Yes it is full of pitfalls, yes it can be expensive but bearing in mind how hard it is to get a traditional publisher to even look at a book let alone take the risk of publishing it, more and more authors are not even attempting the traditional route.
I can see a time when POD will be accepted by the consumer as a completley acceptable method of ordering books. Technology is sprinting forward and it is only a matter of time before the big sellers realise that they may be missing out potentially good novels by sticking with the traditional print houses.
Do you agree
POD is accepted now but it's not going to replace the traditional publishing house.
POD is great for niche markets and not for genre writing. Publishing houses have the clout to get authors noticed through international distribution to mass markets, something POD will never be able to replicate.
I agree with livewithrichard. I myself am going to traditional route even though it is the hard way I am going to write and find an agent who will then find the publisher. Most publishers these days won't look at a book unless you have an agent and yes it is hard but that is the way I'm going.
The big problem with POD is credibility.
I wouldn't order a book online, unless I'd had a personal recommendation from someone whose taste I trust. Authors who publish by POD have not had their work vetted by anyone. Even the Managing Director of Lulu.com concedes that most of the books they publish are absolute cr@p.
Authors (and I include myself here) are the worst judges of their own work. If most newbie writers put their "bestseller" away in a drawer for twelve months, they'd be horrified when they took it back out and re-read it.
Well, what you say is carp could really be a persons best attempt at writing a book. It isn't really likely, but anyone is entitled to do it here in the land of the free and taxed. If I could make money in an economy like this I would write a carpy book to sell online. The reason I don't is I don't want to create a bad name around myself, like most people wish to not do. If you think about it, a lot of pros write stuff way below par. The last time I read a book that helped me and didn't just encourage me to do what I feel was right would have been a text book. I found free guides like the ones written here on Hubpages are truly the BEST source for information. Sticking to the good hubbers, almost 8 out of 10 hubs read do have useful information that helps instead of just spams the net.
My reasons are purely subjective. I'm going the hard way myelf. Yes, the idea of a bunch of strangers evicerating my baby before it hits the bookshelves frightens me but I'd feel more credible that way.
Besides, there is nothing more I love more than curling up with a real paper book that takes me away.
I am with you Gemsong, it scares me to death to have others read and cut up my story but if that is what is to be done then so be it. I want my stories turned into books and sold at bookstores.
And you are so right darkside...the more scary part...promotion and publicity.
Printing is only one part of publishing. There's also the promotion and publicity.
I sort of agree with darkside, above, though only the topic was brought up and not examined. A writer needs very thick skin about criticism, and yes we often are not the best critics of our own work. Dealing with traditional agents and publishers means a lot of potential pounding, and sometimes the agents and publishers are wrong about what they want, and sometimes they comments can destroy the nugget of the thing created, but original hub was about POD.
PODs offer no hacking, at least in my experience. They will "publish" anything. They also offer little real support, publicity or help in circulation. The writer, professional or novice, is a writer, and seldom equiped to be a promotionalist. They usually lack the tools and sometimes the skills. You might as well put your work on a web site like this where it will actually be read.
Others may have had better experience with them. I feel, most POD works never sells more than the copies the author buys. If PODs, as they exist today, are the future of publishing, publishing will die. The other option, that is if PODs do not take greater interest in sales, would be a new industry of POD promoters. Some of these exist, but almost all require a fee. They would perform the promotion. Promoters who do not require fees will become as hard to attract as the original traditional publisher.
At least, with one POD under my belt and zero royalities, those are my thoughts.
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