As a new self published author, I have obviously learned much in my short time, and one of the things that I have encountered a few misunderstandings with is the term “POD” or as we all know, or you will shortly, “Print on demand.”
I actually think that as someone who is passionate about recycling and trying not waste anything, that POD is perfect for the job of book production. I am not alone in this view, as it is actually a very cost effective tool for the production of books to the market. If I am honest, I think it would be right to say that there are many discarded books in this world that have come as a result of over production from very optimistic publishers attempts to create a large selling book. A mountain of paper must have been used in the past to create books, which lets say, did not quite live up to the mark and for one reason or another did not sell and ended up stored in a warehouse.
Business is at its core a supply and demand thing, so it makes perfect sense to provide a book printing service that is catered to that very point. You order the books of your choice, they are printed and posted straight out to you. Its good sense right? Considering the current financial climate it makes even greater sense, as it actually is a way of cutting down on the cost and maximising the profit.
So why is it when I walk into a bookshop, and begin to make my sales pitch to the shop owner on my own POD produced book, that as soon as the words are spoken, they frown and give me a look that would suggest they have tasted something foul? It makes no sense at all, here I am a new author with a great book (Not my words, but those who have read it) using modern technology to produce it in a way that is good for business and good for the Earth, and they then begin to treat me like I am infected with some sort of virus, I have witnessed my own book (You know the labour of love and devotion) actually dropped on the till as if the devil himself was about to flow out from under the cover and attack them. I think at this point I should raise my hands and state clearly for the record, I have no wish to offend, or create a stampede but, What the hell is wrong with you people?
New writer or not, I trawl the web as I attempt to self promote my book, which does involve reading huge amounts of stuff, a lot are articles from the writers and publishers world. I seem to read a lot of whining and bitching about how unfair the trade is and how it is hard for independent bookshops to survive. No offence but drop the snobbery. I love bookshops, like every author on earth, we love them with a passion, the smell, the feel, the personal service, its manner from heaven to all of us, But HEY, get with the plot. POD is not only the chosen process of many self publishing firms, its also now becoming the focus of quite a few larger publishing firms, Read your Bookseller. I would also like to add that it is also the future. Paper backs are being squeezed by the threat of digital books, and lets face it, if you owned a large publishing firm, wouldn’t you want to deliver the best book at the best price and actually make a profit from it. I realise I am new to this game, but hey I am not stupid, I have run my own plants business for years, and if I could have grown plants on demand I think I would be a hell of lot richer now.
Print on demand will become the future of the book trade, there are very few exceptions that would allow mass forward printing (Greetings Mr Brown) I would like to add that such was my concern I did contact my publisher as I was told by one bookshop, “Dont like em, they are difficult to return.” He informed “Its not a problem, every book we produce is returnable.” Phew I wiped the sweat from my brow, then I thought to myself, hang on, don’t return them, sell em. Its not positive thinking is it? I cringe at the picture of the shop assistant who half heatedly attempts to sell my book, whilst filled with the dread of knowing it might not go back if they don’t.
So my message to you all is simple, get modern and get environmental, and get with it. Let us gather in groups in the corners of our local bookshops and worship at the altar of POD. its the future and as a huge reading nation we should embrace it, actually you won’t have much of a choice, as like everything in this world the big companies will dictate the future, and a book produced cost effectively with a good chance at clear profit will always lead. technology improves weekly and POD books are getting better and better, if you doubt this buy mine and have a good look at it, its simple beautiful, and not a bad read either.