Trying to pick a POD Publisher...HELP!

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Trying to pick a POD Publisher...HELP!

Postby darrell_Carrington » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:07 pm

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here so be gentle. I’m trying to decide on a Print-On-Demand publisher but I’m frustrated in trying to decide which to choose. I know, I know, I shouldn’t do it but I am tired of trying to break that glass ceiling of traditional publishing and I just want to get my book out there. I’ve done tons of research on print-on-demand and I know what I want and what I don’t want. That’s the problem. Each seems to have their good points and bad points and I can’t decide which is the least evil. Believe me, I am well aware of the challenges POD authors face and I’ve accepted it. In a way, I think POD has become the new midlist. I’m not going to get rich, but I just want to get my name out there and who knows? Maybe someone will notice.

I’ve visited Lulu and while their inexpensive; they don’t do much for you. Everything pretty much falls on you. Llumina Press, Trafford, and IUniverse are ridiculously priced for the royalty I’ll get back. Virtual Book Worm seems to be pretty decent but they charge extra for all the stuff I would want (i.e. to accept returns, ISBN, Barcodes, LCCN, etc.). I never considered Authorhouse because of all the bad rep it’s gotten on WritersBeware and AbsoluteWrite. None of them seemed to fulfill what I wanted.

Then I found this POD on Google, Luna Brillante Publishing. They seem to be subsidy but they give you a ton of features that other subsidies charge extra for. I like that they are not all over the map in regards to the type of books they publish (they only do Spec Fic). Plus, they claim they screen manuscripts, offer ARCs to PW and Library Journal, have award winning graphic artists doing covers, plus pay more royalty than the others. Sounds great right? Well, they appear to only have two titles in print and it looks like they’re just starting out. I know these POD’s come and go so I’m a little leery of giving my money to a new startup.

Has anyone ever had any dealings or heard of this company?

I think, for me, it’s between Virtual BookWorm and Luna Brillante. VBW has the track record; LBP gives you more for less. How to choose?

Should their be others I consider?


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Postby hegemon » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:26 am

Forget about Publish on Demand and self-publish instead. Carefully prepare your manuscript as camera ready copy, take it down to a copy center, and have them print it and perfect bind it. Perfect bind (glue holds the cover on) is essential, so keep searching until you find a place that does perfect binding. Spiral or punched binding is absolutely unacceptable. Also, the book must be a standard size -- either standard paperback or trade paperback. Be sure the price is on the cover. If it is science fiction, be sure the words "science fiction" are on the cover. The price should be the same, and in the same format, as paperbacks the same size at your local bookstore. The more the book looks like other books, the better. Good cover art is great if you can get it. Bad cover art is worse than just an all text cover. If you know a writer or two willing to supply a back cover quote, that might help -- but not much. You will also want the free listing in Books in Print. And Books in Print will sell you a scannable price code you can put on the back cover. You should also list it with Baker and Taylor, and Library of Congrees Cateloging in Publication doesn't hurt. Send copies, clearly marked Prepublication Review Copy, everywhere you can think of, with a cover letter listing the "official release date" at least two months after the date you send the review copies. Send a review copy to sfsite and Locus. It probably won't get reviewed but you enver can tell. If you can't think of anywhere to send the book, try Book Review Digest.

The odds are still against you, but at least you aren't paying someone else to do what you can do better yourself.
This is the race that will rule the sevagram!
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Postby sfxfantasy » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:51 am

I used both Lulu and cafepress.

Lulu allows you to price your books more affordably and has a global distribution that puts your book in Ingram, and allows your book to appear in Amazon, Barnes and Noble and various major online stores worldwide

Cafepress has a much higher cost price than Lulu but has an affiliate program that lets you promote your book through affiliate sites.
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Postby hegemon » Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:11 am

As I mentioned above, you don't need a publisher to list your book on amazon and in books in print -- you can do it yourself. All you need is an ISBN, which is easy to get, and a listing with Baker & Taylor, also easy. Both can be done on line. I have several books (under a pseudonym) listed on amazon now.
This is the race that will rule the sevagram!
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The problem with POD

Postby Bill Ectric » Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:58 am

Hi, I'm new here.

I published a book thru iUniverse, POD. It is inexpensive, but the problem is in the royalties. I get 20% for each book sold. That would be fine except, the publishers does nothing to publicize the book. If you crunch the numbers, any ad that I purchase is not going to generate enough sales to break even. Or so it seems, anyway. iUniverse offers marketing packages but they cost extra.

My goal is not to get rich selling books, anyway. The truth is, I think it would be fun to write several books over the next 10 years, the sale of which could suppliment my retirement income someday.
Bill Ectric
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Postby epicfantasy7 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:58 pm

I think that getting recognition as an author is a difficult thing to do. Good to see you are taking the long road by thinking ten years ahead. It probably doesn't matter too much how you publish but it is important that you publish so keep after it!

Over the course of several years you will build a nice portfolio and that will be a great way to get publishers/agents/editors and other types of "gatekeepers" to support you.

Otherwise have fun and keep writing!
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bad news

Postby admin » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:21 am

I am sorry to have to say this, but most "gatekeepers" look down on authors who publish through a "vanity press". About once a century, an author will make a success via that route -- I think L. Frank Baum is an example. But from what I've read, you want to begin by selling to the paying markets -- Analog, Asimovs, F&SF. Even minor paying markets down in the 1/2 cent a word range count for more than POD.
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