Print on Demand (POD)

PODSeveral writers are questioning the value of Print on Demand publishing companies, myself included.

Think about what they offer:

  • They will print your book and maybe help you with some of the details (like ISBN)
  • They will put it up for sale on the Internet and they will release an Ebook to the Internet
  • They all promise marketing.

For all this they charge an upfront fee or put the fee in the price of the books.

Why can’t we authors do all this ourselves? Maybe we need help to format the book properly. Few of us are experts at Adobe Pagemaker. (Amazons’ POD company, Create Space, doesn’t even bother to format its books.) We can get the book printed by a quality printer. And then we can put the book on the Internet. People are welcome to buy a printed copy from the author, if they prefer that it yourself

So why do we need POD companies? At the heart of their service, is a supposition that we authors can’t do it ourselves. Nonsense. Most authors is North America are well versed in social media and in how to get a book out there. Granted that we won’t be in every book store unless our name is John Grisham, but it’s a start. Some authors have been picked up by big publishers AFTER they release the book themselves.

Ten years ago I thought POD was a great idea. I hired the POD company, Trafford, to do my first three books. They originated in our area, but have since been sold to another  company. Now I am fighting them to get the three books back, even though their contract says either party may get out of the contract with a thirty days notice.

What have they done for me over the years? Very little. No advertising, no sending notices to distributors that such and such a book existed.

We don’t need POD companies.  What’s your opinion?

Images courtesy of:


2 responses to “Print on Demand (POD)

    • I’ve seen some of the work from Create Space, and I’m not impressed. They don’t bother justifying the right side (all even) and the book looks cheap. The advantage is that they are tied up with Amazon, so it’s not the worse thing in the world for your book.

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