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Publishing Choices For Writers – Self-Publishing Print on Demand (Part Three)

February 19, 2010

Print on Demand is an attractive and viable option for authors if they are willing to put up with the negative factors discussed in other articles in this series. However, prior to jumping in, an author needs to take some specific steps to find the best Print on Demand company for their needs.

Options include Print On Demand companies that do the printing and nothing else, providing no support for the author. Other POD companies may provide some publishing services, but may not have the quality control over what gets put out on the market. If that is true and there is no quality control, then an author who has a great book may get lumped into the stack with those authors who just want to see their name in print. This is a serious consideration for authors who are aiming for the New York Times bestseller list.

Newer, actual publishing companies, may now offer Print On Demand as an option for printing, thereby offering all publishing services to authors in addition to the POD option for printing. However, once again, an author needs to do their homework. Some publishing services which are “vanity” services may be more interested in getting money from the author than in helping an author put out a good product, even if they offer Print on Demand printing.

Assuming an author has their work already edited, a cover already selected and are happy with their manuscript, then just getting a few copies of their book printed will dictate going just with a POD printing company. However, assuming an author needs work on their manuscript and does not know how their book will sell, the key would be to find a publishing company which has built a reputation of caring about what is published and who offers Print on Demand as an printing option. Then an author can get the best of both worlds- publishing by a reputable company who will work with their book and yet not be saddled with books that never sell. But, no matter what, authors need to do thorough homework when investigating the quality of these companies.

It is important to understand that one option is not necessarily better than another, but is rather just that, an option. Each writer will have their own needs and any of the above choices may be a perfect fit depending on those needs. But taking the time to investigate the quality of a company, no matter which choice they make, will give assurance to a writer that their work will be the best it can be while satisfying whatever needs they have.

Print On Demand is just one option under the self-publishing umbrella. In other articles, I will discuss other options for authors to get their work out into the public.

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