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lisanevin
08-17-2007, 06:52 AM
Reading more and more on the POD thread I'm getting the impression that people associate POD to self publish.
POD is the technique, self publishing can employee POD and/or a publisher can employee POD technologies.
Recently I was rejected for a review because my publisher was POD. After looking over this forum I think they thought I was self published.

There are publishers out there that employee POD technologies AND offer contracts! As I have never worked with the a 'traditional publisher' I can't attest to the difference.
I know an author who had a book published with Viking said to me (and I was suprised she shared this, so I haven't included her name: " . . . was a tedious and long process. . . . From the final draft to the first publishing was almost three years. There was a ton of hurry up and wait - I found it infuriating - and kind of rude. . . . I didn't like the way they believed we "lesser-known" authors should be grateful just for the chance to be published by them."

I also have a friend whose mother is good friend with the mother of a well known writer who has published several books and had a movie deal. Even this woman complained how publishers are passing more of the effort onto the writer!

In summary, I'm not so sure the smaller publishers are really that much different!

Dave.C.Robinson
08-21-2007, 06:44 AM
The real question is does your publisher have access to a sales force that markets books to bookstores? Commercial publishers do. Publishers' customers are bookstores and distributors; not readers and not authors. Commercial publishers publish books for you to buy from somebody else.

If they don't have distribution you don't want to go with them. Vanity POD houses sell to the author, some small POD houses try to sell to the reader but don't have distribution.

The publisher you want is the one you can find on bookstore shelves.

veinglory
08-21-2007, 06:58 AM
POD has come to mean self-published in casual use. So it might pay to specific POD third party published, or POD small press--whatever is the case--to avoid misunderstandings.

LloydBrown
08-21-2007, 07:24 AM
The issue is that if a publisher prints your book via POD, they obviously don't plan to sell many copies. If you're going to sell 1,000 or more copies, an offset print run is cheaper. If you're not...why bother?

veinglory
08-21-2007, 07:41 AM
If a writer wants to bother with POD that would be their own choice. I use it as a suppliment to my primary ebook sales and because I like to have a few copies around. You can't just say 'no one would/should bother'--that's the author's choice.

lisanevin
08-21-2007, 08:06 AM
You can't just say 'no one would/should bother'--that's the author's choice.

I like your attitude and willing to defend the choices others make.

On the same token, sure he (or she) can say that! Their opinion. Just as it is our choice of what we wish to do (or say) It's sad that anyone has the 'don't bother' approach as they won't get very far in life.
I did post to this forum and realize I'll hear other opinions and I appreciate people taking the time to read AND respond!

Stijn Hommes
08-21-2007, 03:12 PM
Reading more and more on the POD thread I'm getting the impression that people associate POD to self publish.
POD is the technique, self publishing can employee POD and/or a publisher can employee POD technologies.
Recently I was rejected for a review because my publisher was POD. After looking over this forum I think they thought I was self published. Dave, please don't use the phrase "Vanity POD houses". That is exactly the kind of thing that causes the mixup. There are also vanity publishers who do print runs instead of using POD. They're just as bad - perhaps even more so because they are more determined to get rid of their stock, a stock POD publishers don't have.

There are publishers out there that employee POD technologies AND offer contracts! That's completely true and you deserve some rep points for that.

LloydBrown
08-21-2007, 06:06 PM
It's sad that anyone has the 'don't bother' approach as they won't get very far in life

What? That's not a reasonable conclusion at all. My first book sold its 10,000 book print run in 6 days and has stayed in print for 6 years and counting. My business sold for enough money to allow me to write for 2 years and counting. My only marriage is at 11 years and counting. My mortgage is being paid. There's nothing at which I've failed. I'm saying don't bother with something that is predetermined to have limited chance of success and limited degree of success in the first place.

Even if you sell 20,000 copies via POD (and how many books do that?), you'd have made several times as much money if you had done an offset print run. There's no point--high or low volume--at which you really succeed.

If you really want to POD a book, go right ahead. I'm sure it'll give you warm fuzzy feelings in your tummy. It's not likely to help your writing career, earn you any measurable amounts of money, or reach many readers. It is great at the warm fuzzies, though. Let me know how that works out for you in a year or so.

lisanevin
08-21-2007, 06:39 PM
What? That's not a reasonable conclusion at all.

Congratulations! It sounds like you did 'bother'.
If someone continues to make an effort then they move forward. If they have a 'don't bother' approach, how can they move forward?
Also note, my comment, about 'getting anywhere in life' is more general.
If one doesn't ever bother because they think 'what's the point' they'll never really know if there is one. How will they learn? How will they grow?

LloydBrown
08-21-2007, 07:27 PM
If one doesn't ever bother because they think 'what's the point' they'll never really know if there is one

Unless they're capable of reading and research. I don't have to publish a book with a POD publisher to know that the average POD sales are fewer than 100 copies. I don't have to "bother" with POD to know that you don't get national bookstore presence. I can ask other people who have done it and ask people who have experience with other publishing models what the other options are.

There's a huge difference between someone with a "don't bother" attitude because they don't think they're good enough, and someone who has considered all of the pros and cons of multiple options and decided that one doens't fit their needs.

Look at it this way: I need a car because mine broke down. One ad lists a Mercedes coupe, one is a new hybrid, and the last is a '81 Chevette with no AC and 450,000 miles on it. If I "don't bother" with the Chevette, it doesn't mean that I'm giving up on driving. "Making an effort" with the Chevette won't get me far because the vehicle simply won't travel far. No amount of positive thinking will make that Chevette better than the other two cars.

What can POD do for you? It's a suitable vehicle for niche markets like specialized non-fiction, local interest topics, and other topics too small to interest a commercial publisher. It is not designed to make money; it's designed to minimize loss. Just like the Chevette might be fine if you just want a car for your teenage son to learn to drive on.

If you want to reach a wide number of readers, POD isn't likely to take you there. If you're trying to earn a living as a writer, POD isn't likely to take you there. If you want a writing credit with which to impress the next publisher to whom you send a proposal, ditto.

Let me ask you this: why is this publishing option better for you than a mainstream commercial publisher like Random House, who states that their minimum advance is $7,000? (see this link from New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/features/2007/profit/32906/) Tell me why you think it's better.

lisanevin
08-21-2007, 07:52 PM
Let me ask you this: why is this publishing option better for you than a mainstream commercial publisher like Random House, who states that their minimum advance is $7,000? (see this link from New York Magazine http://nymag.com/news/features/2007/profit/32906/) Tell me why you think it's better.

Better? Oh no! I never meant to imply that POD publishing contract was better!
If Random House had taken my book, I would have jumped at it!

lisanevin
08-21-2007, 08:49 PM
My first book sold its 10,000 book print run in 6 days and has stayed in print for 6 years and counting.
What is the name of you book?
Who published it?
Congrats on 6 years in print and counting!
I went quickly to your website but didn't see the title of your book jump out on the home page.

veinglory
08-22-2007, 03:21 AM
It's a reasonable conclusion for your goals. As a general 'truth' its an over-generalisation. POD is working fine for me so far--working out exactly as I expected and adding value (and income) to my ebooks. I am sure it have others uses too.

PVish
08-22-2007, 03:38 AM
What can POD do for you? It's a suitable vehicle for niche markets like specialized non-fiction, local interest topics, and other topics too small to interest a commercial publisher. It is not designed to make money; it's designed to minimize loss.

Exactly! Add one other criteria: You must already have a readership in place. If you already write for a local/regional publication, you've proven your ability to write and developed a readership who might be interested in buying your work. Independent stores (in my case, gift shops) will order your books.

It helps if you are a speaker/presenter. When I am paid to do presentations or speak, I have my books available should anyone want one.

POD worked for me for some collections of stories and columns. I'd already been paid for the original material and my rights had reverted to me. I didn't lose money, and actually made a bit. (My "best seller" recently topped 500--not great, but for a very limited niche market, not bad.)

POD doesn't work well for novels. If you are an unknown writer of fiction, POD isn't what you are looking for.

veinglory
08-22-2007, 03:50 AM
In a way POD is in fact designed to make money far more than offset as there is no investment to lose. The gains are likely to be less but the losses are almost certain to be nil, so it is rather hard to not make some money and rather difficult to make a lot.

LloydBrown
08-22-2007, 04:17 AM
In a way POD is in fact designed to make money far more than offset as there is no investment to lose.

Hence my comment about less risk. Don't confuse gross income with net profits. They go in different places on the spreadsheet for a reason.

The rest of your post was fiscally accurate.

lisanevin
08-22-2007, 04:30 AM
So how do other POD publishers 'sell' books? Do other authors find that the only way to get them in stores is to buy copies and hand deliver them to the stores?

Sounds like the promises my publisher provided about advertising and contacting reviewers might not really happen?

LloydBrown
08-22-2007, 05:00 AM
Unlimited Publishing isn't even on Preditors & Editors, and the only links I can find here (which you apparently already found) don't offer much except that they no longer seem to charge up-front fees.

I found a few titles on Amazon, but the best rating was in the 100-something thousands. Most were between 780,000 and 2,000,000, which means single-digit sales. So they have one title that's selling 1 a week or so, and the others are selling a couple of times a year. That's not promising.

No, Amazon isn't your only source of sales, but it's a reflection of what it's selling in the rest of the world. If your book is selling from bookshelves, you'll have Amazon sales, too, as people who see it on the shelf want to come home and check reviews online or whatever before they buy it--online.


So how do other POD publishers 'sell' books? The best of them have a sales force that sends out review copies to the major sources. They solicit bookstores. They price their discounts competitively. They make their books returnable. The worst of them make a big show out of releasing the books and hope the authors buy enough copies to pay the bills.

Also, I'd be suspicious about any claims of advertising. Advertising books to the public is not cost-effective. Their website doesn't mention advertising that I could see, though.

LloydBrown
08-22-2007, 05:22 AM
Before I took a contract with Unlimited Publishing I looked on predators and editors and didn't find them, so I was relieved.

P&E lists good publishers, too, but they can only list publishers they've heard about. The host, Dave Kuzminski, is a regular here.


UP hasn't released my book to major distribution yet, they said it has to have a few months soak time with their printer.

Soak time? What the hell is that supposed to mean? That's no publishing term I've ever heard of. Are they claiming that they need a few months' lead time for their Print-on-Demand printer? That's taking some liberties with the "on demand" part of the equation, isn't it?

veinglory
08-22-2007, 06:08 AM
I suggest you ask about UP in the bewares forum. They sound a little underwhelming to me if they are using Lulu. A third party publisher should bring more to the table than a public access service.

veinglory
08-22-2007, 06:47 AM
There is not thread on them in Bewares & Background Check. People there could likely tell you whether this press has any ability to provide major distribution. My instinct is that if they did Lulu would simply not be on the menu. It's a very expensive way to produce a book--even with basic skills you could go straight to Lightning Source and do better.

Mac H.
08-22-2007, 07:45 AM
I think Lulu is UP's way to see if an authors book will generate any business and whether it's worth their while to pay for major distribution.
As I understand, getting a book in major distribution cost alot.It sounds like a great company, but this bit doesn't seem to make sense.

POD simply isn't compatible with major distribution. POD means that the book isn't printed until there is a guaranteed sale. Major distribution means printing thousands and thousands of copies and sending them to bookstores etc - and if they don't sell simply taking them back.

It's not that one is definitely better than the other in all cases - but simply that it doesn't make sense for a company that is proud to be POD to be talking about major distribution.

Good luck - I hope things work out well.

Mac
(PS: Listing with Amazon/B&N Online isn't distribution - as you mentioned anyone can simply send a PDF file to Lulu to get that kind of exposure)

LloydBrown
08-22-2007, 08:16 AM
UP Does have major distribution ability. They have books at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Everything with an ISBN is on Amazon. They list it automatically. That means nothing. As for B&N, do they have presence IN Barnes and Noble bookstores worldwide, or do they have just the listing on the website? That, also, means nothing.


As I understand, getting a book in major distribution cost alot.
Er, it costs one book per book sold. You don't pay retailers money for them to sell your products. They pay the publisher. Besides--sell books is what publishers do. If it's too expensive for them to sell books, then what are they doing?

LloydBrown
08-22-2007, 06:04 PM
Online listing alone is worthless. "Major distribution", as used by anyone who actually sells books, includes large-scale regional or national presence on bookstore shelves. I don't even need to know if your book is any good to tell you that a novel on Lulu isn't going to sell to strangers. Sure, you might sell a few dozen to friends and family members, but that's about it.

I'm afraid this book's pretty much seen all the action it's going to see. You're working on another one, I hope.

Dave.C.Robinson
08-22-2007, 07:49 PM
All publishers have some sort of sales force: aimed at their main source of income. In a major commercial publisher's case this sales force goes out to bookstore representatives with catalogs and pitches and works on getting them to buy and stock as many of a particular book as they can. A smaller publisher is more likely to rely on a distributor, but follows the same pattern. These are the people who get the book onto bookstore shelves; and regardless of what POD backers may say, national bookstore placement is vital for sales.

One reason it's so vital is because a large number of online orders come from people who either picked up the book, or picked up the first book in a store, and are either ordering it now, or ordering the sequels. A person may order nine of a ten book series from the internet, and only buy one of them in a store, but if they picked that one up on a whim, then liked it enough to order the sequels, all of those sales can be attributed to the book being placed on bookstore shelves. If it hadn't been on the shelf, the reader would never have known to order the next nine.

Online placement is fine for books people are already looking for, not so good for finding something new to read. I know Amazon recommendations seem to split about 50/50 between books I've already read and books I put down because I couldn't stand.

If you have anything other than a very specific audience, POD is probably not the best option for an author.

james1611
08-26-2007, 01:35 AM
I'd say that POD is pretty well understood.

I'm a current POD published author with a small independent, with whom I signed a contract and they published my book after reviewing it. They reject many and publish the ones they like best. For that, I'm glad to have been included. I've read some of the other books on their list and really enjoyed them.

However, this scenario is not all it may seem to be cracked up to be. I am glad to have been published by a publisher, but Lloyd and Robinson are correct, when they point out: you won't reach many people.

My book, The Chronicles of Soone, was published in Oct. 2006 and has since sold approximately 700 books. Not terrible for a POD book that can only be found and purchased online...and we all know that means Amazon.com and not much else.
The book has received some very nice reviews along the way from review blogs like Wren reviews, fantasybookspot, author WAyne Thomas Batson, and others.
But as fun as all of that sounds: when you come to the place where you realize, "I'm not going to reach the masses and there is nothing I can really do about it like this," it makes you think.

As I said, I'm glad to have been published: that is an accomplishment, but to be published by a publisher (however well meaning) who has no ability to place your book on the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores will do little more than give you that warm and fuzzy feeling Lloyd Brown was telling you about.

What it should do is make you set your sights higher. I began with the whole submission / rejection thing and got tired of it. After my book was published though, I was invited to participate in a christian sci-fi fantasy blog tour. Through the tour I met up online with a published author who was willing to review my book in order to review the upcoming second book for a cover blurb. He read the book and reviewed it very favorably. Through that contact, he recommended me to his literary agent. The agent allowed me to submit my second manuscript and he contracted with me to represent the book to Christian trade publishers like Waterbrook-Multnomah, Bethany House, etc.

Currently, my second novel is under review by three christian publishers who can put the book on bookstore shelves like Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc...now, that probably wouldn't have happened if my novel had not already been published the way it was...in fact I'm sure it would not. But the point I'm trying to make is, don't settle for POD! If you can use it as a stepping stone then great, but don't settle for remaining a POD author unless you plan on obscurity.

I can point to some cases of apparent success with small pubs: My friend Jeremy Robinson is doing wonderfully (for a POD author). He has sold in the thousands, but I happen to know he wants a book deal with a regular trade publisher--he knows this is where real success will come from--and he's probably sitting near the penacle of POD small press success at the moment...but the pinnacle is far shy from what could be with books on the store shelves.

I know an author who, through great effort podcasting his novels, has been all the way to amazon bestseller status (no.7) on the release day. His slogan was let's show the establishment who's boss...but do you know what? He used that bestseller status to get a three book deal with CROWN PUBLISHERS over at Random House. He didn't thumb his nose at the big publisher--he took the deal and was happy to have it.

Dear unknown author: don't settle for obscurity. POD can be a stepping stone for some...probably very few...but don't settle. If you want to have a superbly warm and fuzzy feeling--then think about the fuzzy feeling you will have seeing your novel on the shelf at one of the bookstore chains.

Just two cents from one who is looking at both sides of the fence...taken for what it is worth.

James

benbradley
08-26-2007, 03:33 AM
fantasybookspot no longer reviews books for POD.

Would you mind saying who you POD publisher is?
Since he named it and said it was on Amazon (even PA books are listed in Amazon...), and Amazon lists the publisher, that info is easly found:
http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Soone-Heir-King/dp/0978655125

And that book looks like fiction to me.

lisanevin
08-26-2007, 07:58 AM
Since he named it and said it was on Amazon
True, but I was on my way out and this way I came back home and the information was available to me.
Thanks!

james1611
08-28-2007, 07:38 AM
I can't speak to current Fantasybookspot guidelines, but they did an interview and review of my book earlier this year. You can probably find it in the archives or under my name-- James Somers-- The Chronicles of Soone.

My publisher is not PA...The publisher is a small independent called Breakneck Books, owned by self published author Jeremy Robinson. He started his own publisher and has signed a number of authors including myself and another member of this board--Eric Fogle (Silverhand). We didn't pay anything to be published. It's not a subsidy, but it is without much in the way of marketing resources or capital to do so.

They hire out their editing and have switched at least once due to problems which happened to occur in the editing of my book and another title by Mr. Robinson himself. Reviewers gave the book very nice reviews, but they noted the grammatical errors which made it through.

It is true...anyone, PA, self published or otherwise can contract with Ingram to publish their book worldwide using Lightning Source as their printer. Beyond that it is up to the publisher what else they do with it.

I'm not a promoter of POD publishing. Anyone with any sense should go for a trade publisher contract through a literary agent. I'm currently trying to do this myself. I have to say though, that my book being published as it was, has given me the opportunity to contract with the agent I have now and to have my second Chronicles manuscript in the hands of editors at several large Christian Publishers. It was basically making the right contacts and the grace of God. I tried the straight to the agent way and received the customary bag of form rejections.

Is this the way to do it...I can't really say...I only know that you should do your best to get a contract with a publisher who has the resources to place your work in bookstores and market it. Anything less and you are likely to remain in obscurity. But we take the opportunities which present themselves and sometimes that comes about in strange ways. Scott Sigler, author of Ancestor and Earthcore, recently landed a three book deal with CROWN by podcasting his novels and then having them published with a small publisher called Dragon Moon. He mounted a campaign through his podcasting fanbase to go buy Ancestor on its release day at Amazon and he made it to no.7 (an Amazon bestseller!)...if you know anything about how that works: you will get attention from high places when that happens. This worked for him and blammo! Publishing contract once his foot was in the door. It can happen in strange ways. Use any opportunity you can, but don't settle for the obscure world of POD publishing. Stepping stone? Absolutely, if it works for you. But don't settle.

James

Dave.C.Robinson
08-28-2007, 02:31 PM
James would be better at answering than I, but Breakneck is more a traditional small press that uses POD technology than what we normally refer to as a POD publisher. Yes they use the technology, but their business plan is based on selling the book to readers not the author.

PA refers to PublishAmerica, a particularly odious POD author mill. PA advertises that they will publish your book for free, but doesn't mention that their entire business plan is based on selling books to the author rather than to readers. They're a large outfit as such things go and have a heavily censored message board for their authors. Check out the PublishAmerica sub-forum under Bewares and Background checks. Be afraid, be very afraid.

lisanevin
08-28-2007, 04:37 PM
PA refers to PublishAmerica,
I took a quick look at their website, I see what you mean. A good sign that a publisher might be questionable is if they have a website that works to sell itself to the author.

james1611
08-29-2007, 07:40 AM
James would be better at answering than I, but Breakneck is more a traditional small press that uses POD technology than what we normally refer to as a POD publisher. Yes they use the technology, but their business plan is based on selling the book to readers not the author.

PA refers to PublishAmerica, a particularly odious POD author mill. PA advertises that they will publish your book for free, but doesn't mention that their entire business plan is based on selling books to the author rather than to readers. They're a large outfit as such things go and have a heavily censored message board for their authors. Check out the PublishAmerica sub-forum under Bewares and Background checks. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Quite right, Dave...Breakneck falls into the traditional model...but as I said before: they have very limited resources and this is a big negative. They do not have a distributor and so books do not go into book stores. The main place they sell is Amazon.com period. I've sold around 700 copies to my knowledge between the u.s. site and overseas / canada sites. I sold about ten at a book signing in a new and used bookstore which allowed me to have a signing as a local author. Pathetic turnout and I spent three hours desiring to crawl under the little table. I'll not do another signing unless my books are already stocked in the store...Which means trade publisher with distribution and returns. The advice on this board is accurate: To reach the masses you must have a way to distribute your books. Some smaller pubs are hooked up with at least limited distribution and so their books appear in some stores. But to be found in the major chains on a regular basis you will almost certainly need a larger publisher. Shelf space costs money and they have it where the little guys don't.

Bookstore shelf space is prime real estate and the big guys have it locked in by putting up the money to get it. It is very difficult for the small publisher to compete in this way.

Even those authors who are using different methods to get their name and their books seen are doing so with the hope of eventually getting a major contract. Scott Sigler is a good example with his podcasting marketing. NOw he has a major deal with Crown. He went against the grain and it worked but his goal was the same: get a publishing contract with a major publisher. He told me personally that he managed to sell about 3,000 books in one day on amazon.com and reach no.7 to achieve bestseller status. His massive podcasting fanbase and his initiative accomplished that, but 3,000 copies is still small potatoes in the publishing business. What it does though is get you some much needed attention, but their goals were still to land that all important major publisher.

Now that I've got four novels complete, I'm going back through my first novel: COS: Heir to the king and I'm doing a complete revision in the hopes that my series is going to be picked up. I'm amazed the book ever made it out into the market. The difference in my current writing and that novel is astounding to me. It got good reviews from readers and reviewers, but I'm just not sure how they overlooked all of the mistakes I made and the editor left in.

James

smoore
08-24-2008, 07:13 AM
To Lloyd Brown and other naysayers, I'm going to summarize what I said in another thread: traditional publishers like Random House etc are doomed. So are brick and mortar bookstores. Who buys from them anyway? This is an internet world now (you're proving it by regurgitating the party line here on Absolute Write). POD fits right into this internet world.
And let me say that I would NOT accept the Random House contract now that I've learned a little about this business. By doing POD and marketing on the internet I am in control. No agents. An editor of my choice (up to now, me). Writing what I want. Complete control of my own marketing (which I'd have to do anyway with that Random House contract, unless I'm Stephen King). These are all good things.

veinglory
08-24-2008, 07:36 AM
Who buys books from Random House? I think it would be safe to say quite a lot of people do.

JJ Cooper
08-24-2008, 07:36 AM
To Lloyd Brown and other naysayers, I'm going to summarize what I said in another thread: traditional publishers like Random House etc are doomed. So are brick and mortar bookstores. Who buys from them anyway? This is an internet world now (you're proving it by regurgitating the party line here on Absolute Write). POD fits right into this internet world.
And let me say that I would NOT accept the Random House contract now that I've learned a little about this business. By doing POD and marketing on the internet I am in control. No agents. An editor of my choice (up to now, me). Writing what I want. Complete control of my own marketing (which I'd have to do anyway with that Random House contract, unless I'm Stephen King). These are all good things.

And here I am signing a two-book deal with Random House. Are you seriously suggesting I would have been better off by going POD?

JJ

Mac H.
08-24-2008, 08:17 AM
By doing POD and marketing on the internet I am in control.But wouldn't you prefer to have people who are expert at marketing to be in control of marketing?

As an experiment, I thought I'd try and read one of your books, to see about buying it.

I can't. I poked around, and couldn't find an excerpt that was easy to peruse.

The closest thing I could was a bizarrely formatted excerpt here (http://www.editred.com/index.php/Books/book_Full_Medical_412/Excerpt/154). (I know the odd characters are just an issue with importing a different data format.)

Just think ... someone who is LOOKING TO BUY a sci-fi techno-thriller is searching under your name and STILL CAN'T FIND an easy way to peruse your books to see what to buy. I know that if I spent more time looking and persistence I could find something. But, as you said, this is the Internet. I get distracted easily.

Look - I love Sci-Fi. I love techno-thrillers. I buy way too many books.
I am your target market.

So aren't I buying POD books? Look at the list of favourite authors listed in your profile. You've spent money on their books. How did you buy them?

However, I suspect that you are right, in a way. In a hundred years time (or fifty) publishing will have changed A LOT.

However, the only question which matters is which is the best option for publishing your book in the next five years.

The other question, is if your publisher (even yourself if self publishing) expects your book to sell thousands of copies, why on earth would your publisher print using digital POD printing? Offset printing is cheaper - the break even point is about a thousand copies.

If a publisher is printing a book digitally, they are saying to all the readers "We don't expect to sell more than a thousand copies of this book over the next year or so". Why should a reader buy a product when the publisher has such low expectations of it!?

Mac
(PS: You can't use warehousing costs as a reason - Two thousand copies of an offset printed book can fit under the bed in the spare room[Correction Below]. So warehousing costs only shift the break even point very slightly. Certainly it will still be under a couple of thousand copies)

(PPS: [Correction] Ken has pointed out my memory is faulty. Or I've got a very big bed. I suspect my memory.)

LloydBrown
08-24-2008, 09:39 AM
To Lloyd Brown and other naysayers, I'm going to summarize what I said in another thread: traditional publishers like Random House etc are doomed. So are brick and mortar bookstores. Who buys from them anyway?

It's strange RH's sales are near an all-time high and staying strong if they're so doomed. When will this "doom" come to pass? Of course, people said the same thing about the mail when the telephone came out. Then they said it again when the Internet got popular.


And let me say that I would NOT accept the Random House contract now that I've learned a little about this business. By doing POD and marketing on the internet I am in control.

I think the key phrase is "a little bit."

Let us know how that works out for you. You do know the minimum advance RH pays its authors is $7,000, right? Cite (http://nymag.com/news/features/2007/profit/32906/). Make sure you post here when you beat that minimum, and then again when you hit the $10,000,000 mark.

StephenJSweeney
08-24-2008, 02:42 PM
And let me say that I would NOT accept the Random House contract now that I've learned a little about this business. By doing POD and marketing on the internet I am in control. No agents. An editor of my choice (up to now, me). Writing what I want. Complete control of my own marketing (which I'd have to do anyway with that Random House contract, unless I'm Stephen King). These are all good things.

Ugh... what?

Are you saying that if a company with as much clout, credibility, money, marketing know-how, and experience as Random House were to offer to publish your book the world over, you'd say NO?!!

No offence, but WTF are you smoking??!

I'm doing the POD thing myself. I'm looking at a bill of $2,000 before I've even sold one copy, so I'm taking this thing very seriously indeed.

But dear God, if a traditional publisher offered me a reasonable contract I'd take it.

Put it this way - Random House are doing their biggest ever children's book print run (1.2m copies) for the 3rd Eragon novel, the first of which was self published, the family being in control.

Imagine if Christopher whats-his-name had turned around to RH's offer and said, "no thanks"... Are you saying you'd have done that??? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrright.

Sheryl Nantus
08-24-2008, 06:02 PM
I'm heading off right now to a brick-and-mortar bookstore to spend a delightful afternoon browsing the shelves.

I don't expect to find many POD books on the shelves... maybe my own, which I had to beg and plead with the store to carry - my "publisher" uses a POD model which means that I can list each and every store that has copies of my book on their shelves on one hand.

Meanwhile I'll have access to hundreds of books from authors from around the world that never had to call the bookstore and ask for their books to be carried. Books with professionally-designed covers, edited manuscripts and actual money placed into promoting it. Along with a decent price to boot.

:D

StephenJSweeney
08-24-2008, 07:51 PM
I'm heading off right now to a brick-and-mortar bookstore to spend a delightful afternoon browsing the shelves.

Let us know what you buy :)

ResearchGuy
08-24-2008, 11:03 PM
. . .(PS: You can't use warehousing costs as a reason - two thousand copies of an offset printed book can fit under the bed in the spare room. . . .
Silly goose. I've SEEN two thousand copies of an offset-printed book, and they filled most of the spare room (an ordinary size bedroom) in a house.

http://www.umbachconsulting.com/DandelionBoxes.jpg

They were delivered on large pallets. The photo shows most of them. The rest were in another room. (Does not really make any difference how they are printed, the books will take up the same space.)

Heck, even my last shipment of 300 copies of a trade paperback came in 15 boxes that are not going to fit under any bed I have ever seen.

--Ken

Mac H.
08-25-2008, 07:57 AM
Hmm ... I'll have to check.

I could have sworn that the boxes in my spare room last year had two thousand copies in them.

From memory there were 22 boxes of about the size in your photo.

I had to take two trips in my car to take them home, because I was worried they were too heavy for my hatchback ... but they didn't take up too much space. (Under the bed was already filled with junk, so they were stacked up next to the door instead.)

It may be my selective memory, however.

Mac

LloydBrown
08-25-2008, 08:08 AM
It could also be an entirely different sized book.

Mac H.
08-25-2008, 08:36 AM
It could also be an entirely different sized book.
I could regain my dignity by pretending that I was right all along but I was referring to a much smaller book ... or I could just admit that I have rose coloured glasses as to how much room they took up.

I think I was wrong. (Especially because I am absolutely sure that there were 22 boxes, and that the boxes were about the size in the photo)

Mac

ResearchGuy
08-25-2008, 06:20 PM
. . .
I think I was wrong. (Especially because I am absolutely sure that there were 22 boxes, and that the boxes were about the size in the photo)

Mac
Bless you, sir, for your openness to reconsideration.

The books in the photograph were 400+ pp. hardbacks that came in 133 boxes (16 copies to a case). But the space taken up in my own home and in bookstore back room by 300 copies of a 200+ pp. trade paperback (in 15 boxes with surprising amounts of air and padding in them, I grant you) suggest the volume those things can fill.

I was determined NOT to warehouse books . . . but the fact of the matter is, even with POD books, it is essential for credibility and to meet local needs (author appearances, bookstore consignments, and my own occasional direct sales), as well as to finesse cost per book, to order a first printing at least in the low hundreds. I might end up with booths at craft fairs and other events selling off the inventory at a discount from list, but by golly, the book is not only POD. Meanwhile, they take up a lot of space.

--Ken