View Full Version : What is the difference in publishing with smaller independents and POD self publish?

04-21-2006, 05:42 PM
I understand of course that the big difference is that they pay the bill for editing, printing (if not using P.O.D. for printing) and for a cover...but is there really a difference in publishing with a smaller independent when it comes to MARKETING and the ability to get books into brick and mortar bookstores?

Is footing the bill on the production costs and online distribution the only real advantage?

If someone has experience with small independent publishers or bigger ones please share your insight!

aka eraser
04-21-2006, 05:49 PM
Smaller independents may (do your homework!) also offer standard, bookstore-friendly discounts, a returns policy, competitive pricing, a sales team and distribution network. All of these things can greatly increase the odds of a stranger browsing in a bookstore finding, skimming and buying your book - something that's near-impossible if you go with a POD subsidy/vanity operation.

(Edited to add: This should probably be moved to a different forum but this one gets a lot of traffic. I recommend leaving it for a few hours and then punting.)

04-21-2006, 06:20 PM
It depends on the publisher. There are a lot of small publishers out there that don't charge a fee, are at least somewhat selective, and provide at least some editing, but do little more in the way of marketing and distribution than the POD self-publishing companies (typically, these kinds of small publishers use the same POD fulfillment services the self-publishing companies do). Publishing with a small publisher like this allows you to say you didn't vanity publish, but many are so unprofessionally run and/or are able to get so little exposure for their authors that in practical terms, there isn't much difference between them and the self-publishing services. Plus, the smaller publishers may bind you to a fairly restrictive contract, whereas the better self-publishing services don't tie up your rights.

It's reasonable simple to separate these kinds of small publishers from the small publishers that are getting their books into the marketplace: check to see if the books are reviewed in professional venues such as Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, etc. (which indicates that the publisher is marketing to the book trade), and go to a bookstore and see if you can find their books.

I agree that this isn't the best forum for this thread, so I'm moving it to Ask the Editor.

- Victoria

- Victoria