Hybrid Vigor

J. Dianne Dotson
3 min readSep 17, 2022
J. Dianne Dotson discusses becoming a hybrid author in both traditional and independent publishing.

Recently, I sold my first book to a traditional publisher. This book is THE SHADOW GALAXY: A Collection of Stories and Poetry, to Trepidatio/JournalStone (arriving March 2023; preorders forthcoming).

Prior to that, I had released a four-book space opera series, THE QUESTRISON SAGA, on my own, having paid for two editors and four covers and their art myself, as well as all promotion.

I also have short stories coming out in magazines and anthologies in the coming months, that I did not publish myself.

I am proud of each and every one of these books and stories, whether I published them or someone else has.

Hybrid Author

Now that I have five books out in the world (or soon to be) and several more stories soon to debut, I am what you call a hybrid author. This means I’m both traditionally and independently published.

This is a strong position to be in as a writer. I’m going to lean on my Ecology and Evolutionary Biology degree and say it gives me a literary form of hybrid vigor.

What’s hybrid vigor? That’s a term in genetics, particularly in plants, in which two quite different organisms reproduce, and their offspring are stronger, more robust, and better able to pass on their genes than their parents were. They, therefore, possess hybrid vigor.

Branching Out

Using the plant comparison again, I’m exercising hybrid vigor as a writer to become stronger and more flexible than I could have been either solely through independent publishing or solely traditional. Writers can choose which path to take, but I advocate for both.

As a hybrid author, you expand both the reach and diversification of your writing portfolio. Branch out into traditional publishing, whether through short or long fiction, and you tap into a new audience. You might gain a larger following and make connections you would not otherwise. You might also be more likely to be nominated for awards, and attract the attention of agents or other publishing gurus, film and TV options, etc.

Branch into independent publishing to experiment with your writing styles and create stories that could not be found anywhere else. Maybe your dream stories don’t fit in with what’s trending in…

J. Dianne Dotson

J. Dianne Dotson is a science fiction/fantasy/horror author, science writer, and artist. Repped by Laura Bennett. Visit jdiannedotson.com. @jdiannedotson