Book Trailer The Noble Train

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Problem with Print on Demand for Authors

Publishers love print on demand. They can hedge their bets now. Sure we will buy your book does not have the same import any more as the print runs really don't exist. So lets talk about this. Traditional publishing goes this way:  Good advance. Good print run. Books in the stores. That is traditional publishing. But technology morphed and suddenly a publisher no longer had to make a stand on a book. Doing a print run requires the publisher to say I think I will sell x amount of books and it lets the author know that books will be there for the stores, events, signings, whatever the author does he can rest assured the book will be behind him.

Now lets talk POD. Small advance. The publisher will print maybe a hundred books. Maybe 50. The technology is such that if there is a demand then a book will be printed. But there is a lag. So the author notices there are no books in the stores. Then you notice that the publisher is showing no books in stock. Now you have another event and the printer cannot get the books to the press because there are lots of presses using this technology and they have books in cue. So the author shows up a at his signing with no books.

The author does not do well with POD technology. The publisher cannot react to a surge because the printer has other jobs ahead. Worse there will be no surge because books are not out in the marketplace pinging around. Now you are over nighting books talking to harassed book sellers and publishers. It becomes publishing lite. The assumption the book will be there is gone. Books create energy. But if the books is not there then there is a vacuum. So the question is where do authors sell their books?

The truth is for the author the traditional is still better. It is the publishers job to produce the book and the authors job to sell the book. Both must do their jobs for a book to be profitable.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Books by William Hazelgrove