My First Romance Published POD!!!

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deedee1
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RE: My First Romance Published POD!!!

Postby deedee1 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:25 am

Jennifer, congratulations on publishing your book! I looked into going the POD route, too. But in the end, I decided to use a local publisher by the name of Brown Books Publishing Group (Dallas).

For those of you who might be "on the fence" about POD publishing, I'll share why I decided to spend more money (on the front end) and go with a different kind of publisher. The POD process works just fine for certain types of books. It's a matter of what your goals are, really. If your work doesn't require a great deal of editing (or you have a good book editor for a friend or under separate contract) and if you design your own cover art (or have a professional design it for you) and if you don't plan to print more than 1,000 books in your first printing -- then POD publishing might be your perfect choice.

When I researched the various POD companies' programs, I quickly calculated that I would be paying about $6 per paperback book for every book exceeding the minimum number provided in their base fees (typically 10 or so). However, I wouldn't have to pay for these books until I needed them. So I could dole out the funds as sales came in. That is a plus. But what happens if I sell out of my 1,000 print run and go back to press for another run (every author's dream)? The books still wind up costing me about $5-6 each.

Now, when I compared this to my bid from Brown Books, here's what I found. Brown would provide me with several rounds of editing and proofing (by professionals) as part of their fee. They would design my cover art (and be willing to tweak it until I was 100% pleased with it). This publisher would also provide fulfillment services (for an additional small fee) and link me with Ingram.

I wanted a 5,000 first print run (admittedly ambitious). If I purchased 5,000 books via POD, my cost would run about $30,000 (5,000 X 6)! I was able to purchase 5,000 books from Brown for CONSIDERABLY less than this. And if my first printing sells out (it could happen), Brown only charges me the printing fee for the second print run (about $2/book). The hitch here is that ALL of the money had to be paid up front. And I will have to store 5,000 books on my own -- or use Brown's fulfillment services (which is what I plan to do).

To see the quality of book cover Brown Books produced for me, you may click on this link: http://dianaestill.com/images/DrivingCover.pdf

Weigh your goals, objectives, and finances carefully before making any decision about self-publishing. There are many factors to consider.
Like the title of my book suggests, sometimes you have to take a different approach to reach your desired destination. POD offers that path for some. There's really no right or wrong way.


Diana
http://DianaEstill.com

jshashaty
 

RE: My First Romance Published POD!!!

Postby jshashaty » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:18 am

Hey deedee,

I looked at Vanity Press... it was a very tough decision.... my production is also projected higher than 1,000... that was not the factor... and my cost is not what your analysis suggests. I guess it depends on the snapshot of the industry which has changed alot, even in the last few months.

I looked at a book called 'The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing' by Tom and Marilyn Ross, the cofounders of SPAN. http://www.spannet.org/ . The book is a publication of Writers DigestThey warned me off of Vanity Press for a number of reasons, primarily because of its failure rate of 95% according to 60Minutes doing a recent investigation. (They define Vanity or Subsidiary PUblishing as publishing where you pay for the initial run of several thousand books, as opposed to Print On Demand where the orders lead to print). They do give a variety of recommendations for anyone considering that route, including cost analysis, contract analysis and more. They do warn "let the buyer beware" p. 49 in the chapter on Vanity Press because there is a great deal of considerations to that route. They suggest it as a consideration for "Biographies, political stories, technical works, and business or industrial histories."

Honestly I came down to 2 options, POD (which also has a low success rate, in the 20% range) or becoming my own publisher through a number of resources they recommended. I highly recommend Publisher's Marketplace... they have a great deal of information on the business which has changed. http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/ . Also Lightning Source was very helpful regarding running my own publishing company... https://www.lightningsource.com/index.htm

It was, and still is a tough call. I chose iUniverse because they were hands on... and in the last few months have really upped their distribution channels and their cost analysis. They are also still 'there' for me, which I like having someone I can call. They too offered the services you mentioned (professional cover design, professional editors, marketing, and so forth)... so I guess it is a matter of choosing the service for you... and weighing all options because POD is not what it was even a year ago. The change in technology and internet have made quite a bit of difference.

deedee1
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Posts: 176
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RE: My First Romance Published POD!!!

Postby deedee1 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:29 am

"I looked at a book called 'The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing' by Tom and Marilyn Ross, the cofounders of SPAN. http://www.spannet.org/ . The book is a publication of Writers DigestThey warned me off of Vanity Press for a number of reasons, primarily because of its failure rate of 95% according to 60Minutes doing a recent investigation. (They define Vanity or Subsidiary PUblishing as publishing where you pay for the initial run of several thousand books, as opposed to Print On Demand where the orders lead to print)."

Yes, I have a copy of "The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing," and it is a fantastic text. I agree with what you said about vanity publishers. My publisher does not fit this category. I own my copyright and my books. That's an important consideration. I'm also under no contract and am free to publish elsewhere, should I decide to do so in the future. Costs are a factor of page length, cover design, etc. So, yes, it does vary from book to book. You made some good points, here.

I am not advocating any particular publishing route. I think you can meet with success or failure whether you use the traditional houses, self-publish, choose POD or other kinds of publishers. The only point I wanted to make was this; the path that works for one author might not work for the next.

I wish you luck with you romance novel and look forward to reading about your successes.

Diana
http://www.DianaEstill.com

jshashaty
 

RE: My First Romance Published POD!!!

Postby jshashaty » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:50 am

Thank you Diane for the good wishes...

I wish you the same - I read the exerpt on your site... very interesting!

Jen

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