Marlow books (was Childhood favourites)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Mon Feb 17 15:09:12 EST 2003

Otter said...
> There are folks who do something sort of like this now, in the self-
> publishing biz.  You send them your book [it's cheaper if it's a computer
> document than if they have to type it], they set it up on the computer,
> they print a copy or two, get you and ISBN number and stuff, and then
> you
> do whatever you want about selling and promoting it [like getting it on
> Amazon or whatever].  Every time you need copies, you can get them
> cheaply,
> so you're not stuck with a minimum run of 5,000 or something.

It's called Print On Demand, or POD publishing.

> Or, at any rate, that's how I understand their ad.
> [This is not an endorsement.  But I have a friend who's not having luck
>  with getting a publisher, and my sister mentioned this.  So I'm going to
>  be passing it along to my friend.]

You should also emphasise to your friend that *all* this company will do
will be to print the book.  Your friend will have to do *all* the work of
trying to get bookshops to stock it, publicising it - not to mention simply
proof-reading/copy-editing it, which a POD publisher will also not do.

If your friend just wants to see a copy of his/her book in print, then POD
is a fine and dandy way of going about it.  But if he/she has ambitions of
bestsellerdom, he/she will find it hellishly difficult, if not downright
impossible, to get the book seen, reviewed or sold.

(I'm a member of an active on-line writers' workshop, and this question
comes up every so often on our mailing list.)

I suggest you also point your friend to the SFWA's website (
and its excellent "Writer Beware" section.  Not all POD publishers are quite
above-board, and "Writer Beware" has a lot of useful advice on how to spot a
scam-artist and which publishers and agents are *known* to be dodgy.

Not wishing to rain on your friend's parade or denigrate your desire to be
helpful, but I'd hate for anyone to get burned by some of the cowboys that
are out there.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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