Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The most self-serving POD release of our time.

Thanks to a faithful follower of this blog, I was tipped off to perhaps the most egregious and embarrassing POD release in the history of Lightning Source.

You've got to see it to believe it.

I called my POD sisters and when I told them about this book, we became hysterical. Some of our favorite highlights:

"The book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at PublishAmerica" to which we respond: Well, Simon & Schuster sure ain't gonna offer it!

"It is illustrated with photos of our office and staff" to which we respond: Wait, you mean actual photos of the PublishAmerica brain trust? That's reason alone to buy it.

"It shares numerous anecdotes about, and quotes from, many PublishAmerica authors" to which we respond: Wait, does that include Carl Hiaasen?

"PublishAmerica leveled the playing field for book writers almost overnight" to which we respond: No you didn't--you took the original 100 yards and added a couple thousand miles. Thanks for nothing.

"It describes how the book publishing business will never be the same" to which we respond: Of course it won't--you've screwed it up enough already. Please stop.

"How much of a help is a bookstore anyway these days?" to which we answer: Tons. We have bought (collectively) 17 titles in the last three months that were hand-sold to us by respected and knowledgeable folks at varying bookstores. I can't begin to enumerate how many fantastic books I've read that would never had made it into my living room were it not for the "help of a [salesperson from a] bookstore."

"Book front covers get [a shopper's] attention for eight seconds" to which we respond: True, except PublishAmerica book covers have raised the bar with a record-breaking 0.25 seconds. How obvious it is you guys feel this way. We here at POD-dy Mouth imagine you take 0.25 seconds designing the covers, too.

And greatest of all . . . "Authors who have always been refused and denied the opportunity to see their book in print unless they paid for it now have an equal opportunity to be in the exact same league as the elite, and they will, by their sheer number, bring an end to the elite's existence" to which we respond: *short of breath from laughter* Uh, not a chance. Diluting the market only further hurts POD authors. The elite will always be the elite, and if there is any value to POD (other than backlist functionality) it is to help an author gain sales in an effort to joining the elite. To that we say: you want to get published for free? Then do it right with Lulu or CafePress.

But how cool is it that the book has an introduction from Larry Clopper. Who is Larry Clopper? Why, he is the PublishAmerica Company President! That must have been a tough foreword to get.

I can't believe that Random House didn't scoop this book up for six figures. Everyone has been waiting for the inside PublishAmerica story. It is sure to be a bestseller!

Actually, if they can get their 12,000 authors to buy one copy each . . .

I was never sure of the angst most folks have for PublishAmerica, though I am starting to get the gist. They want people to buy a book for $25 (on sale for $9.95!) that is nothing more than a sales brochure for the company.

On days like today I have to admit: maybe POD should just die a painful death; it might be doing more harm than good.

Comments, please--I beg you.