Self-Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid Publishing?! Oh My!

Self-Publishing, Independent Publishing, Hybrid Publishing

Nowadays, there is so much activity in the nontraditional publishing space that authors sometimes become confused by all the seemingly random terms thrown around by various companies.

And who can blame them? For one, many of the terms are so new or broad that it seems like many companies fall into more than one category. And the nontraditional publishers are not doing themselves any favors by sometimes muddying these waters in their marketing efforts to broaden their potential client base.

Despite some of the liberties that many of these companies take, some generally agreed-upon, broad-stroke definitions may help writers successfully navigate this tricky terrain of the wild wild publishing west.

“Traditional Publisher” is the most commonly used term to define “publication,” whereby the author submits a manuscript (typically through an agent). If the manuscript is accepted (a big if), the publisher foots the entire cost of the publication and, in many cases, rewards the author with some advance. This is far and away the most desired type of publication in most writing circles. But did you see that big “if” up there? That “if” is why traditional publication now trails nontraditional publication for most books being published.

Here’s where things get messy because the terms “self-publishing,” “vanity publishing,” “independent publishing,” “eBook publishing,” “hybrid publishing,” “author-assisted publishing,” and others have all been used to define an equally established, yet rapidly growing segment of the nontraditional publishing space. Unfortunately, some terms hold more malice/stigma than others. Hence, we experience the nontraditional publishers’ creative methods of removing said malice/stigma by arriving upon another term, thus, adding to the confusion!

Almost all these nontraditional publishing companies can correctly fall within the broadest term among the bunch: self-publishing. If a traditional publisher does not accept you, you are therefore publishing your book yourself, in one manner or another, and you’re either doing so with your own time and/or money, or both. In this broadest of definitions, you are therefore self-publishing your book.

But among that broad definition exist more specific definitions as companies attempt to carve out marketing—or service-oriented—niches in this growing segment of the publishing business. “Vanity publishing” is a term that is falling by the wayside as “self-publishing” becomes more accepted, while the traditionalists who introduced “vanity publishing” in the first place are losing interest in participating in a losing battle.

“Independent publishing” is now most often associated with the process whereby an author wears all, or nearly all, the hats involved in publishing the book without the assistance of a company, online platform, or publishing service. He/she vets cover designers, vets interior designers, requests quotes from offset printers, works with wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, markets, and handles all the financials (positive, like book sales and negative, like printer bills and taxes). That’s a lot of work for most people, especially writers who tend to gravitate toward right-brained abilities. But for the proper author with the right tenacity and author platform, this is still a viable way to go.

Contributing to the slow demise of “independent publishing” is the rise of publishing services and online platforms which promise to do most of the work (mentioned above) for the author while still leaving all the rights, royalties, and creative control in the hands of the author. Some “self-publishing companies” offer these services for a fee, much like when one pays for the services of a doctor, lawyer, accountant, hairstylist, etc. Others are online, computerized self-publishing platforms that offer these services for free. The right choice typically comes down to the author’s budget and faith in their work or the quality they desire for their masterpiece. It’s rarely difficult to identify a book published by a service-oriented company compared to one published by a conglomerate’s algorithm.

“Hybrid publishing” is a term cropping up more and more these days and is the closest cousin, in terms of pure business model, to the now nearly defunct “vanity publishing.” In most cases, this business model requires the author to relinquish their rights (and often the rights of their future books) while also promising to purchase a set number of books (typically in the thousands) in exchange for “free publishing” on the hybrid publisher’s dime. Like independent publishing, this can sometimes work for authors already possessing a successful author platform and a lot of tenacity since the initial investment is usually roughly the same as with independent publishing. However, since hybrid publishers often sell their own authors’ book quantities in the thousands, they are more likely to use offset printing to lower per-unit costs. While that helps keep the retail price down, it becomes concerning, for the author is not always confident they have the marketing prowess to sell thousands of books.

Therefore, when it’s time to share your story with the world, call and talk to an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant who can help you on your journey to publication. They are here and dedicated to assisting you on your walk in this journey!

There are three convenient ways to connect

• Call 1-888-672-6657

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• Schedule a free consultation

Outskirts Press Self-Published Authors Make Impressive Showing at 2013 ForeWord Book Awards

We didn’t think it was possible, but Outskirts Press self-published authors one-upped themselves in the ForeWord Reviews 2013 Book of the Year Awards! Our independently published authors made us proud once again, garnering 11 finalist nominations in the ForeWord Reviewsadult fiction, adult non-fiction and children’s book genres.

The ForeWord Book of the Year Awards spotlight the year’s most distinguished independent/self-published books. More than 1,300 entries in 62 categories were considered for the awards, which represent the very best in small publishing offerings. Congratulations to the following Outskirts Press authors for your recognition in the 2013 awards!

Adult Fiction

Sleight of Hand: Shadow GamesFantasy

FinalistSleight of Hand: Shadow Games by Jennifer Fales

Action & Adventure

Finalist: Sleight of Hand: Shadow Games

The Poison Ring by Freddie RemzaMulticultural

Finalist: The Poison Ring by Freddie Remza

Michael Divine: The Fallen by T.J. RichardsGeneral

Finalist: Michael Divine: The Fallen by T.J. Richards

Future Prometheus: Emergence & Evolution by J.M. EricksonScience Fiction

Finalist: Future Prometheus: Emergence & Evolution by J.M. Erickson

Adult Non-Fiction

Moving Mountains by James WildeAdventure & Recreation

Finalist: Moving Mountains: How the Dream to Climb the Seven Summits Transformed into the Charity Global H2O by James Wilde, Madalena Moreira de Sa (editor), Janne Flostrand (illustrator), Madara Repse (photographer), and Chris Wooten (designer)

Viva Laughter! by Patrick ShannonHumor

Finalist: Viva Laughter! by Patrick Shannon

Rational Polemics: Tackling the Ethical Dilemmas of Life by Richard Todd DevensPhilosophy

Finalist: Rational Polemics: Tackling the Ethical Dilemmas of Life by Richard Todd Devens

A Nantucket Experience: A Year in the Life of a Wash Ashore by Shellie DunlapTravel Essays

Finalist: A Nantucket Experience: A Year in the Life of a Wash Ashore by Shellie Dunlap


Angel and Brie by Barbara LopuszynskiJuvenile Fiction

Finalist: Angel and Brie by Barbara Lopuszynski

Later Gator, In a While Crocodile by Mike Fortunato and Shannon Parish (illustrator)Juvenile Fiction

FinalistLater Gator, In a While Crocodile by Mike Fortunato and Shannon Parish (illustrator)

Do you have a potential award-winning book inside of you, yearning to get out? Let Outskirts Press guide you to realizing your book publishing dream!

Start Self-Publishing Now!

Top 10 Best-Selling Books in Self-Publishing for February 2014

Outskirts Press, the fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company, is pleased to announce its top ten best-selling titles for February 2014, according to combined data from Ingram Book Wholesalers and Outskirts Press Direct via These authors have likely created a solid book marketing strategy and put it into motion either by themselves or with the help of a Personal Marketing Assistant.

In alphabetical order, the top ten best-selling books in self-publishing during the month of February 2014 were:

Congratulations to our best-selling authors for the month of February 2014!

How can you get your book on the bestseller list? While we can’t make any guarantees on sales success, many of our most successful authors invest time and money in marketing themselves and their book. Authors who are in need of a marketing boost often turn to a Personal Marketing Assistant for help.

All of these books (and other Outskirts Press titles) are available from all major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Books A Million, and others, plus conveniently from the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore at for discounts ranging from 10% – 55%.

Are you ready to put a book promotion strategy in place for your self-published book?

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Top 10 Best Selling Self-Publishing Author Ed Kienzle Talks About Selling Success with ‘The Last Buffalo’

Outskirts Press 2013 Top 10 bestselling self-publishing author Ed Kienzle, 56, was inspired to pen The Last Buffalo after the ongoing slaughter of diseased buffalo in parkland near his Bar Nunn, Wyoming, home. The juvenile fiction, which chronicles a young boy’s mission to save the majestic buffalo, was some 15 years in the making, but the book is beginning to catch fire with readers.

Ed states he has sold thousands of copies of The Last Buffalo just since last August, and he continues to promote it in his own time with the help of his wife, Beth. “My market is usually schools and students, like 11-13 year-olds, so we picked schools [in and around Bar Nunn] and sent out 40 or 50 copies to a number of The Last Buffaloschools in the area, along with press materials,” he says. “We got a few spikes in sales after that.”

In addition to issuing a custom press release to announce the release of The Last Buffalo, along with a professional Outskirts Press book marketing video to promote it, Ed personally drops in KOA campgrounds and specialty stores to get the word out about his book. “I always keep books in my pickup,” he says. “I bet I’ve made a hundred or so sales that way, just talking to people. We go on a road trip somewhere and I’ll talk to a few people everywhere I go.”

Ed learned a great deal about taking advantage of promotional and marketing opportunities with his 2002 book Partners in the Wilderness, which garnered a few independent publishing awards. The experience taught him that success in book sales is an ongoing process. His advice for self-publishing authors with a new book to promote? “Jump on it,” he says. “If you get a chance to talk about your book, don’t be shy. And don’t be too unhappy if you don’t have a lot of results right away — just keep at it.”

“The biggest fear a writer has is that they’re going to put their story out there and nobody’s going to like it, or someone’s going to hate it,” says Ed. “Get over it — it’s your passion. Go forward. Once it’s done, you can’t think ‘I should have.'”

The Last Buffalo

Little Kettle sadly watched the last buffalo fall lifeless to the ground in what he had come to call “The Winter of the Red Snow.” Sanctioned by the Interagency Bison Management Plan in Yellowstone National Park, the ongoing slaughter threatens the great beast’s very existence. Educated as a lawyer, Little Kettle has been waging a legal war to protect the buffalo but has been unable to stop the carnage.

When his nephew Wyman is born, Little Kettle proclaims the boy the “Keeper of the Buffalo” and instills in him a deep love for the animal that once ruled the Plains. But the youngster struggles under the weight of the mantle he’s been asked to bear.

At 12, Wyman sets out on a great adventure in the wilderness of Yellowstone to save the buffalo – a journey driven by vivid and compelling dreams. With help from friends, a peace pipe, an Indian maiden and a mysterious shape shifter, Wyman is determined to discover the secret of his dreams and fulfill his role as the Keeper of the Buffalo.

Format: 5.5 x 8.5 hardback w/ jacket, 213 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jul 10, 2013)
ISBN10: 1478709448
ISBN13: 9781478709442
Genre: JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General

The Last Buffalo can be ordered by retailers or wholesalers for the maximum trade discount price set by the author in quantities of 10 or more from the Outskirts Press Direct bookstore at the OutskirtsPress bookstore. The book is available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and is being aggressively promoted with a focus on the juvenile fiction, action/adventure and nature categories.

Are you looking for ideas on how to boost sales of your self-published book? Outskirts Press can get the word out to millions of potential readers!

Market your book today!

Colorado Independent Publishers Association Recognizes Nine Self-Publishing Authors With Outskirts Press in the 17th Annual EVVY Awards

Outskirts Press, the fastest growing self-publishing and book marketing company, leads the way with the most award-winning books at the 17th Annual EVVY Awards book competition.

March 29, 2011. Denver, Colorado – In its 17th year, the 2011 EVVY Awards ceremony was held Saturday night by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) to recognize excellence in self-published and independently published books from Colorado publishers. Entries are judged by a panel of independent judges who are experts and professionals in their respective category fields.

Categories included autobiography/memoirs, biography/history, business/finance, fiction, how-to, inspirational, self-help, juvenile, legacy, non-fiction experiences, poetry, political/social, spirituality/religion, workbooks and travel. Each category can award a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place EVVY award, along with honorable mentions (Merit Awards).

For the sixth consecutive year, Outskirts Press led the way with the most award-winning books among participating publishers with two 1st place awards, one 2nd place award, one 3rd place Tech award, and five Merit Awards.

The 2011 EVVY Award-winners from Outskirts Press are:

  • The Beads of Lapis Lazuli by Doris Kenney Marcotte – 1st Place, Fiction
  • The Key to Job Success in any Career by Frank B. Leibold, Ph.D. – 1st Place, Self-Help
  • The Rise and Fall of Captain Methane by Dorcey Alan Wingo – 2nd Place, Autobiography
  • I Am Equus by Duaa Anwar – 3rd Place, Tech Award, Cover Design
  • Art, Experience and Faith by William Squires – Merit, Spirituality
  • One Wacky Wasp by Brent Sampson – Merit, Children’s
  • Psych Consults by Robert J. Mignone, M.D., F.A.P.A. – Merit, Self-Help
  • Queen Vernita Meets Sir Heathy Bean by Dawn Menge and Heath Rhoades – Merit, Children’s
  • Whispers of Joy by Joy Andreasen – Merit, Spirituality

Outskirts Press EVVY Award winner Doris Kenney Marcotte says, “Thank you Colorado Independent Publishers Association and your judges for selecting my book, The Beads of Lapis Lazuli, to receive the 1st Place EVVY Award for Fiction. I feel very honored.  A special thank you goes to the talented production staff at Outskirts Press for helping me turn my words and my vision into an award winning book. This has been a wonderful experience, one that I will never forget.”

For more information about Outskirts Press, where award-winning authors publish award-winning books, visit .

About Outskirts Press, Inc:

Outskirts Press offers high-quality, full-service self-publishing and book marketing services for writers and professionals who are seeking a cost-effective, fast, and flexible way to publish and distribute their books worldwide while retaining 100% of their rights, 100% of their profits, and 100% of the creative control.

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Outskirts Press, Inc., 10940 S. Parker Rd. – 515, Parker, Colorado 80134 1-888-OP-BOOKS

The EVVY Book Awards

Each year, the EVVY Awards recognize excellence in independently published books. Sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, the EVVY Awards are judged by a 3rd-party panel of professionals on a qualitative scale of merit in nineteen different categories.

All Colorado publishers are eligible to enter their books for recognition and awards. In the past, first, second, and third place winners in each category have received a framed award recognizing their accomplishment, along with award-winning stickers to affix to their book covers.

For the past several years, Outskirts Press has officially nominated approximately 5% of the books they publish each year for submission to the annual EVVY Awards. These Official Outskirts Press nominations represent the very best of our publications as determined by Outskirts Press executives, members of the production teams, and marketing department.  As such, only books published with the Diamond and full-color Pearl packages are considered.

Potential nominees are notified via email in the fall of each year. There is no obligation to accept the nomination; just being recognized is a great accomplishment. Outskirts Press official nominees and winners typically receive additional exposure of their books on the Outskirts Press email newsletters and blogs. 

Select nominees and winners in the past have also been invited to be featured in full-page ads within the pages of national writing magazines like Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers, and The Writer. These invitations are sent to select authors at Outskirts Press’s sole discretion and there is no additional cost to participate in the advertisement (nor is there any obligation to).

If a nominated author accepts the nomination, Outskirts Press submits the nominated book to the annual EVVY Awards contest.  Outskirts Press takes care of all the details. Winners are announced each spring
during a ceremonial banquet dinner celebration in Denver, Colorado, which in the past has been hosted by Dom Testa of Denver’s #1-rated Dom & Jane Morning Show.

Like all book contests, the EVVY Awards are very competitive and only the highest-caliber books are recognized from the publisher’s submissions across the state. Unlike other book contests, fewer than 500 total entries are submitted, increasing the statistical odds that an Outskirts Press Official Nominee will be recognized as an award-winning publication. For the past several years, Outskirts Press has received the most awards among all participating publishers.


  1. Publish your book with Outskirts Press
  2. Publish with either the Diamond package (for b/w books) or the Pearl package (for full-color)
  3. Strongly consider the optional copyediting and custom cover options.  With over 2,000 published books each year, competition to be nominated is fierce. These optional services will help your book meet the highest quality standards.
  4. Keep an eye on your copyright date. For example, books with a 2007 copyright date were nominated in the fall of 2007. Books with a copyright date of 2008 will be nominated in the fall of 2008. Books with a copyright date of 2009 will be nominated in the fall of 2009, etc. Once the calendar year has expired, books featuring that year’s copyright date are no longer eligible for nomination.
  5. Market, market, market. Promote, promote, promote. Bring your successes to the attention of the Outskirts Press Author Support department. Winning awards in other contests helps tremendously; we like nominating award-winning books!

Are you ready to publish an award-winning book?

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To see past winners from 2005, 2006, and 2007, click here.