If you don’t understand what that means, or if you think it refers to a pre-millennium science fiction flick… maybe the news won’t strike you as all that good.
Then again, if you’re reading Storyfix – which you are – it should.
If you’re a writer looking to get into print, or if you’ve already done a POD title, you should read to the end. Or just skip to it if you already know what POD is all about.
Because something new is on this horizon, and it’s huge.
“POD” stands for “Print On Demand.”
As in, self-published. Or as in, the chosen path of many new small publishers who understand that this is the most available and viable way to nose-into the business.
Instead of printing a box of books, only those that are needed – as in, ordered — are printed. Even if it’s only one copy. No more inventory, unless you want inventory.
Sell five, print five, deliver five. Genius.
POD is redefining the publishing business, and it has completely obliterated what used to be called fee-based vanity press publishing. Even if expectations and results-to-date are both modest… just as they’ve always been.
What was not all that long ago rarely even spoken of within the walls and halls of the established publishing community is now considered viable – a genuine threat to the status quo – and even, depending on whom you ask, the future of publishing.
These days anybody can publish a novel.
Or a how-to. Rich Dad Poor Dad began its life as a self-published title (though not a POD book, that was back when POD did mean something from a movie), so anything can happen.
Not just an ebook, or a Kindle/e-reader title… but a bona fide, leave-a-bookmark-where-you-left-off-and-recycle-when-you’re-done trade paperback.
One that looks good, smells good, seems as professional (in many instances) as the titles on the shelf at Borders, one with an actual ISBN on the spine, and becomes a product you can sell – and smell – from the back of your SUV to your heart’s content.
That’s how John Grisham got it going… it happens. And now, the chances of it – mainstream success via your launch as a self-published author – are even greater.
To paraphrase another 80s movie moment… we all love the smell of a good book in the morning. Especially when it’s our own name on the cover.
If you were hoping for “one that the bookstores will stock and sell for you” as part of that roster of benefits… sorry, it doesn’t quite go that far. While some POD titles do actually make it into bookstores, they are few and far between. And almost non-existent in the big retail chains.
Now – literally – anybody can get published. In fact, more than a few of the titles you see promoted at writing conferences and signings are, in fact, POD titles.
When someone says, “yeah, I just published a book,” you can’t really be sure what that means anymore. In the most cynical sense it’s kinda like buying a sheepskin from a diploma mill… nobody offers up this information voluntarily. They just walk around in the glow of a certain perception they hope will remain unquestioned.
Then again, getting into print is getting into print.
Just holding your own book in your own two hands can be a dream come true.
Just don’t expect a lot of other people to hold it in theirs.
And don’t kid yourself into thinking, “I’m there, this is it, my publishing dream just came true.” You and I know that’s not the case.
But… if you work hard enough and smart enough at marketing your POD title, you have a shot at leveraging it toward an old school publishing deal from a brand name house.
And that particular proposition just became more real.
The Golden Ring of POD
Truth is, getting a POD book widely reviewed is next to impossible. The local daily might run something, especially if you’re a familiar face on the writing scene around town. Or if someone there owes you a big favor.
But if you’ve been dreaming about getting your POD title reviewed in, say, Publishers Weekly – the most important place of all to get a book reviewed – well, you’ve been dreaming.
Prior to now, that didn’t really ever happen.
But that’s about to change.
That’s what’s new and huge and exciting for anyone with a POD strategy.
PW is now going to list, and review, POD titles.
Publishers Weekly is calling it “PW Select,” and while it doesn’t guarantee you a review – though it does open the door to one – it does guarantee the title of your book will appear in their pages.
Here’s what Publishers Weekly has to say about the phenomenon of self-publishing:
In recognition of the boom in self-publishing and as an acknowledgment that valuable works are being published outside traditional publishing, PW is giving self-published authors a chance to present their titles to the publishing trade. Call it what you will–self-published, DIY, POD, author-financed, micro-titles, or relationship publishing–the phenomenon is upending the publishing world.
Our readership — agents, booksellers, publishers, distributors, librarians, and media–constitute the ideal audience, always on the alert for new talent, worthwhile books, and marketable products, and the PW Select Announcements issue is poised to both take notice in the publication of such books and to select titles for review.
This is truly visionary stuff.
PW Select will appear as a quarterly supplement to the actual Publishers Weekly periodical. Authors can purchase – for $149 – a listing that will describe the book and, theoretically, be exposed to the industry players named above.
And… wait for it… it will also include ordering information.
But here’s the best part.
From those listings PW editors will select 25 of those listed titles and actually review them in the magazine.
Which means, this insider audience will have the benefit of a proven, credible Publishers Weekly review, one that applies the same standards (and the potential for that coveted star) applied to your favorite A-list authors. If your book scores a solid review, well…
… someone in the business might take notice.
Which is what you’ve been dreaming about all along.
This opportunity is perhaps the first viable POD strategy that doesn’t require 30 grand and a year of elbow grease and rejection to offer a shot at success.
Click HERE to read more about PW Select page from the Publishers Weekly website.
To learn more about getting published, please consider my ebook: “Get Your Bad Self-Published.”