I have a questions and I hope no one minds me posting it here. Avalon Innovations has been a POD provider for several years now, but our primary market is the hobby gmes industry. We are partnered with Key 20 Games Distribution to provide our clients with warehousing, fulfillment services, distribution and on-line sales. But things work a little different in the hobby games segment. In that segment, the large distributors will not look at small publishing companies, they pretty much force you to use a consolidator. What a consolidator does is collects and stores products from various small presses, then the large distributors come to the consolidator to place their orders. Everything gets shipped together, saves on shipping costs, and allows the distributors to only deal with one place for all of these products.
Print On Demand is a bit misleading because we do very little true POD work, most of it is really short run production. The consolidator like to keep a small number of the books in stock to fill orders, so a typical order for us is betweem 100 to 200 books.
The biggest difference is that the individual writers/publishers are the ones that pay for the production of their own books. Then as the books sell through distribution or on-line sales, the get a check from Key 20 once a month.
Would this type of business model work with the more main stream book trade?
We keep looking at expanding our focus. The basic infrastructure is already in place and working and tested. We just need to add the additional distributors. We would in no way be a publisher, since we would not be approving or editing books, so I'm not sure if that would help or hurt.