Show me the mahoney! (for my Irish friends)
(1) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 43,477 6
(2) INFERTILITY SUCKS: 56,991 6
(3) COOKIN' FOR LOVE: 59,252 6
(4) WAITING FOR THE WORLD TO END: 77,902 5
(5) ALWAYS FAITHFUL: 107,663 5
What makes a publisher a real publisher? Placement of books in a bookstore? Production of objects made up of 60# paper and a cool cover? Having at least one person read one of its books (you know, like the if a tree falls in the woods thing)?
What does the RWA (Romance Writers of America) say makes a publisher a real publisher? Well, that's much easier.
"7.2.1. To be an "RWA-Recognized Publisher," a publisher must be a royalty-paying publishing house that (1) is not a subsidy or vanity publisher contracts to RWA members, (2) has been releasing books on a regular basis via national distribution for a minimum of one year, and (3) has sold a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format, including print on demand, of a single romance novel or novella or collection of novellas in book form, in bona fide arms-length transactions, and continues to sell a minimum of 1,500 hardcover or trade paperback copies or 5,000 copies in any other format of a subsequent romance novel each year."
Looks like any new or small publisher is out of luck with the RWA. And so would they be with the SFWA (who demands a minimum advance of $5000--which would eliminate at least half of all university presses.)
Whatever happened to a good book being a good book? The semantics are confusing/annoying. (RWA listed in a recent email announcement that they are dropping seven or so publishers because they do not (or no longer) meet the guidelines as stated.)
This is what has become of publishing. It's not how good--it's how many or how much.
In case any of you folks do not check out Robert Gray's blog, please do so now (!) and check his entries for August 8th and 11th. One is titled: E-books and POD: Evolution or Intelligent Design?
Pay attention; this man knows what he is talking about.
He says: "Just for the record, folks, I do not think POD or e-books are good or bad; I think they are evolving and we don't know what the final "thing" will look like yet. I'm just not sure that this thing will look anything like Xlibris. There's no need to be defensive about POD at this stage. It has strengths. It has flaws. If it works for you, ride it like the wind."
The bottom line is that POD will have an impact (the technology, not the companies--or, who knows, maybe both) on publishing. The death of returns is too appealing for everyone (except the bookstores) and it is not only essential, it is expected.