302: How to Choose a Hybrid Publisher | Kevin Anderson

Strategies Behind Hitting the New York Times Bestseller List


In the realm of writing and publishing, there exists a complex web of possibilities and challenges that many authors find daunting. In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I speak with Kevin Anderson, founder of Kevin Anderson Associates, who peeled back layers of the publishing industry to provide listeners with invaluable insights into what the journey of an author entails—from crafting the initial concept to the final printed book on a shelf.

Understanding the Role of Editors

Editors are the unsung heroes of the literary world, and understanding their role is crucial, irrespective of the publishing route an author chooses. They are not just grammar guardians; they serve as the author’s ally to maintain authenticity while enhancing content quality. A traditional publisher’s editor might reshape the trajectory of a book, banking on market viability, while a hybrid publisher’s editor might focus more on polishing the manuscript without altering the original essence.

Risk and Reward in Publishing

The publishing industry is inherently a gamble, with stakes high for editors and publishers who scout for the next bestseller. However, a book’s success is not purely a product of chance; it relies on the diligent efforts of both the author and the publishing team. As Kevin Anderson points out, establishing realistic goals and leveraging appropriate tools is key to an author’s success.

Hybrid Publishing: A Middle Ground

Hybrid publishing has emerged as a middle path, offering authors more control and often higher royalties. But Kevin cautions that higher royalty rates do not guarantee higher income—a successful authorial career depends on multiple factors including sales volume, audience reach, and the strategic efforts of publishers.

Choosing Your Publishing Partner Wisely

I highlight the importance of due diligence for authors considering hybrid or independent publishing. Kevin echoes that sentiment, advising careful vetting of any potential publishing partner. Key criteria should include their editorial savvy, marketing muscle, distribution networks, and track record of success.

Crafting the Book

Embarking on the book-writing journey often starts as a leap of faith. Authors Who Lead encourages taking that first step, even in ignorance of the full publishing process. Once in motion, the refining process begins—strategizing with professionals to hem out the book’s outline can significantly adapt and improve upon the original idea.

The Myths of Bestseller Lists and Ghostwriting

Many authors dream of hitting renowned bestseller lists, but as Kevin emphasizes, the factors influencing such success go beyond the writing’s quality. Media attention, sizable platforms, and even some serendipity are involved. Moreover, in an era where celebrity authors dominate shelf space, ghostwriting is a prevalent reality that may carry a work to fame.

Your Path to Publication

Publishing is not one size fits all; each author’s goals and visions dictate their path. The Authors Who Lead podcast, with conversations like the one I had with Kevin Anderson, offers a trove of guidance for those looking to see their names on the cover of a book. Authors must remain true to their objectives, whether seeking fame, fortune, or the simple satisfaction of sharing their story with the world.

Remember: when treading the complex paths of writing and publishing, authors don’t have to walk alone. As Kevin Anderson suggests, seeking guidance from experienced professionals can illuminate the way forward, turning literary dreams into reality.

Join us again next week for more captivating insights from influential authors and publishing experts. Remember to subscribe to Authors Who Lead and visit our website for more show notes and past interviews.

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.

Episode Resources

Connect with Kevin here:
Kevin Anderson & Associates

288: Breaking Through Writer's Block | Azul Terronez288: Breaking Through Writer's Block | Azul Terronez

Azul speaks with Kevin Anderson who peeled back layers of the publishing industry to provide listeners with invaluable insights into what the journey of an author entails.