In the ever-evolving world of book publishing, aspiring authors have an array of options to choose from, each with its own set of advantages and considerations.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the most common publishing models, highlighting key differences, and shed light on why at Aloha Publishing we adopt the innovative approach of partner publishing.

Publishing Models

Independent Publishing

Independent publishing, often referred to as self-publishing, involves the author taking on the role of the publisher. Authors oversee the entire publishing process, including editing, formatting, cover design, distribution, and marketing. While it provides complete creative control and higher royalty rates, the author bears all the costs and risks associated with publishing as well.

Hybrid Publishing

Hybrid publishing is a combination of traditional and self-publishing. Authors share the costs of publishing with the publisher, but they also contribute to the editing, design, and marketing efforts. Hybrid publishers may offer more traditional distribution channels and editorial support than self-publishing alone, giving authors a middle ground between full independence and traditional publishing.

Vanity Publishing

Vanity publishing involves authors paying a publisher to produce their book. However, the publisher often does not provide services like editing, marketing, or distribution. Authors bear the entire cost and risk, and the quality of the final product can vary greatly. Vanity publishing can be a risky option for authors seeking recognition and success in the literary and business worlds.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing is the most established and well-known form of publishing. In this model, a publishing house acquires the rights to an author’s work, assuming all production costs. In return, the author receives an advance and royalties based on book sales. While traditional publishing offers prestige, wide distribution, and professional support, it can be highly competitive and may involve a lengthy process to secure a deal.

Partner Publishing at Aloha Publishing

Aloha Publishing takes a unique approach known as partner publishing, which combines the best aspects of traditional and independent publishing. We partner with authors, sharing the responsibilities and risks of publishing while providing professional services such as editing, design, and marketing. Authors have a say in the process and benefit from our expertise and guidance.

In the partner publishing model, authors retain a higher percentage of royalties compared to traditional publishing, allowing them the potential to earn more from their book sales. They also have the advantage of a dedicated team to help them navigate the complexities of the publishing industry, ensuring a polished final product and a strategic approach to incorporating their book into existing brands and businesses.

At Aloha Publishing, we believe in collaboration and building strong partnerships with our authors. We strive to bring out the best in each author’s work, ensuring their vision is realized while maximizing their potential for success – whether they hope to leave a legacy of their life and work for future grandchildren to read, make bestseller lists, or generate new leads and profit for their business.

Understanding the differences between the various publishing models is crucial for authors to make informed decisions about how to bring their best book ideas to the world. Each has its merits, but I believe the innovative approach of partner publishing that we embrace here at Aloha Publishing, offers a balanced blend of control, support, and potential for success in the evolving publishing landscape.


 Beth Berger is the CTO at Aloha Publishing and helps authors integrate publishing a book into their overall business and brand strategy. She studied English and Communication at Western Kentucky University and is a NFAA-Certified Book Publishing & Marketing Consultant. Along with her work at Aloha, Beth is also the Director of the North American Book Awards. When she isn’t promoting outstanding books, you can often find her hiking, thrifting, or baking.