Sunday, February 12, 2006

POD revisited

If you're looking for info on buying my latest book, check out my website and click on the Events button for upcoming booksignings and a link to my publisher's website.

I've been doing a bit of research and I ran across a simply wonderful blog. It's by an anonymous published author who is on a quest to find the very best print on demand (that's POD) books. Since there are many, many such books being printed, and lots of them are really bad, this person has some work ahead. Unfortunately, the low costs associated with producing these books means that almost anyone can get into print, and quite a few of them don't deserve to be there. But there is some buried treasure, and this site has 50 books with detailed reviews to explain why they're great books.

In the opening entry, Pod-dy Mouth explains that the five big New York publishers aren't interested in books which sell in smaller numbers. So what's an author to do if a really good book is rejected by larger publishers or the agents who can get it there? Throw it in the trash? The alternatives fall into three vague categories. First, try a small (maybe really small) publisher. This can take years and years, b/c most of publishers take a few months to respond to a manuscript, and if it isn't accepted, then it has to move on to the next one. Second, try an e-publisher—and some of these also offer paperbacks, so they sort of blend into the first category. Or, third, cut out the middle guy and do POD. More and more folks are tiring of the shop it around for a few years approach and accepting the trade-offs associated with being "self-published."

When I decided to use Booklocker to publish The Gift Horse, it was a little like having a baby and abandoning it on the steps of a church in a basket. I felt that I sentenced it to the stigma of POD and low sales. However, the doggone thing continues to sell after two years in print, and some of the mass market paperbacks from two years ago are selling for .o1 at the used booksellers who list their wares on Amazon. So, as I concluded in my previous post on this topic, I can't say the decision was all bad.

My second novel, Trinity on Tylos, is published by an eBook publisher, but they do offer the paperback option to authors who are willing to pay a small set up fee. I gladly wrote that check in order to have books to sell locally. Since my first novel sold two eBook copies—and one of those was to me!— I'll be curious to see my sales figures. WCP does list their books with Fictionwise, and I've heard that greatly increases sales of eBooks.

Time will tell. In the meantime, do check out the Pod-dy Mouth blog. I've spent some time there this weekend, and I will be returning, because there are reviews, interviews, and the blog entries as well. It's lots of fun for struggling authors and readers looking for something different.

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At Feb 18, 2006, 6:39:00 PM, Blogger Michele said...

Gee, first ipods, now POD's.

Sounds "Body Snatcher-ish"

Aside from that, thank you for introducing me to an option or avenue I have never heard of until now.
I love learning new things.

Another author's site was talking about the restrictions and rules that publishing houses have. Most are good to follow and make sense, but the strict adherence to these rules seems to discourage deviations. Those that do are not only not published, but ignored (it's not saleable).
That seems a shame.
I'm reminded of when MTV first came on the scene. Anyone who could afford to, and it was reasonable at the time, could put together a video. The results were a wonderful wave of new sounds, styles and unheard of talent. As it evolved, it became jaded, expensive, and now, unless you are one of the BIG guys, are no longer able to have the benefit of exposure. Once again, the "rules" of music are being followed and the ones making and enforcing are the monied few.
Same for authors.
I have a hunch that ebooks/epublishers and , now this POD you've mentioned, are presenting hopeful writers an outlet much as the early days of MTV with music.
How exciting!

At Feb 19, 2006, 4:58:00 AM, Blogger Pamela J. Dodd said...

Hello again,

I'm glad you stopped by, Michele.

Yes, publishing via POD was interesting, and seemed to work at the time. Sometimes the wait to find another publisher seems impossible.

I've met another author who did the same thing, and we've talked about the irony of being a "local celebrity" but not being able to go beyond that.

I had not thought about the MTV angle, however. I'm thinking that podcasting or may be closer to a modern version of that phenomenon.

You are right, though, that eBook publishers will probably grow up and it will be just as difficult to publish with one of them as it is to get a contract with a traditional house nowadays. My writing tends to be just far enough outside the usual genres to get rejected, so I am glad there are avenues to get into print and reach readers.

The POD-dy mouth blog is a real treat for anyone who has been through the experience of trying to look good in a sea of really bad books!


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