Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ramblings of a Relatively Unknown Author

Hi. I'm author of four books to date: Chasing Horses (2001), Wayne's Dead (2002), Chasing Demons (2003) and The Bodyguard (2004). You can easily call me a POD (print/publish on demand) author, since all four books have been published in this format. Although I hope eventually to be published by a traditional (i.e., major New York publishing house) publisher, so far, this method has worked for me. Chasing Demons will be internationally published in Japan this year by Futami Shobo Publishers, and Wayne's Dead is published in South Korea by Yacom Publishing. My publisher recently emailed they had been contacted by a producer, inquiring about the movie rights for Wayne's Dead. Another producer has indicated an interest in Chasing Demons. But so far, that's all that's been accomplished: interest shown. All my books have been chosen by book clubs across America to read, and I'm slowly building a fan base.

To POD or not to POD ... There are pros and cons.

Pros: The author retains artistic control (which can also be a con); the author retains all subsidiary rights, meaning they pocket any money to be made from foreign sales or sales of movie rights and don't have to split it with a publisher; with some POD publishers, the royalty rates are much higher; the publishing process is much shorter (i.e., at iUniverse, as short as 30 days); the author has final say-so over the cover art.

Cons: In most cases, little or no editing is done, which can be harmful to an author; there is no to very little advance; most have a no-return policy, thus, it's very hard to get your books stocked by brick-and-mortar bookstores (then again, I've read that only 1% of published books are actually placed in bookstores - I'm not sure if this is true or not); elitist authors look upon POD authors as substandard or have the mistaken impression the author has gone this route because he/she could not get published any other way.

In both cases, unless you are a national bestselling author, little or no promotion is done for the author. But with POD publishing, it doesn't matter what the status of the author is, the promotion is not there.

It is my belief that each author makes the decision to publish in whatever format they choose for their own personal reasons. Each should choose the method that they feel will work best for them.

As a reviewer, I review books written by POD authors, self-published authors, and bestselling authors. There is a tremendous pool of talent in America, reflected across all avenues of publishing. It is my hope that the American public will realize this, as I see POD as a way of the future.


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