Dollarbird: blue-green roller usually seen perched alone high in a tree on a bare branch. First described in 1766 in Java by Linnaeus and named for the distinctive coin-shaped markings on its wings. A frequent visitor to the raintrees overlooking Monsoon Books’ first office in Singapore.

Our Story

Dollarbird was established as a new imprint of Monsoon Books in 2019 to add a hybrid component to a well-known publishing house with a proven track record in the field of Southeast Asia-based fiction and narrative nonfiction with over 200 writers in its stable of authors.

Dollarbird uses an author-subsidized business model and in exchange returns a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author in the form of paperback and ebook royalties of 50% of the publisher’s net receipts.

Dollarbird’s vision is to become a leading imprint of books on Southeast Asia as well as a leading hybrid imprint in the industry. Its goal is to produce books that are critically acclaimed in the market, discover new authors and support authors in their growth as serious writers.

Dollarbird’s mission is to uphold the Independent Book Publisher’s Association Hybrid Publisher Criteria requiring: “hybrid publishers behave just like traditional publishers in all respects, except when it comes to the business model.” Dollarbird uses an author-subsidized business model, as opposed to financing all the costs itself, and in exchange returns a higher-than-industry-standard share of sales proceeds to the author amounting to 50% of the net receipts. Regardless of who pays for editorial, design and production fees, it is Dollarbird that bears responsibility for producing, distributing and selling professional-quality books. Learn more about the IBPA’s nine hybrid publisher criteria.

As an imprint of Monsoon Books, one of the world’s leading publishers of English-language trade books on Southeast Asia, Dollarbird benefits from a team of professional publishing personnel and an established and proven route to market. Dollarbird sells print books in the UK, Southeast Asia, Australia and North America, it sells ebooks globally and it sells subsidiary rights such as translations and TV adaptations.

Trad vs Hybrid vs Self

Dollarbird is not a traditional publishing imprint (but our parent company is and that is the way we operate).

Neither is Dollarbird a self-publishing service. Self-publishing services perform a useful role in allowing anybody to get in print and offer authors publishing packages to enable writers to cede or retain as many of the production tasks as they want. Marketing and selling the books worldwide is more of the challenge.

Dollarbird is a hybrid of the two models: we operate exactly as a traditional publisher in that we are extremely selective about who we take on and will only accept manuscripts that fit our list; we produce, market, sell and represent subsidiary rights on a curated list of top-drawer titles, but the production is subsidized by the author in return for a much higher royalty.

Learn more about hybrid publishing

How We Work


Dollarbird offers authors an equal share of net receipts – net receipts are the monies received by the publisher, i.e. retail price less bookstore and distributor discounts – in return for an upfront production cost subsidy of about £4k (the exact fee is dependent on several factors, see the FAQ for more info). In this hybrid publisher business model, the author reduces the financial risk of the publisher in return for much higher royalties. The hybrid publisher is willing to cede royalties in return for being less exposed on a project, therefore enabling the publisher to take more of a risk on new authors and genres. Dollarbird also pays 50% of net receipts on all subsidiary rights sold, such as translations and TV adaptations.