Hybrid Publishing 101: Learn What It Is and If It’s Right for You

Hybrid Publishing 101 with Barbara Linn Probst. $25 class. Friday, September 17, 2021. 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern.

This class is now over. See what classes are currently open for registration.

Explore and assess whether hybrid publishing is right for your next book

The publishing landscape grows more complex each year, and it can be difficult for authors to understand their options. Many have heard that there is a middle path between traditional publishing (which can include everything from a major house with dozens of imprints to a tiny house that issues a handful of titles a year) and self-publishing. But this “hybrid” path can remain fuzzy: what it actually means, how it works, and how to choose the right service.

The terrain can become even murkier because different words may be used to convey similar approaches—hybrid, partnership, collaborative, co-publishing, bespoke. And “hybrid” can be used to refer to services that, in practice, are more akin to the so-called “vanity” presses that charge a lot but provide little in the way of a traditional publishing experience.

In this 75-minute webinar on Sept. 17, 2021, taught by author and researcher Barbara Probst, you will learn the essential qualities of the hybrid publishing model and—if you chose to embark on it—become an educated consumer. One thing about hybrids remains consistent: you will pay to publish and sometimes more than you initially thought. This class will give you a roadmap and a set of practical tools to explore and assess the hybrid model—and specific hybrid presses—and decide if it’s a good match for your goals, financial resources, timetable, and temperament.

In this class, you will learn:

  • What a hybrid press is and isn’t. You’ll learn how it resembles self-publishing and how it resembles traditional publishing, why the model arose and why it is flourishing.
  • Why authors might choose this path, especially at different points in their careers. You’ll learn the common advantages and disadvantages, from the perspective of those who’ve done it, with tradeoffs, benefits, caveats. We’ll also discuss the stated advantages from the perspective of the hybrid publishers themselves.
  • Variations on the hybrid model. What makes it so hard to discuss hybrid publishing is that every service works a bit differently and it can be hard to compare them. You’ll learn about the varied submission processes or vetting procedures; standard publishing packages vs customized packages, with core and add-on services; design and production; print run versus print-on-demand, distribution, and promotion of the brand by the publisher.
  • Cost range. It’s important to decide what you need and what you should pay for. Of course, this is a thorny issue because how can you know if you’ve never published? Plus there are sometimes hidden costs. We’ll talk creative financing and alternate approaches.
  • Criteria for assessing a hybrid publisher. The IBPA has offered standards that are helpful, but there are other questions to ask as well.
  • Finding the right fit. This requires taking stock of your time, resources, expectations, and personal style. You must determine what you need from a publisher and what you can do yourself, outsource separately, or do without.

We will practice applying the principles and examine a few case studies to see the different ways that people embark on this path—some of which may be surprising.

Who should take this class

  • Unpublished writers in any genre who want to explore their options
  • Writers who have previously self-published or sought traditional publishing, and want to explore an alternative route
  • Writers who have published with a hybrid press and want a deeper look at the model in order to understand the variations on the market

Who should NOT take this class

  • Anyone fundamentally opposed to paying a publisher/company to publish

How do I know if this webinar is worth the cost?

This is an important question, and it’s a tough one to answer—especially since so much online education is available free of charge. Furthermore, every student is different, and a valuable webinar for one person can end up being a disappointment to another. For this reason, we offer full refunds if you register, attend the entire class, and fail to get the information you’re looking for.

Do I have to attend the live class?

No. Everyone who registers will get access to the recording. However, if you’d like to attend live, keep reading.

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 10 minutes of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Friday, September 17, 2021
  • Time: 1 p.m.–2:15 p.m. Eastern Time / 10 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided for the live class. We use Zoom’s built-in closed caption service, powered by Otter AI, which is about 80%+ accurate.

Barbara Linn Probst

About the instructor

Barbara Linn Probst is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, living on an historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her debut novel, Queen of the Owls, (April 2020) is the story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Queen of the Owls was a medalist for popular fiction from the Independent Publishers Association and the Sarton Award for Women’s Fiction; it also placed first runner-up in general fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award and was short-listed for the $2500 Grand Prize.

Barbara’s second novel The Sound Between the Notes, recipient of starred Kirkus Review given only to work “of remarkable merit,” launched in April 2021. Her third novel will be published in 2022.

Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and blogs for a number of award-winning sites for writers. To learn more about Barbara and her work, please visit barbaralinnprobst.com.

Barbara has presented two different webinars for Story Circle Network, an organization for women writers of which I am president. She has been both knowledgeable and insightful, and her presentations have been beautifully organized and extremely helpful. 

Len Leatherwood

president, story circle network

I have had the pleasure of watching Barbara in several virtual events, and she is a truly gifted presenter. She radiates confidence and engages fully with her audience. She knows her content well and has a lot of information to share. Be prepared to be impressed with her webinar from start to finish!

Cindy Rasicot


Along with her warm and encouraging instructional style, Barbara offered practical advice, long-term strategies, and the willingness to run with the unexpected. Her focused approach helps authors to save time and energy. I found Barbara’s webinar to be enlightening, valuable, and very enjoyable. 

Gail Priest


You’ll receive the following

  • Access to the 75-minute interactive class. After 60 minutes, Barbara will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 75 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Uncorrected transcript. We use Otter to create an automated, uncorrected transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.

System Requirements to Join the Webinar

We will be using Zoom webinar technology.

You’ll need:

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers: built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth

Recommended bandwidth:

  • 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
  • If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)

Supported operating systems:

Supported tablet and mobile devices:

  • Surface PRO 2 or higher running Win 8.1 or later
  • iOS and Android devices
  • Blackberry devices

Supported browsers:

  • Windows: IE 11+,  Edge 12+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Linux: Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+

For a detailed listing of system requirements, check Zoom’s site.