With its stellar track record of retail success—including more than 50 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers—Greenleaf has been a proven innovator within the hybrid publishing world for 25 years and counting. While nonfiction makes up a large part of Greenleaf’s title list, it also publishes fiction, children’s books, memoirs, and even graphic novels.
What sets Greenleaf apart from other hybrid presses? According to CEO Tanya Hall, Greenleaf’s longevity means tried-and-true expertise and a commitment to fostering meaningful relationships with authors and their books. “Our focus on serving the author is not just lip service; ‘stewardship’ is one of our core values,” Hall says. “Our team is genuinely passionate about books and helping authors bring ideas into the world.”
Greenleaf provides a full range of publishing services, including creative development, design, production, and marketing. “We basically have a creative agency in-house,” Hall says. Another unique feature is that Greenleaf began as a distributor and has maintained its in-house distribution services to this day. “We keep that strength in-house, giving us advantages of higher author royalty payouts and a direct line of communication and feedback with the accounts we sell to,” Hall says.
In addition to creating books of excellent quality and distributing to prime retail outlets—including airport markets—Greenleaf has formed unique partnerships with outside organizations. These include Inc. Magazine, Fast Company Press, and BrainTrust Ink. “Our imprint partnerships allow our authors to publish with powerful business brands and market to their unique audiences,” Hall says. “In exchange for giving the imprint partners a share of royalties, our authors receive advertising support worth tens of thousands of dollars.”
One of the greatest challenges for authors, whether independently or traditionally published, is making their work known to readers. Knowing the right marketing avenues can mean the difference between a book flying under readers’ radars and one that flies off the shelves.
“This is a competitive business,” Hall says. “To help our authors cut through the noise, we develop custom campaigns based on their needs and existing resources. It might include trade marketing, social media and brand strategy, audience development, website building, influencer outreach, and consumer-focused initiatives like podcast outreach and article placement.”
Greenleaf’s commitment to authors and their transformative ideas is apparent in the books themselves. Their bestselling titles include Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, an affirming guide for readers seeking personal and professional fulfillment; The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan, a moving story of a daughter’s journey of love, loss, and letting go; and The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet by Joe Cross, a lifestyle book that advocates for clean, healthful eating.
For 2023, Greenleaf’s far-ranging titles include The Future of Education: The ExoDexa Manifesto by Nolan Bushnell, an early innovator within the video game industry, and Dr. Leah Hanes, a leading educator. According to Hall, the book offers “a pioneering online learning system that will engage both teachers and students while addressing the need for the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”
Another standout title is Under the Naga Tail: A True Story of Survival, Bravery, and Escape by James Taing and Mae Bunseng Taing. It’s a memoir of a young man’s escape from Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, which Hall calls a “beautifully written memoir [that] provides a common recognition that in all humans exists a spirit that can break free from the imprisonment of fear and hurt.”
To authors with urgent stories to tell, whether as prescriptive nonfiction, memoir, fiction, or a business or lifestyle title, Hall recommends the empowering option of hybrid publishing. “Be clear on your goals around your writing, and when you feel discouraged, circle back and remember why you set about tackling this major undertaking in the first place,” she says. “Educate yourself on the front end of the process and begin thinking about promotion early on. Think strategically about the content you are creating before you even create it.”