Romy's Blog

Trads, Indies & Hybrids

If you're marching today, stay safe.

In this week's post I'd like to explore some of the terms more experienced authors throw around, which might confuse beginner writers.


This is a publishing slang term for traditionally published authors. i.e. Authors published by any of the Big Five publishers, as well as any number of smaller presses, digital first publishers and niche publishers.

Added bonus: The Big Five publishers are Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, and Simon & Schuster.


Also known as self-published authors, these are independent authors who have made the leap into publishing without the safety net of a publishing house behind them. Usually very savvy writers who like to exercise full control over their own books.


This is me! Bob Mayer claims the honour of coining this term. (Personally, I think the honour should go to the creators of The Vampire Diaries) This term refers to authors with a foot in both camps - who are published both by a traditional publisher, and who have also ventured into independent publishing.

Later in the month, I'll delve a little deeper into each of these forms of publishing, to help you decide which might be right path for you.

Do you have any questions? Are there any other terms I've used or you've heard which you'd like explained? Leave a note in the Comments section below, and I'll address them as soon as I can.

Vanity Publishing

Finally, it is my duty to tell you that vanity publishers are none of the above! These are effectively scams to part the unwary from their money. Vanity publishing is where you pay a company an over-inflated price to either (a) publish your book digitally, or (b) print books that you then have to sell and distribute. In both cases, all the publisher does is create the books. Selling and marketing will still be left up to you. Many of these vanity publishers also grab your rights and only pay you back a portion of your royalties. Whereas, if you self-publish you own all your rights and every cent of the royalty from the retailer is yours to keep.

Self-publishing does not mean paying someone else to publish your book. It means that YOU are the publisher. In publishing, money should always flow FROM the publisher TO the author. NOT from you to the publisher!

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