POD and self publishing

Still working on pulling together my ideas on forthcoming plot events and wrapping my brain cells around who my characters are. However, I did spend a couple almost entire days on the new story this week, which put me ahead of the game on this part of process.

Last weekend, I went to one of those traveling lecturer seminars at Changing Hands bookstore. This one was a guy with a background in the publishing industry who was talking about alternatives to traditional publishing, specifically, self-publishing, which, as it turns out, is different than print-on-demand publishers. He was actually pretty down on POD, saying that bookstores in general see POD labels on books as a warning of sign of the book’s lack of quality and are therefore hesitant to stock them.

Changing Hands is one of those indies that’s willing to give self-published and POD books from local authors a go for a limited time, but of course, that all depends on your marketing strategy, getting people to seek out such a book, either before they get to the bookstore or while they’re standing there staring at a bunch of book spines on the shelf. If it sells, CH won’t yank it off their shelves in a month.

The lecturer also talked about self-publishing as a step to attracting the attention of agents and publishers (again, this only really works with good self-marketing strategies upfront). One of things he mentioned, though, was that publishers usually don’t want to deal with writers who don’t have a lot of future book ideas under their belt. They like to have writers under contract, producing. So I think I am on the right track with planning out my new story as a number of separate novels. I have yet to figure out exactly how, since at this point I am still getting to know my “story world”, but I know I am in the right ballpark with my plans.

12 thoughts on “POD and self publishing

  1. One of things he mentioned, though, was that publishers usually don’t want to deal with writers who don’t have a lot of future book ideas under their belt. They like to have writers under contract, producing.
    Guess I’m good to go then.
    Oddly enough I’ve heard the exact same criticism about self-publishing as I’ve heard about P.O.D. I’ve had a few friends try the latter…yeah other than your friends buying it…not so good

  2. What I have heard is that self-publishing and POD work if you are doing non-academic non-fiction that is too niche for a commercial publisher and you are a recognised expert in the field. Fiction, from what I gather, is still not much hope.

  3. yes that’s pretty much what I’ve heard. It works better for non-fiction. The only POD I’ve done was the nothing but red anthology and that had the built in market because it was for charity

  4. Well, I’m still considering self-publishing for my fiction, since it’s too lengthy for a first-time novel.

  5. The Commonwealth Club has 3 programs talking about self-publishing that were really interesting. They made it sound really positive. If you go to iTunes you can find all 3 episodes.

  6. More and more people are turning to it as an alternative to traditional publishing. I don’t think it has quite the reputation it used to.

  7. Before you deal with any self-publisher, be sure to check them out on Preditors and Editors. Stay away from anything remotely associated with Authors House. (Interesting side-note, that whole who do you write like that is going aroung is marketing by a rather unethical self-publisher, Thomas Nelson.)
    With the explosion of ebooks, self-publishing is becoming a more viable option.
    But it still has the same reputation for one simple reason, there is no quality control. It’s still hit or miss. Also, I highly recommend paying an editor to look over your MS if you do self-publish.

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