IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria
IBPA, and its members, support professional publishing standards regardless of business model.
In February 2018, the IBPA Advocacy Committee published a list of nine criteria defining what it means to be a professional hybrid publisher.
IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria requires that hybrid publishers behave just like traditional publishers in all respects, except when it comes to business model. Hybrid publishers use an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all costs themselves, and in exchange return a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author. In other words, 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 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.
IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria includes the following list of exceptions, which all hybrid publishers are expected to meet (expanded details here):
- Define a mission and vision for its publishing program.
- Vet submissions.
- Publish under its own imprint(s) and ISBNs.
- Publish to industry standards
- Ensure editorial, design, and production quality.
- Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights.
- Provide distribution services.
- Demonstrate respectable sales.
- Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty.
IBPA's Hybrid Publisher Criteria points to functions that a reputable hybrid publisher is expected to perform. It’s up to each hybrid publisher to figure out, and explain, how it performs each function. An author-subsidized business model in no way relieves a publisher of its editorial, design, marketing, sales, and distribution responsibilities.
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