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  1. #1
    A. Gray
    Guest

    What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    Print On Demand Publishing is new and innovative, a child of the new cyber generation of communication. Requiring no literary agent, being less time consuming, being less expensive, one would expect it to be welcomed, embraced, and coddled by the overburdened traditional world of publishing. Read on . . .

    I decided on a POD (Print On Demand) Publisher after I could not get my work read by any traditional houses to whom I submitted. I was refused because I had been unable to secure the services of a literary agent for lack of a background of published books. (I have been writing and pubishing short stories for many years without such representation.) When the POD publishing process was completed, I was very happy with my published book. Press releases were sent out from my publisher to the media. I gave signed copies of the book to friends and family and sent more copies to selected book reviewers and waited for the plaudits to begin.
    Bingo! Rave reviews from friends and family. Many ordered additional copies of the book to give as gifts. I was thrilled to be acknowledged as a novelist!

    But what was this? Not a peep from the media? How could that be? Finally, after an inquiry to my home town newspaper, I received the bad news: "It is our (name withheld) newspaper's policy NOT to review Print On Demand books." Now, please understand, that policy covers not just my POD book BUT ALL POD BOOKS. Suddenly, it hit me! By their silence, I had received a blanket rejection from all 100 media recipients of my press releases. My book would not be reviewed anywhere! I was dismally aware I would not win recognition through desirable media exposure!

    Immediately, I set up an Internet web page. I am preparing flyers to hand out to individuals. I plan to ask permission to hold a book signing at a local bookstore. As of now, I have no idea of how that request will be met, either.

    I'm sorry to have to relate this experience. I wish I could say my four years of research, writing, editing, and efforts were rewarded with the acceptance of my historical romance novel into an open-minded world of literature with wide acclaim, but such has not been the case. Perhaps someday all writers will be recognized by their works NOT by their affiliations -- and without rancor.

    I am curious to know if anyone else at WritersNet has had experience with POD publication. If so, what was your experience?



  2. #2
    Kaz
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    Hi A. Gray,

    Here are several that review POD published books. I also have a friend whose YA novel received a favorable review from the School Library Journal. In that instance, he followed my advice and sent bound copies of the uncorrected proofs as soon as he received them. The two I'm listing accept the finished book. Be sure to include a press release and a cover letter. Good luck.

    Regards, Kaz

    Midwest Book Review
    278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575, Attn: James Cox, Editor, EMAIL: mbr@execpc.com OR mwbookrevw@aol.com
    Website address: http://www.execpc.com/~mbr/bookwatch/

    MultiCultural Review
    6 Birch Hill Rd, Ballston Lake, NY 12019. Editor, Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Email: MCReview@aol.com. Does not review cookbooks or how-to books.
    Website address: http://www.mcreview.com

  3. #3
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    I believe your experience with a POD book producer is quite similar to that of many others posting here who went this route--especially those who did not research the industry before they made this choice. (I have had books produced this way--in each case because the production mode was a good option for the goals for the books.)

    The attitude of the media you describe (and you will encounter the same attitude from bookstores) is based less in any stubborn prejudice they have toward anything but traditional publishing but on a misunderstanding you reflect in your own description in POD-produced books in general. You assume that literary agents didn't hop up and down to represent your book simply because you lacked "a background in published books." But first books are being published--and represented by literary agents--all of the time. Litery agents don't jump on books subsequently printed through a POD book producer because there's a mountain of book manuscripts on offer to both agents and publishers and they have the luxury of only picking up the cream of the crop--those books written very well and on marketable topics and thus with the highest probability of being published.

    The media doesn't often review POD-produced books (although many newspapers, especially on the local level, will review), because on the agregate POD-produced books don't meet publishing standards at the adoption level (because no traditional publisher picked them up). Most books simply aren't written well and don't hang together well--for a very good reason; most people writing books have no talent, training, or experience for writing books. They just own a computer and are motivated enough by the anecdotes of quick big bucks through writing books to scatter 80,000 words in an electronic file. As far as traditional publishers; literary agents; the media; booksellers; and, most important, readers are concerned, nearly all POD-produced books fall into this "not valued by anyone but the author and his mother" bin.

    Bookstores, on the other hand, don't often stock POD-produced books (although some bookstores on the local level will stock them), because bookstores don't actually buy their stock, they take their stock on consignment, and there are few, if any, POD producers who will provide books on consignment. If POD producers instituted returns policies, their books would be stocked in bookstores. But POD producers don't actually think the books they produce have any intrinsic value--and don't really care if they do--so they don't have a returns policy because they assume the bookstores couldn't sell these books and will return them.

    So, your basic premise on why your book wasn't adopted by a traditional publisher is faulty--and your experience in choosing a POD producer and then trying to advertise or sell the books beyond your circle of relatives and friends is a well-documented reality that was available to you on research before you made that choice.

    There are many writers who find POD production of their books satisfying and even some who find it profitable, but those who find it satisfying are ones who researched well before going in and determined they would be satisfied with the inevitable results, and those who found it profitable are ones who wrote the kind of books that POD production served well (e.g., books on management techniques to be used in a business of management counseling workshops--where the books serve the business, can be financed as a business expense, and have a renewable base of buyers).

  4. #4
    Lawrance George Lux
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    PODs cannot compete with Traditional Publishers, who have a stable of bookstores; through the Return policy mentioned by Gary. Only one out of about fourteen POD works should have been published, in the first place. They either lack Content, quality of authorship, poor editing, or redundant information. This is said by an Author who publishes totally POD. POD publishers, in order to generate sale of Author Services, accept anything; to Everyone's regret.

    I have managed to sell some Copies of my works cold, simply Wholesale on the Internet sites or to Bookstores; by cold I refer to no advertising or marketing effort. Most Authors who publish have almost no marketing budget, and it requires several thousands of dollars with a good book; in order to simply sell enough to cover expenses. PODs must derive a Marketing system to eventually sell sufficiently, for Bookstores to risk purchase.

    The bright hope of POD comes in Bookstores developing in-house printing. This will be incredibly beneficial for POD authors. Online Wholesalers will develop, listing the entire works online; with Bookstores able to download printing Copies for a payment of a royalty. Bookstores will be able to print one Copy, and see if it sells. They can easily replace for the simple royalty payment. Authors will have to pay to list, if accepted by the Wholesaler; at probably $30 per year, with the additional cost of registry at Lightning Source or other printer.

    lgl

  5. #5
    A. Gray
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?


    Hello, Kaz,

    I appreciate your reply to my inquiry. I have taken a little time to regain my composure before replying to any of the three responses I received. Thank you for addressing my dilemma with a positive attitude. Yours was the most humane response I received. I have visited the web addresses you suggested and I deeply appreciate and thank you for your interest.
    A. Gray

  6. #6
    A. Gray
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    Hello, Gary,

    Thank you for sharing your words of experience as well as your point of view of the stereotype POD writer. Perhaps you are correct in your assessment but there is the possibility that there exists out there somewhere the exception to your rule. I will continue to pursue that possibility.
    A. Gray

  7. #7
    A. Gray
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    Hello, Larry,

    I read with interest your perspective on the publishing industry ( touching on the idiocy of most POD writers), as well as your solution to the POD publishing bottleneck. I hope you are able to find a few forward looking interested promoters who will jump on your bandwagon. Thanks for your reply.
    A. Gray

  8. #8
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    A. Gray:

    Of course there are exceptions of both talent and experience of those having their books printed by POD producers. And you certainly may be one of those (very few) exceptions. I don't think I suggested otherwise. Also, what I described (faithfully, I think) was the prevalent attitude in general toward POD-produced books of the media, literary agents, and traditional publishers--not necessarily my own view. (But the more starry-eyed writers I encounter who have gone out of their way to allow themselves to be taken by the POD producers, the less enthusiastic I become about this option).

    I do take issue with your characterization of Kaz's response as the only "humane" response you got. Seems to me like you are shooting the messengers and clearly preferring to live with the cap pulled over your eyes. I thought your original posting was firing at the wrong targets and that your failure to fully research the services and inevitable results of this type of publishing will only lead you to become bitter and to blame just about everyone else in the room but your own failure to do reality-based planning--but yet I believe my response focused on the issue and not on your demonstrated personal naivete. As I tried to say in my posting, I do believe that POD production can be made to work for the writer's benefit if they become savy about when and how to use it--which you didn't demonstrate in your posting that you had done.

    You can't just simply wish away reality. And I believe the inhumane response to what you posted would have been just to be silent, giggle behind my fingers, and let you wake up somewhere down the road in a far different place than you had painted for yourself in your wishful thinking period.

  9. #9
    Lawrance George Lux
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    I was not degrading the Authors of POD works. My referral was to the duplication of most efforts POD. Publishing houses have one real value, in dismissing works covering material previously done by other Authors in better style. Lack of editing detracts from at least half of POD efforts. Twenty percent of POD authors work repetitive themes to death, repeating the same argument three or four times in a work. Fifteen percent of POD novelists cannot present a realistic environment for their characters, while thirty percent do not present a time-frame which is consistent. This is not completely the fault of the Authors, but lack of critique and editing.

    I, more than Anyone, wants PODs to succeed; but the Author cannot do it all. Only when the organization is established to aid the Author, can POD succeed. The Publishing editor must be replaced with a Wholesale marketing editor; both must be willing to work with the Authors.
    lgl

  10. #10
    Michael Grayson
    Guest

    Re: What About Print On Demand Publishing ?

    I've also gone the POD route. My book will be ready for sale in a couple of months. In reading A. Gray's first post, It gave me a little of what to probably expect as far as the media outlets are concerned. So far, I've created a word of mouth buzz yet it's only been towards people I know personally who know what I'm trying to do.

    This evening I went into a small bookstore and asked if they would simply carry my book. The store manager asked if it was a self published book and I said yes. After I said yes, the bookstore manager gave me a cold 'no! self published books don't sell!'. I said okay and left the store. If they have this type attitude for self published projects, then how would they feel knowing that the work is POD?

    There are ways to market and have people take notice. But with POD, it's going to take a gigantic push on the author's part. You just have the will to do it.

    Michael J. Grayson

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