quality alone.  Small presses and traditional publishers alike have to consider lots of factors before accepting a manuscript, like cost, marketability, demographic access, brand appropriateness and a hundred other variables.  We ask only one question, is this a book that deserves to be available to readers on all major markets?

Because authors invest in their book alongside Boyle & Dalton, we think it’s only fair that they also reap the bulk of the book’s profits.  Unlike a standard traditional contract, which offers 7% of net, we offer authors 80% of net.  That’s correct, more than 10 times the traditional per-book payout.

We have adapted the publishing model to the modern world, without sacrificing quality or market access.  All manuscripts will be vetted for quality before they’re published with Boyle & Dalton.  Authors can rest assured that if accepted, their book will share this imprint with other exceptional books.

The publishing world is changing.  There are lots of advantages to traditional and author-publishing.  You can have the best of both worlds.  Step into the future with us.

Read more about Boyle & Dalton here.