What the hell is a ‘hybrid author’?

Yes, of course I poached Chuck Wendig’s brilliance from his article of the exact same name. But, to my credit, I did change my title slightly to reflect my amazing originality.

In a similar fashion to Wendig (God I am a poacher today), when I first came across the term ‘hybrid author’ I pictured something a little less than normal. For me, it was a science fiction writer with wings, a thick outer armour, an extra set of hands and the ability to never sleep. And I don’t know, maybe yellow eyes and vivid green dragon scales.

Realising my interpretation might be a tad fantastical, I sat down and did a bit of critical and creative reasoning (a.k.a terribleminds via google) and figured out that hybrid authors are pretty f—– brilliant.  Not only have they figured out that the publishing industry is changing at a rapid pace, but they have taken steps to take advantage of this. 

Hybrid authors publish their work through both traditional means and less than savoury means – sorry – self-publishing. In short, these hybrids use a combination of different publishing methods to bring their work to the zombie masses – and benefit from it enormously.

For example, author SR Johannes tells us over at The Self Publishing Centre, that she is using both traditional and self-publishing to her advantage. Her words are full of nuggety gold chunks that are sure to inspire:

Now, authors don’t have to pick a path. It does not have to be one way or the other. They can do it all.

Yes. Yes we can do it all. She even managed to score herself a literary agent with a commercial-friendly novel. I wouldn’t even know where to start on that one!

One thing I’m dying to ask SR Johannes is… what’s the secret to snagging yourself a literary agent or publisher in the first place?

I will definitely have a go at self publishing one of these days, but if I’m being honest, I still dream about being published by one of the Big 5. And not because I want my stories ‘to go out into the world to be read by other people’ (that actually terrifies me, who really wants that??) but because I want my friends to be jealously impressed #NothingButTheTruth.

I’m concerned the reason why my novels are being rejected by both agents and publishers is because ‘they’re not good enough’ (or perhaps they check out my blog, then they back the f— away)  and what right do I have to self publish books that aren’t good enough for the big fish? But as the literary agents like to tell us in their form rejection letters: ‘the publishing game is completely subjective’.

Let’s be honest, wouldn’t you rather let the readers themselves decide if your novel is wonderfully awesome or tragically bad? I think they deserve that honour – they are the ones reading the books and feeding the market after all. Yes, yes, I know the market is being flooded by grammar-less trash, but there are some gems out there!

Like Andy Weir’s The Martian, which was originally self published before it was picked up by Crown Publishing and went on to achieve commercial and Matt Damon glory . I mean, it could happen to us right?? Um… so yeah… Andy Weir’s novel is like the Moussaieff Red diamond to our cubic zirconias.

But if writers didn’t continue to dream and conjure, the world would surely be the poorer. We would have no Samwise Gamgee, no Ronald Weasley and worst of all, like hell, we’d have no Samwell Tarley!! And that’s where I draw the line. Under no circumstances are you allowed to give up and deprive the world of your future yet-to-be-written unsuspecting bumbling hero that everyone loves and who is totally unappreciated by the world and deserves his own movie.

And cats! We would have no cats!

OK that makes no sense, but here’s some cats for you that do a very good job of showing us what authors really look like:

What a traditionally published author thinks they look like:

cat glasses

Hey, I’m so profesh

What they actually look like…


Coffee, all the coffee


What a self published author thinks they look like:

confident cat

I believe I can fly…

What they actually look like:


I believe I can touch the sky…


What a hybrid author thinks they look like:

waiting cat

I am a brave soul conquering the mostly-unknown

And that’s it. Because hybrids actually look like that

57 thoughts

  1. Hi. I publish both traditionally and self … I also write poetry about botanical subjects and science-fiction … I love being a hybrid … keeps writing interesting and makes planning a table for a book sale a bit interesting … good article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Be bold, be out there and do not belimited by your choices. One never knows their journey til in it.My cousin self published her first book, a literary agent for Wildfire press saw it, bought it, called her. Asked her if she can spill out more ink and offered her a deal. Her first book ended up selling 30,000 copies and her second book just came out, her blog blew up as well.


  3. For one, love the cats. I cracked up laughing for a good minute!

    And for two, “…wouldn’t you rather let the readers themselves decide if your novel is wonderfully awesome or tragically bad?” Exactly! I love that readers and authors can have a closer connection now. Absolutely love it. I might be going about publishing at the moment in “less than savoury means” but I totally think it’s worth it =)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “To be published or not To be Published”…well, it used to be the question. I can’t believe that in 2017 to some it still is.
    If I told you some of the all time great authors that were knocked back for years until they too won the critique lottery, you would call me a liar.
    Imagine if we really allowed a few people to decide the worth of the words of your soul? That doesn’t still happen. Does it?


  5. I’ve been writing novels and other books/poems/short stories (on and off) for 18 years and sending work out to agents for 17 and this year, with my third novel, I have finally found an agent and signed with an agency. Now the problem is more that the book is a hybrid (literary, but featuring a serial killer so they can’t decide if the crime editor should have it instead)!!


  6. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m going to be a bit of a snob here – I’m completely on board with self-publishing as I’ve published three books that way – however, not everyone takes the time to learn their craft before hitting the publish button. Just because someone can self-publish doesn’t mean they should. You asked in your post, How do you get an agent or editor to take your stuff? You work hard. You write. Everyday. You sit in workshops, and you attend conferences where you learn and network. You write and finish books. With persistence and a thick skin, you’ll land your editor and/or agent. Keep at it. Dream big.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny and interesting stuff. You have a good way of communicating. If your books are as entertaining, then put them out there! 😁 Having personally turned down a publishing contract I don’t bother looking now. I’d much rather be writing, and I’m more concerned with what my readers think.


  8. I love the terms… Hybrid Author! I tend to fall into this category! Cause I really don’t care whether I fall into the Big 5 or not. I write for my readers. Then, in turn, I respond to their lovely responses. And I am spurred forward from there.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Love the cats! Am I a hybrid author? I have my fantasy novels published by a small publisher. I was dead chuffed when they said they wanted to not only publish the work I sent them, but also my self-published books. I have also written a historical novel and self published it under a pseudonym. Does this make me a hybrid, or do you have to use the same name?
    Thanks for an excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post, I like it when someone writes something that then leads me towards new rabbit holes. I think the most important thing I’m doing at the moment, is getting my work directly in front of people, and pushing them into giving me strenuous feedback. I’m so, so scared that my work isn’t “good enough”, but I can’t possibly know this unless I’m brave, and I understand it is rare to get feedback on submissions, beyond a form letter/email. But I’ve also found a number of publishers who are willing to give me editorial feedback when I submit a short story, in return for a small donation. So that comes next.

    I’m very impressed at your courage in terms of submitting to agents and publishers. And I love reading your blog posts, so thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

      Yes get that feedback if you can! When I get feedback from a publisher or agent, I run with it 🙂 And don’t worry if you feel like you’re writing isn’t good enough (I feel that too) – because it’s better if you’re like that than someone who thinks they’re writing is ‘really good or amazing’. Because most of the time it’s not. All we can do is keep writing until we improve enough that someone deems it worthy of publication (or we can publish it ourselves!) I’m under no illusions that my writing is good, it may never be, but I can hope 🙂


  11. Oh the cats! The cats were glorious! And the post of course. The publishing world is a big, scary, wide open landscape, but I’m sure you’ll find the right spot to share your work! I had no idea what a hybrid author was either- sounds like the way to go! (If I actually knew how…) Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha ‘glorious’ is a great word to describe the cats!

      Thank you, I hope I find a way to publish my books soon – might just take the plunge and self-publish and see where my life goes from there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! There are soooo many options out there for doing it yourself, and coming out with a great- looking product. It’s all an adventure, isn’t it? 🙂


  12. Spot on as usual. I’ve thought of self-publishing from time to time but it always felt like a cop out. Times change, though, and SP seems more and more viable these days. The Martian! I had no idea…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha thanks – I couldn’t lie. I think I started off saying the reason I really wanted to be published by one of the Big 5 was because I wanted to “proudly hold my traditionally published book in my hands” then I was like, what is this bullshit? Stop lying to yourself girl, you want to published by the Big 5 for bragging rights

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes to all of the above! Go for it…be a hybrid! I mean, the car idea of a hybrid really took off, so why can’t you be a hybrid author? PS-the cats are darn cute! I’m the one sticking my paw in the coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

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