Pseudo Self-Publishing: The Unvarnished Truth about POD Companies

October 2006
by Peter Bowerman

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Pseudo Self-Publishing: The Unvarnished Truth about POD Companies

by Peter Bowerman

In a recent year, Xlibris —number three among firms that have appropriated the term POD (print on demand) to describe their services —reported publishing more than 7,000 titles and selling more than 300,000 copies. I remember a much-heralded celebration they had that same year after paying out their one-millionth dollar in royalties. Let’s see . . . $1 million over 7,000 titles comes out to an average royalty of $149 each (and I’m being generous here by counting that $1 million as payment for just one year’s sales rather than for cumulated sales). I promise you, they charged every author far more than that to “publish” their books. (For a real-world definition of publishing, see “What Is a Publisher?” on page 9.)

How do you separate the POD truth from the hype? As I see it, publishing with the big three—Author House, iUniverse, and Xlibris – or another POD firm is great for writers whose goals are getting a book into print, being able to say “I’m an author,” and having their books available for friends and family.

But if you’re interested in publishing to make profits, don’t count on the POD companies to get you there. POD can be great for publishers with older titles that are now selling a trickle…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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