Monday, January 9, 2017

The Question of Becoming a Hybrid Author

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

Indie, traditional, or hybrid? That is the question…

…a lot of writer ask themselves.

I’ve been published traditionally for the past ten years and I absolutely love that fact. 

I have amazing teams at both Harlequin (Love Inspired Suspense) and Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group) and I’m very happy to be where I am in the publishing business.

So…why put out an Indie novella?

Let me put it this way:

The publishing world seems to be in a constant state of change. Some good, some not. After listening to other authors’ stories, I’ve come to realize that I’m one of the rare exceptions to the publishing experience. I’ve stayed with the same houses and the same editors for ten years. I know a few others with the same story, but we’re in the minority.

So again, if I have such great publishers, why dip my toes into the Indie waters?

I’m getting to that answer, just hang in there.

Through the past couple of years, I’ve watched my peers explore the Indie world and they seem to really like it. They will admit it’s a lot of work, but say that the ROI is worth it.

I have to admit, they got my curiosity up. So, I decided, why not? After asking a bazillion questions and doing my research on the best (FOR ME) route to take on this new adventure, I got to work. The first thing I did was write the best novella I could while working on what I wanted the cover to look like.

Ken Raney did a fabulous job of reading my mind and coming up with the perfect cover for the story. Then I shopped around for editors. There are so many good ones out there, but there are also some who aren’t so good, so I knew I needed to be careful. Fortunately, I discovered someone who’d worked on my books before who was willing to do the copy editing for an hourly rate. This was awesome!

THEN, once I had that done, I had line editing done, then formatting for upload. With the advice of a couple of other friends, the book was finally up!

So…again…why did I do this?

Because I wanted to.

Sorry if that answer is a let down. LOL. But it’s true. I simply wanted to see what all the hoopla was about. And guess what? It was a LOT of work! I am completely SPOILED by my amazing publishers.

I can hear the next question formulating in your brain. “Will you do it again?”

The answer is, “Probably.”

But I really don’t see myself going strictly indie unless it’s my only option. As long as my wonderful publishers still want me to write for them, then I will.  But the Indie experience was fun. I’m earning some nice money and I can now talk reasonably intelligently with those who want to know about the process.

Do I recommend going indie or hybrid? Sure. As long as you do it right. Don’t rush it and make sure you have a reputable editor. Yes, I had a couple of minor typos that got missed, but that happens with my traditionally published books, too. The cool thing with formatting it myself is that I can go in and fix it immediately.

The thing that bugged me?

Amazon reviewers. LOL.

I made it VERY CLEAR that this was a 79 page novella. It says so in ALL of my promotion and on the amazon page that has the novella for sale. IT’S SHORT. Because that’s what a novella is. SHORT. And yet I had at least one reviewer love the story, but ding me a star because it was TOO SHORT. I don’t normally let reviews get to me, but I have to admit that one bugged me. Oh well, it comes with the territory and I have a very thick skin. J

I wish you the best in all you do—hybrid, indie, or traditional publishing. Everyone needs a good story—just make sure it’s well-written, well-edited and has an eye-catching cover.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on indie, traditional, and hybrid publishing.



Six years ago, danger sent Callie Ainsworth running, and now all she wants is to go home to Tanner Hollow. She’s received word that the danger is over, so she is free to be reunited with her mother and sister. When someone tries to kill Callie before she even reaches the driveway, she realizes she's made a horrible mistake and danger still lurks. But this time she's not running away.

Nolan Tanner had loved Callie as a teenager and has never gotten over her sudden, unexplained departure. When he rescues her from a killer on her first night home, old feelings come rushing back. Still angry at her for leaving him six years ago, he soon realizes she had good reason for taking off--and that he's still holding out hope for a future with her. Can he catch the person who wants her dead and convince her she needs to stay home for good?

Lynette Eason is the best selling, award winning author of almost forty books including the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, the Hidden Identity Series and the currently releasing Elite Guardians series. She writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the 2013 and 2016 Carol Award in the Romantic Suspense category. She also placed in the top ten (out of thousands of entries) in the James Patterson 2016 co-writer contest. Lynette teaches at writing conferences all over the country. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of RWA as well as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. Lynette can be found online at and and @lynetteeason on Twitter.


  1. Thank you Lynette. I found your post very helpful, especially your honesty on the Indie process and your reason for going that route on your novella. Best of luck to you on your next book venture.

  2. Lynette, I've taken the dip and what a dip it is. Self-publishing certainly does make me appreciate my editors, cover creators, and any number of other things. What a learning curve for me when it came down to formatting! But one reason I'm dipping into the self-pub realm is because I'm known for Christian romance but I found myself with a children's chapter book. It made more sense for me to self-pub this and leave my other writing still through my publishers I'm used to. And my readers are used to. Of course, I have help with this new venture from a former editor-in-chief. Like you, I'm waiting to see. The book has only been out a couple of months. Thanks for sharing. (And I had that same thing happen with a novella. I reacted same as you. It's a novella. It's supposed to be short.) Blessings.

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Sheryl and Paula. Sheryl, glad you found the post helpful. :) And Paula, best wishes for the books! Sounds like you self-pubbed for the perfect reason. :) Thanks, y'all!

  4. fun post, Lynette! I'm strictly Indie but I'd not turn down an agent or publisher offer! The one thing I've learned in my three years at this is the more I learn how little I know! It IS a lot of work and for all the "advantage" of having the final say in EVERYTHING, it can - no IS - overwhelming!
    and yeah, reviewers! sheesh! nuff said

  5. Thank you, Lynette. If I ever finish my novel, indie may be my only option because of the shortened time frame. And I agree that no one should publish their book before ensuring it's the best possible product they can produce. I know yours is.

  6. Lynette, read Lethal Homecoming Saturday night and loved it. And it was the perfect length. :-) I've dipped my toe in Indie Publishing once in 2015 with a very short story in an anthology and again this year with a novella in a boxed set. And it is a LOT of work. lol but like you said, fun.

  7. Yes, very informative article, and the book sounds great too!

  8. Lynette, I've done the same thing a couple of times, and for the same reasons. And, despite saying the novellas (look up the definition, folks) were short, a couple of reviews took exception with the length (but not the price--I guess they liked that). Thanks for the post.

  9. Thanks for your post, Lynette. I, too, am a hybrid author, with fiction published both traditionally and indie-ly. :) I agree that indie publishing makes an author appreciate her publishers and all they do to get a book on the shelves. At the same time, my ROI as an indie publisher has increased well over 200% compared to my royalties earned via traditional publishing--and the indie figure is quickly rising. I have sold far more books as an indie author in one month than I have as a traditional author in one year. Yes, I’ve had to pay a professional editor, a professional book cover designer, and a professional formatter, but still my indie royalties far exceed what I am earning on traditional royalties. While I have not closed the door entirely to traditional publishing, the publishing industry, as you rightly say, is changing rapidly. I find that traditional publishers are requiring authors to participate more and more in the promotion of their books, some publishers even suggesting that authors pay for certain promotions. I figured that if I am going to do the work, why not reap the profits? I think this is one big reason so many authors--even traditionally well-established ones--are turning to indie publishing. Bottom line, the question to ask oneself is: Does God want me to go indie, traditional, or both? I went indie after seeking God’s will for me. Since He directed me to take the indie route, He is blessing it not only financially but also with great joy and peace. While indie publishing is a lot of work, it is also a lot of fun! So, seek God as to His will regarding publication. Then obey what He says.