When to Go POD

I got this email the other day:

Hi. I’ve been enjoying your blog. Can you give me an opinion here? I’ve written a book for a local businessman here in XYZ. He
wants to get 500-1000 copies published to give to customers, relatives, etc. I notice you say NEVER to pay anyone to publish your book. Does that apply
in a case like this, where we’re really not concerned with selling through
bookstores, publicity, etc.–just want the copies?

This is actually the perfect use of print-on-demand self-publishing.  While I think it’s a mistake to use POD to self-publish your novels, going to a company like iUniverse to print your annual reports, classroom materials, family memoirs and other non-fiction work in trade paperback form to give your students, relatives, employees, investors, etc. makes a lot of sense.  It’s also great if you’re a lecturer, motivational speaker, instructor, etc. who wants to sell your work at your seminars.

For instance, if my book SUCCESSFUL TELEVISION WRITING ever falls out of print, I could see making it available on iUniverse through their Author’s Guild/Back-In-Print program (so it would cost me nothing at all). Would I print out 1000 copies and try to sell it/distribute it myself to bookstores? Hell no.  But there’s  no financial downside for me in offering a new edition for anyone who wants to buy it — as I have done with my UNSOLD TELEVISION PILOTS book.


1 thought on “When to Go POD”

  1. Having done this both ways, while I agree in-part, I can’t help but wonder if POD is really the best option in the case of your reader. If one can decide on a total number of copies he or she needs it might be better to comparison shop between regular short run printers and POD companies.
    If one can’t or won’t decide on a total number of copies then POD might still be best.
    Also, one needs to understand that unlike five or six years ago, many local print shops now have the ability to do POD. Here in my hometown of Greensboro, NC., (population less than 300,000) there are no less than five local printers who do POD. You won’t find them advertising on the Internet but they are out there.
    Lastly, the vast majority of POD companies advertising on the Internet DO NOT own any printing presses of their own. Their entire business is electronic typesetting (creating .PDF files) and marketing to writers. They’re simply middle men so there’s little doubt a better deal could be had by going direct to the printer.
    Sadly, I learned these things the hard way.


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