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just_a_girl
03-06-2007, 07:40 AM
I've been hearing a lot about POD presses lately. Are these the same as vanity presses? Do all POD presses require you to pay them upfront fees?

veinglory
03-06-2007, 07:45 AM
POD means print-on-demand, it refers to making one book at a time as a customer orders it. There are digital printing machines that can do this now although each book is a little pricier than one made by a normal offset press. Any publishing company can use one, vanity, self- or "traditional". Some people (including myself at times) also use POD colloquially to refer to self-publishing outfits--just to confuse matters.

Carmy
03-06-2007, 08:23 AM
Not all POD presses require an up-front fee. Check out LULU. There may be others but I haven't done any research on them.

Vanity presses, on the other hand, usually ask for a hefty fee and I think there is still a stigma attached to them.

With POD there doesn't appear to be stigma. Eregon, for example, was first published POD.

James D. Macdonald
03-06-2007, 09:06 AM
POD is a business model, one in which a book is printed only after it is ordered. This printing is often (but not always) done using digital printing technology.

A vanity press is a business model in which the author pays the publisher to publish the book. Some (but not all) vanity presses use the print-on-demand business model to actually produce the finished volumes. There were vanity presses decades before digital printing was invented, and digital printing is what made POD widely possible.

If you look at it in one way, the vanity presses that require the author to buy 1,000 copies of his own book for $10,000 dollars (even if they are producing those books on an offset press) are doing Print On Demand, since they aren't printing books that haven't been ordered or that they haven't already been paid for. But that isn't the common meaning of the term.

James D. Macdonald
03-06-2007, 09:09 AM
POD means print-on-demand, it refers to making one book at a time as a customer orders it.

If the customer is a member of the general public, that's commercial publishing. If the customer is the author himself, may be self-publication or it may be vanity publishing.

There's still a stigma to vanity publishing, since the public has learned that vanity books, in general, stink.

just_a_girl
03-06-2007, 07:21 PM
Yes, I know what a vanity press is, and I certainly have no intention of using one. I wouldn't have the money even if I wanted to. My question was whether POD is synonymous with vanity, and it seems from your answers above, that it is not. I've just been hearing so much about POD lately that I became curious. Thanks for clearing that up!

Ralyks
03-26-2007, 02:59 AM
Yes, I know what a vanity press is, and I certainly have no intention of using one. I wouldn't have the money even if I wanted to. My question was whether POD is synonymous with vanity, and it seems from your answers above, that it is not. I've just been hearing so much about POD lately that I became curious. Thanks for clearing that up!

It's not synonymous, but so many vanity presses use POD these days, and so many presses that do use POD are vanity presses, so it has inevitably become de facto synonymous in some people's minds and/or speech.