Friday, October 13, 2006

ForeWord marching.

As if this blog hasn't convinced you that there are oodles of great reading in the sea of POD titles, then I . . . would . . .

What's so funny?

Okay, maybe not oodles. Let's say one oodle. There is one oodle of great reading in the sea of POD titles. Let me check Wiki real quick.

Yes, one oodle means 58. There are exactly 58 instances of great reading in the sea of POD titles. And I found them all.

But there may be more. I'm sure there are more. The real sign that much good writing has been overlooked by New York is the increase in POD published titles winning awards (and being finalists) in the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards. (All this chatter about Nobels and NBAs and such got me thinking). This is not some goofy award given out to just POD books (like, ahem, mine). The ForeWord Book Awards are handed out to independent publishers. Who does that include (besides iUniverse and the like)? Oxford University Press, McSweeneys, Rizzoli, Llewellyn, Other Press, Marlowe, Pelican Press, Howard, as well as a slew of university presses. My point? A lot of POD titles wiggled there way in considering they are battling full blown publishers for the same spots--and the PODers don't get the benefit of editing, cover design, and so on.

A few of my picks have shown up there as well, including Nicole Hunter's
WAITING FOR THE WORLD TO END, Carol Hoenig's WITHOUT GRACE, and Faye Freimuth's A MULTITUDE OF MERCIES. But this year (the 2005 awards) has a surprising number of self-published/POD books.

So what POD companies are producing the most (read: what POD companies did the majority of winners and finalists use to print their books)?

iUniverse: a stunning 19 (including seven medal winners)
Authorhouse: 10 (including two medal winners)
Xlibris: 3

Aventine: 2 (including one medal winner)
PublishAmerica: 2
Lulu: Hard to tell, because so many authors self-publish via Lulu using their own personalized "imprint" and whatnot. Though at least two instances are present.

So that's 36 titles out of 613 winners and finalists (not including any POD presses I didn't recognize)--or in other words, 6% of the titles. Now, as much as you might hate POD (we all have our moments), you have to admit: Where would all of these great books be without POD? Buried forever.

You can read the entire list of winners and finalists here.