De-Bunking the Myths of Author-Initiated Publishing

January 2002
by Mitchell Davis

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Authors who choose to utilize Print on Demand to make their books available to readers should not be labeled “vain” in the sense the slur is often used in the industry. Perhaps I am naive, but it seems that any effort to place a work into the public space involves some vanity. Writers seeking to be “traditionally published” obviously wish to be known for the work they’ve created. As David Byram-Wigfieldof Cappella Publishing says in a posted article on the Internet: “Vanity Publishing is a sniffy condescending term used by the publishing trade to describe those writers with enough faith in their own endeavors to finance an entire print run.”

Author-Initiated POD services have reduced the “financing of an entire print run” to as little as one copy. The removal of this economic barrier of entry has led to the rise of author-initiated service providers in the last two years. However, even with all the hype that POD and author-initiated publishing services have created, the entire industry has still published less than 1% of the manuscripts that are submitted to publishers in a single calendar year. This does not include out-of-print or out of stock indefinitely (OSI) titles and books that were submitted in years past.


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