A new hybrid print and publishing model, dubbed the “third way” by news outlets, is helping make 2013 the year of the author, reports guardian.co.uk.

Founded by a collective of award-winning authors, Notting Hill Press is working with big names in the romantic comedy genre to create a bridge between self-publishing and some of the more traditional ways of getting books on store shelves.

The group already has over 40 titles under its imprint and houses authors like Sunday Times best-seller Belinda Jones and Romantic Novelist Association nominee Chrissie Manby. This is in addition to Michele Gorman, Belinda Jones and Talli Roland, who launched the new house on June 3, reports usatoday.com.

The company allows authors to keep hold of “the solid working relationships” they have with traditional publishers, although all their experience, professional contacts and promotional support is shared. They do however retain publishing control and royalties in their books, which should give them more freedom when penning their next titles.

Ms Gorman says the third way is truly unique, because the company itself has no financial interest in the authors.

“I want to do two or three books a year and my publishers have not been in a position to do that. I tend to write quicker than publishers may want to publish,” she added.

Ms Manby said she was “thrilled” to release her latest titles through Notting Hill Press, as this meant she was able to draw on the expertise of her “incredibly supportive” and “generous” fellow authors.

The current roster of authors lists 11 big names in romantic comedy, but Ms Gorman insists this number will not go above 20 because it would be too unwieldy. Still, she said there was scope for plenty more writers to create hybrid groups for themselves.

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