Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What the? Wednesday

Ok, this week I am going to step up onto my soapbox a moment.


You might be wondering what I mean. If you write and have a book that is full length (print length) then you know I mean a print book. In my case, it's print on demand. It's really not a bad thing. In all actuality, it means the publisher only prints what the public demands. No run of 1000 if the sales are...say...19. It makes a lot of sense because there isn't a bunch of waste. And it shows how popular the book is.

Here's my issue: lots of places can't order POD books. Why? Because, in many cases, the stores don't want cases and cases of books leftover because they couldn't be sold. It's every author's nightmare. Ordering a ton of books only to look foolish when they won't sell.

And then there is the issue of people who want the books, but maybe don't want to shop online or can't reach the author. So, they go to the store. If it's a smaller press, which are great because they offer opportunities that mega presses don't have time to offer, then the book may or may not be available at the store. Translation: if it's not a big pub, then you won't see it at Walmart.

I've even seen some places shun authors who are POD authors. Why? Unless the product you are selling is really rough, there shouldn't be a restriction. It inhibits sales and makes it hard to branch out to your audience.

Am I causing trouble and rocking the boat? Probably. Will I feel the fall-out for my opinions? More than likely. But I felt the need to speak my mind. Seems like sometimes people think, and yes, I've heard this: Oh you're an author. You must make so much money and be so proud to see your book in ________.

I love being an author, but no, I didn't do it to make millions. You want honesty? If I add expenses, like promo and such, I'm just breaking even. I feel for those who dump their lives into a book and promotion only to never see a return, but I write because there are characters in my head demanding my attention. I write because I've had fans tell me they like my work and want to read more. I write because if I didn't, I'd probably still write for my own enjoyment.

Ok, I'm getting down now. Thank you for reading.


Debbie Alferio said...

I hear you, Wendi. What many of the retailers fail to realize is that POD is NOTHING more than a publishing method. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the quality of the author or her work. In fact, the publishing industry is starting to see an increase in POD simply for the facts you mentioned--they don't have to deal with thousands of books in print that may not sell, and they can meet consumer demands more quickly by being able to print as needed. The actual ability for any retailer to be able to order POD books has only to do with who they are distributed through, not whether or not they are POD. If a book is available through order with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, or Bowkers, then a retailer most likely can get it. Many just choose not to because of the stigma some put on anything that is not published in mass quantity--it may not be worth it. So unfair and so untrue! Another big thing is that any book a major retailer like Borders, B & N, etc. stocks is that it has to be returnable. To the best of my knowledge, all trad. publishers' books are returnable, and some self-pub. as well. An author would need to find this out before signing a contract. I have this service on my books for the very reason that I want them in stores. It's a tough road. I am in the same boat as you are, but we can still get out there and let people know we exist. Where there's a will, there's a way! Money isn't always what it's about. It's the love of the art that keeps us going. All the best! (and sorry this was so long! LOL)

Catherine Bybee said...

It's only a matter of time before all books are POD. Consider how the world will look in 50 years. Why haul textbooks around when you can have a zip drive?

My latest POD book just came out... And I'm damn happy for it!

Kaye Manro said...

Here, Here! Nice perception. I'm just glad you are breaking even! It's very tough out there and I'm with you on writing no matter if you are published or not.