hybrid publishing

A couple of months back, without too much of a fuss, CinnamonTeal Design and Publishing, formalised its hybrid publishing services. It thus becoming the first publisher in India to offer hybrid publishing. Having already introduced self-publishing in India, in 2006, we found ourselves, many a time, rewarding authors who had invested their time and efforts into their books, with a book contract that mirrored the concepts of hybrid publishing. In April this year, 2018, we went ahead and formalised those services, with our hybrid publishing offering.

The question remains though: what exactly is hybrid publishing, and how does it differ from self-publishing (also called assisted publishing nowadays)? The main difference is focussed on the question: Who pays?

In the case of self-publishing, it is the author who pays for everything. Every single thing. In most cases, self-publishing service providers offer authors a package of services that the author then pays for. If there are services that are not included in these packages, that the author would still like to have, additional charges are levied on the author. Or, as in the case of service providers such as CinnamonTeal Publishing, the author chooses services from a list and pays for them. In other words, nothing is free. If the provider does announce that the author can “publish for free”. that should serve as a red flag and alert authors to look for other areas where charges are levied slyly.

In the case of hybrid publishing, however, the publishing service and the author both invest their money into the book. In the case of CinnamonTeal Publishing, the author pays for pre-publishing services, such as editing, cover design, page layout, and printing, while we invest in distribution. This division of costs may vary from one publishing to another, but the concept remains the same: both, author and publisher are invested in the book.

This difference, in fact, allows authors to tell if a self-publishing service is posing as a hybrid publisher. A hybrid publisher will not invest in every book that comes their way. Instead, it will vet the book for plot and quality of writing before it decides to invest in it. We, CinnamonTeal Publishing, for instance, will offer a hybrid publishing contract only in the case of certain genres, and that too, if a book is well written and the author will agree to a round of editing. For other books, we offer our self-publishing service, and leave it to the author to decide whether they wish to go ahead with us or not. Other publishers might have their own criteria. But it’s almost always that a hybrid publisher will publish (using the hybrid model) only the best books that come its way.

This aspect, of shared costs, also impacts the royalties that the author receives. In the case of hybrid publishing, an author receives a smaller royalty amount than what he/she would have received in a pure self-publishing scenario. This is because the investing publisher also keeps a portion of royalty for itself, for the investments it has made.

hybrid publishing

This post discusses the concept of hybrid publishing, one that CinnamonTeal Design and Publishing has introduced formally for the first time in India (we had introduced it in the form of CinnamonTeal Elite a couple of years back).

With the flood of information available on the Internet, authors can easily find and work with publishers who value the author and the book more than anything else and uphold the traditional values of publishing. The downside of this information avalanche is the risk that the author may be lured by, and sign up with, a publisher who delivers shoddy work and charges outrageous fees (or makes the author believe that a good book can be published for free). It is therefore up to the author to research well, ask the right questions and choose a publisher wisely.

Publishing Models:

There are basically three models of publishing

a. The traditional model: where the publisher pays for everything

b. The self-publishing model: where the author pays for everything

c. The hybrid model: where the publisher and author both invest in the book.

Hybrid Publishing:

The US-based Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) formalised the concept of hybrid publishing by listing out a set of conditions that hybrid publishers should meet. When we read those criteria, we realised that we were already practicing hybrid publishing, just not calling it that.

These are the criteria:

a. Define a mission and a vision: Read ours here.

b. Vet submissions: It is known among those who have researched us that we do not publish everything that is submitted to us. Going forward we intend to make our criteria more stringent and accessible.

c. Publish under its own imprints and ISBNs: Always did.

d. Publish to industry standards: Our testimonials speak for themselves.

e. Ensure editorial, design, and production quality: We remain the ONLY self-publishing service who will not publish a book unless it is edited. That emphasis on quality will steadfastly remain. Similarly we are very particular about the way the book is presented, paying special attention to cover design and page design.

f. Pursue and manage a range of publishing rights: Our authors have secured further publishing rights, translation rights and even queries for movie rights.

g. Provide distribution services: We provide distribution for all titles, in print and electronic forms, within India and abroad.

h. Demonstrate respectable sales: The statistics speak for themselves, so do the authors that have invested their time in writing a good book, and now enjoy the fruits of that work.

i. Pay authors a higher-than-standard royalty: We do not charge a percentage of the royalty, rather pay the author everything that is received from the sales platform.

We believe we do each of the things listed above and more. We thought it was time we called the hybrid publishers that we really were. And in the process, discovered that we are India’s first.

But wait, there’s more we’ll do for you:

a. Regardless of who pays the editorial, design, and production fees, we will always bear responsibility for producing, distributing, and ultimately selling professional-quality books, that look good to hold and read.

b. This even, or especially, if the author bears these costs.

c. Like we said, we are selective of the books we choose to publish. Once chosen, though, we put in all effort to ensure that the book is the best we have produced.

d. We will continue to pay you all that your book earns (after deducting the costs charged by various sales platforms).

e. In our model, the author pays for a few services, while we invest in others. That said, if you have trouble raising funds, we offer you an ability to crowdfund your book.

So that is it. That is what we offer. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at publishing@cinnamonteal.in.

This is a tutorial for creating a bootable USB stick on Ubuntu installed systems. The bootable USB stick a will serve for the following purposes :

  • If you do not have a CD/DVD drive installed on your system.
  • Easy to install and portable .

Let’s get started !!

Requirements :

  • Ubuntu installed on the computer.
  • USB pendrive( 4Gb is sufficient).
  • Downloaded (.iso) file of the operating system.

Using the software :

  • Insert the pendrive in your computer and then open the Dash.
  • Type in “Startup Disk Creator” and hit enter.
  • bootable SDC





  • In “‘Source Disk Image” , click on “Other“.
  • Browse the directory to the downloaded (.iso) and select it.
  • Then below in “Disk to use“, select your USB pendrive.(Note : All the existing data on the selected disk will be erased).
  • Click on “Make Startup Disk” and wait till the write process is complete.
  • bootable writing disc image




  • It will display the following message on successful completion :
  • bootable installation complete


Great !! Now you are ready to test the USB stick.

  • Plugin the bootable USB stick onto the computer that you want to test.
  • Now power on the computer.
  • Wait for the first screen to pop up(Note : It lasts for only few seconds, so be quick !).
  • Hit “F10” or “F12” and Choose the boot device as your USB .
  • Thats it ! You can now use it as Live OS or to install ubuntu.

Now This is a tutorial for all those who want to convert their ebook (eg. from .epub format to .mobi  format ). I will be using the KindleGen software for the conversion This conversion is necessary if the ebooks are to be used on the Kindle devices.

Lets get started !!

Installing KindleGen on Linux :

  • Copy the link given below and then paste it in the of the web browser.
  • www.amazon.com/kindleformat/kindlegen
  • Check the box besides I agree and click on “Download Now“.
  • KindleGen_iagree




  • Create a new blank folder called “KindleGen” in your “Home” directory (eg “Local Disk C on windows” or “Home on linux”) and then enter into that folder.
  • KindleGen_emptyfolder










  • Select all the files and then extract them to the “KindleGen” folder created above.
  • KindleGen_afterextraction



  • Thats it !! You are now all setup for the conversion of eBooks.

Converting an eBook from ePub to mobi using KindleGen :

  • Assume your eBook is at the location given below on your computer:
  • epub_location




  • Enter the terminal and then change directory to the location where the .epub file exists.
  •  cd ‘/home/pandora/Test Ebook/’

  • Then type the following command in the terminal (Note: Replace the word “test” with your epub filename) and then hit “Enter” on your keyboard.
  • ~/KindleGen/kindlegen “test.epub”

  • If the conversion(i.e. epub to mobi ) was successful then a same filename with mobi format will be created in that directory.
  • mobi-location



  • Now you are ready to run the file on Kindle Previewer .

This is a tutorial for all those who want their WordPress(WP) website present on localhost to be running on folder created on the server.

Status before deploying:

  • I have a working wordpress website on the  localhost.

  • I want to run another WP in the subfolder(eg. https://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop ) on the main existing WP website(eg. https://www.cinnamonteal.in)


  • Change the table-prefix everywhere in the local mysql database and then make sure all instances of the table-prefix are replaced. (Note: Change the default table-prefix from wp_ because this improves security and this prevents tablename conflict if there is a WP website installed on the server with default table-prefix.)

  • Then change the table-prefix in wp-config.php on the localhost .

  • Then export the local mysql database.

  • After importing table from local d/b to live d/b (eg. wpdogdb to cinnamonteal database), execute the following sql queries:

UPDATE db_options SET option_value = replace(option_value, ‘ http://localhost/TheDogearsetcBookshop/wordpress2’,                  ‘http://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop’) WHERE option_name = ‘home’ OR option_name = ‘siteurl’;

UPDATE db_posts SET guid = replace(guid, ‘http://localhost/TheDogearsetcBookshop/wordpress2’, ‘http://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop‘);

UPDATE db_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content,’http://localhost/TheDogearsetcBookshop/wordpress2′, ‘http://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop‘);

UPDATE db_postmeta SET meta_value = replace(meta_value,’http://localhost/TheDogearsetcBookshop/wordpress2′, ‘           http://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop‘);

  • Then after a successful import of database create a folder on the server (eg. thedogearsbookshop)

    Files on the server

  • Copy all the localhost wordpress files(eg. /thedogearsetcbookshop/wordpress2/)and then paste them into the folder created on the server (eg. Thedogearsbookshop/ ).

    Wordpress files_localhost



  • Get the user credentials of database such as mysql databasename, mysql username , mysql password , mysql hostname.

           The wp-config.php for my folder looked like

             /** The name of the database for WordPress */

             define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘cinamonteal-in’);

             /** MySQL database username */

             define(‘DB_USER’, ‘cinamonteal-in’);

             /** MySQL database password */

             define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘*****************’); /* hid password for Blog purpose*/

             /** MySQL hostname */

             define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘cinamontealin.mysql’);

             /** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */

             define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8’);

             /** The Database Collate type. Don’t change this if in doubt. */

             define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”);

  • Open the index.php in the subdirectory present on the server and  then make sure it says

             require( dirname( __FILE__ ) . ‘/wp-blog-header.php’ );

  • Open the .htaccess(usually hidden) in the subdirectory present on the server and then make sure it says

    # BEGIN WordPress

    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

    RewriteEngine On

    RewriteBase /thedogearsbookshop/

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

    RewriteRule . /thedogearsbookshop/index.php [L]


    # END WordPress

    Replace “thedogearsbookshop” with the folder name created on server.

  • Before entering the website, login as an admin

    eg https://www.cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop/wp-admin/

  • Then login using your credentials present on the localhost.

  • Then deactivate all the plugins and set the theme to default if possible .

  • Thats it, now enter the following the web browser

    eg cinnamonteal.in/thedogearsbookshop

  • If it displays website, try enabling desired theme first and then gradually activate plugins one by one.

Note: Create a safe backup of the files and database present on the live server and then proceed with the above steps.

Note:The file extensions should be visible on the computer.

If you are using MacOS :

  • Open a new Finder window on your Mac.

  • In Menu bar, go to Finder and then select Preferences.








  • Click on Advanced tab.








  • Then select the box that says “Show all filename extensions”. If you want to hide file extensions, just uncheck the box.

If you are using Windows Operating System 7/Vista :

  • Start Windows Explorer, you can do this by opening up any folder.

  • Click Organize.

  • Click Folder and search options.

  • Click the View tab.

  • Then scroll down until you notice Hide extensions for known file types, un-check this line by clicking the check box.

  • Click OK.

If you are using Windows Operating System 8/8.1/10 :

  • Open the File Explorer.

  • Tap on View and then click on Options.




  • In Folder Options window and then  select View tab.

  • In Advanced Settings area > Scroll down and  then uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.






Adding ebooks on iBook app:

  • Make sure iTunes is installed and configured on the computer.

  • Then the computer should be added as trusted device for that iPad.

  • Connect the iPad via datacable to the computer.

  • In iTunes on the left menu there will be “Books” button









  • Click on the Books.

  • Drag and drop your ebook(.epub format) into that box.

  • Open the iBook app and refresh if the book is not visible.

Adding ebooks on KOBO app:

  • Open iTunes and then click on the device icon and select the device as given below









  • Then on the left menu click on the “File Sharing” button as below







  • Then select “Kobo” under apps .






  • Click on Add >select the ebook(.epub format).

  • Then click on “Sync” placed at bottom-right of the iTunes.

  • Then click on “Done” placed at bottom-right of the iTunes.

  • Now open the “Kobo” app > Refresh it.

  • If book is not visible > click on search options > Type the ebook name > select it.

NOTE: Carefully select the file with proper format (eg. .epub format), selecting a different ebook (eg .mobi) format will not appear on the app.

In 2007, we launched CinnamonTeal Publishing, to provide self-publishing services based on print-on-demand. In August 2007, we were the first in India to introduce these twin concepts as a business-to-consumer service. This article seeks to, in some way, chart the trajectory that both print-on-demand and self-publishing have taken over the years, independently and together.

But first allow me to explain the two concepts, given that they are sometimes misunderstood. Print-on-demand, when applied to books, refers to technology that allows publishers and authors to print books in small quantities, even one copy, depending on the demand for that book. It means that books can be put up for sale, for instance, on an electronic portal, without there being any physical copies already printed for sale, with the guarantee that the technology to print and send as many copies of the book as ordered is available. This is akin to the principle of a negative inventory, popularized by Dell Inc., which involves the production of a good AFTER it is purchased.

Print-on-demand thus obviates the need for a stock of books to be kept in order to meet demand. (Of course, one must bear in mind that a print-on-demand approach increases the cost of a single copy of the book, but let’s keep that aside for a while.) Print-on-demand, therefore, should not be confused with short-run printing, an approach taken to print a small number of copies and keep them in stock in anticipation of demand for the book. Though the technologies employed for both, print-on-demand and short-run printing, are the same, the concepts in each case are different.

Self-publishing, on the other hand, is a set of services offered to authors who wish to publish their books. These services include, but are not limited to, editing, design, printing, marketing, and distribution. Because self-publishing is an option exercised mostly by first-time authors, print-on-demand is incorporated within their publishing strategy so as to avoid large investments in printed copies.

It is important to make this distinction because print-on-demand and self-publishing are often used interchangeably. Publishing isn’t just printing (or printing on demand.) It is, or needs to be, a more elaborate process, one that draws upon years of wisdom developed within the publishing domain, to produce a book that is well-edited, carefully designed, has an elegant cover tailored for it, and one that is adequately marketed and distributed. While printing does give a book its physical form, the constant focus on the processes that follow printing, with little or no value attached to the processes that precede it, is a disturbing trend prevalent in today’s market, especially among self-publishing service providers. In the scheme of things, print-on-demand is therefore one of the many things to consider, albeit an important one, since it impacts the amount invested in the book.

In India, print-on-demand (or, almost synonymously, low-run printing) has evolved in many ways. Here are a few of them:

a. The quality of books produced using print-on-demand has improved drastically. When we started in August 2007, our main concern was to find a printer who would print us a few copies (usually less than 5) without asking for an arm and a leg. We finally found one but when the copies came, we found that each copy looked different from the other. These were certainly not books that we could sell with a straight face. We got luckier with the second printer we worked with. But in 2017, there is marked change in the quality of books turned out by the digital printer. It is only to the extremely trained eye that the difference between a book printed using the offset method and a book printed using a digital press is perceptible.

b. The costs have fallen too: Print-on-demand is not as costly as it used to be. It is a more-than-manageable cost now, and this has, in fact, prompted many more publishers to print on demand, or print extremely low quantities. In Indian language markets, however, the cost of printing associated with this approach remains an issue, given that many of these publishers price their books extremely low in order to retain their readership.

c. Publishers have woken up to the benefits of POD. As a result of the costs associated with POD reducing, and the quality improving, many more publishers have explored ways in which POD can be used within the publishing/sales processes. This might mean using POD to develop dummy copies for book launches and book fairs, or print advance review copies (ARCs), or use the technology to print extremely small quantities at the location of sale. In some cases, given that large print runs have to be scheduled, sometimes months in advance, the POD technology helps publishers get faster to market.

d. Print-on-demand has allowed publishers to access new markets at almost no cost, by associating themselves with service providers who can print at the customer’s location. This enables a publisher in India to allow customers in Russia, for example, order its books. The books are printed locally and shipped to the customer, thus providing both savings on shipping costs.

Having said that, there are still some areas in which the POD technology lags behind the more prevalent offset technology, a vastly different process that proves cost-efficient when a larger number of copies have to be printed. For one, coloured books, especially illustrated books where the colours need to be accurately reproduced, are best printed using the offset technology. This is also the case because the costs of printing in colour using the POD technology is very high.

Secondly, although this particular issue is now being addressed, POD printing (or low-run printing) offers lesser flexibility in terms of paper that can be used, or the dimensions of the book that can be printed. Many printers, offering POD as a service, cannot, for example, print large books in the landscape format. But, like I mentioned, there is an investment in R&D in this direction.

In India, the adoption of POD as a concept has had to do more with the low investments involved in POD, or even in low-run printing, and little to do with the fast turnaround that POD offers. It allows publishers to keep their back and middle lists available to the reader for purchase, without the need to invest in their printing and storage. One can only speculate that more publishers will buy into the idea of POD, as the benefits it offers becomes clear to them. As readers get used to paying more for well-produced books in Indian languages, this technology might find wider acceptance even within that community, of Indian langauge publishers. This can only be good, because it will allow publishers to experiment with a wide variety of topics, topics that appealed to only a small community of readers.

picture credit: www.pixabay.com

Today’s news included a report that Macmillan was shutting down Pronoun, the self-publishing platform it had acquired in 2016.

To quote the article by Publishing Perspectives:
‘there was at times a community-wide hesitation around the platform because it charged nothing. Authors retained their rights and 100 percent of a retailer’s net payment–no cut to Pronoun. [The Alliance of Independent Authors’ John] Doppler wrote in [an] earlier review that Pronoun’s services were free to authors because the company had $3.5 million in venture capital funding from Avalon Ventures and revenue from “its not-insubstantial legacy business.” Future revenue, he wrote, would come from “voluntary partnerships with high-performing authors. These authors may be invited to publish through Pronoun’s traditional imprints, giving up a share of royalties for enhanced services.”’

Free always scares us as a business. While customers might rejoice over the availability of free services and might even abandon your business because it does not offer services for free, in the absence of a sustainable, revenue-generating, business model, it is always going to be difficult for any business to provide valuable services for free, on a continuous basis. In the long run, that can actually be bad for customers themselves.

Offering free services is a textbook-recommended approach adopted by manufacturers and service providers in order to grab market share. The tactic hinges, though, on charging for something else in order to compensate. Like Gillette, which gives away its razors for almost nothing, but charges a premium for blades.

Customers like to hear that something is on offer for no cost; given two options, they will choose one that has freebies, or more freebies, mentioned as part of the offer. However, with there being no such thing as free lunch, someone is paying for it. In many cases, it is the customers themselves, paying a premium for one service while another is offered free. For example, customers opting to stay at a 5-star hotel are offered a free pick up and drop off to the airport. The room charges, however, have more than compensated for the “free” service.

But many times, it is the supplier paying for this free service. That is often a problem because there remains the risk of the supplier ultimately running out of money to pay for them. That can often lead to one of two things: a) the supplier having to stop offering free services or b)the supplier having to shut shop because it does not have the money required to continue operations. What happened with Pronoun was perhaps the latter.

If you are acquiring customers because of the free services you are offering, you run the risk of losing these customers when you can no longer afford to offer these services for free. The cost of these services, often put down as marketing costs, or customer acquisition costs, ultimately keep adding up till you, as a businessperson, can no longer afford to bear them. If “free” is your only USP, your business runs the risk of shutting down when the freebies stop.

It is therefore important that your business offers customers value that go beyond just offering services for free. In fact, on the flip side, you can charge customers a premium if you can convince them that the quality of your product, or services, is second to none, and that they offer value for money. That, in my opinion, is a much better proposition to offer, because it attracts only those customers that value your services, and who will probably recommend them to others.

At CinnamonTeal Publishing, we have often been compared to our competitors who offer freebies in order to attract customers. When asked to match their offers, we politely decline. We are in the self-publishing business in India for 10 years now, and know exactly the value of what we offer. WWe know that we offer best-in-class editing, design and printing services. That we have tied up with the best service providers to provide marketing and distribution. And to endorse that, we have satisfied customers from across the globe.

photo credit: pexels.com

A good book should sell itself. There is no argument there. It should sell on its own merit, not because the author has garnered reputation elsewhere or because the contents of a book have stoked some controversy. The book should sell because it is well written, properly edited, nicely designed and is a pleasure to hold and read.

It is said, often truly, that publishing services make their money off packages, not by selling books. This is not entirely false. There is little incentive for companies providing publishing services to garner sales of books, especially after the author has paid for those expensive packages. More often than not, these packages do little to make the book better – many packages do not include editing, charge a premium for cover design, and charge extra for getting the book out the door.

We have always stood against this concept of packaged services, which include much and deliver little. Our starter kits, introduced this year, in our 10th year of operations, are targeted towards specific genres of books, and their authors. So we have designed a basic set of services for authors of prose, poetry, children’s books, and academic titles. In addition we have also introduced a basic set of services for authors who wish to only have a digital book (an e-book), These kits stand on their own, i.e. they do not need ANY additional services to get your book out of the door. Because we offer print-on-demand, again the first in India to offer these services to retail customers, we have not included printed copies within these kits, simply because we can print copies as per demand, thus obviating the need for investments in print.

These kits, like I mentioned, include all services that are required to create your book. Editing, cover design and interior page layout are, of course, included. So is distribution within India. In addition, these kits also include services that we feel are important for that particular genre. For example, the children’s book starter kit has illustration services included, whiile the academic book starter kit has indexing services included.

True to its name, these are starter kits, designed to a) help authors choose the best set of services for their books, and b) provide a basic set of services without necessitating the need to buy additional services. An author might however, for example, require international distribution for her book, a service that is not part of the starter kits. Such services can be added on.

We are confident that these starter kits will change the way publisher services are provided in India, in fact prompt customers to demand such an approach from other service providers as well. We believe that this is an efficient and least-cost method of providing publisher services, providing them, and charging them for, only those services that are absolutely necessary for the book.

Coming back to the original point made in this blog: books must sell. And a good book will sell, if it is easily accessible. We ensure a good book because we have it thoroughly edited, and design its cover and interior with utmost care. And we ensure that it is easily accessible to customers around the world because our distribution network covers all major markets across the globe. Our titles can be made available across all continents, a service which is available to every author who publishes with us.

We sincerely hope that authors will take advantage of the services we provide to give their books a fighting chance.

It has been our steadfast belief that self-publishing packages do not benefit the author. An author who chooses to purchase a self-publishing package pays for services she may not require, while being led to believe that she does, and is offered no leeway in having those services tailored to her requirements.

Nonetheless, we have encountered authors who need a starting point from which to continue. They are not sure which services are important, or necessary, for their book, and how they should go about selecting a base basket of services. That dilemma forces them to consider the cookie-cutter approach so well embedded within packages.

To aid for such authors, therefore, we have introduced, for the first time in India, or anywhere globally for that matter, self publishing starter kits (SKs). Like the name suggests, these kits allow you to get started with your book, and, in fact, include all the services you need to have a book ready for printing. We also have a starter kit for authors who wish to publish digitally alone.


As seen in the image above, the SKs have more than only the basics included in them, knowing well that many authors are on a budget and that it is important to them that a good book be produced. The emphasis, therefore, is on producing a good book and getting it out of the door. Hence the focus of a good round of editing, and good cover design and page layout. We believe that, ultimately, the author knows what’s best for her book, and will pick and choose accordingly. More importantly, the author is still vested with choices to decide for her book.

For more details, visit this page: https://cinnamonteal.in/starter-kits/