Friday, May 06, 2005

The Never-ending POD Debate

I'm always surprised to see how many Brits are checking in on my blog. In fact, I got an interesting mention from Chris Mitchell over at Spike Magazine.

He says, in his article titled Book Publishing: Don't Give Up The Day Job, that "I think the whole 'POD books versus big publisher books' divide is a total waste of time. It's an increasingly false distinction - readers don't care who published a book, they care what's in it."


I did a little informal poll of some folks in my world (but not in the publishing industry) and asked them to name the three largest publishing companies they could think of. Here are the results from 27 people:

McGraw Hill - 12
Macmillan - 7
Harlequin - 7
Random House - 4
Dell - 2
Ace - 1
Que - 1

Aw, poor Knopf.

As you can see, the far majority could not come up with three. In fact, five came up with zero.

So, indeed, as has been noted many times, who publishes a book only matters to the author and other writers.

That said - there is a need to review good POD books and here is why:

(1) No one else will ever review them. Ever. And the Midwest Book Review does not count.
(2) 99.893% suck. Truly suck. And finding that gem inside is nearly impossible.
(3) They will never be seen in a bookstore or elsewhere (for now) and that makes the chance of discovering one on your own nil.

I am reviewing these books because it is fun. I suppose I am much like the literary agent who finds that perfect manuscript in a pile of muck.; what a rush it is. The biggest difference is I have much less to offer a potential masterpiece. Just my humble review.

And until something changes, here I am.


Bonus Round:

Thinking of going POD but have not done so yet? Do it through Zerox/Lulu and you could win $5,000--which is basically an advance from a small publisher.