Print-On-Demand Publishing - A Definition and a Comparison

Written by Michael LaRocca

Continued from page 1

Many of us don't have such mass appeal. Possibly you'rerepparttar sort of writer who knows exactly where you stand in that respect. But many don't, and they're floodingrepparttar 108397 POD market with stuff that most readers just plain don't want. Add to thatrepparttar 108398 badly edited stuff, andrepparttar 108399 credibility problem with POD is understandable.

Ideally, what you want is for your e-publisher to simultaneously release your book in both formats without charging a POD setup fee. That way, you can direct all your promotional efforts to that single URL. However, these e-publishers have a real problem with backlog now, so if you want to travelrepparttar 108400 road I did, you'll need much more patience than I did.

Taking advantage of a free POD option with your e-book will also help your promotional efforts. Many reviewers just plain won't touch an e-book. If you've donerepparttar 108401 POD bit, in addition to being able to tell all your friends and family, "Look at this, I'm a real author because here'srepparttar 108402 paperback," you'll be able to send review copies via POD to those book reviewers.

(I told my friends and family to kiss my butt, but I'm just a crochety old cuss.)

If you find yourself with an e-publisher who doesn't offer free POD, you may wish to shop around for a POD publisher. As you do this, rememberrepparttar 108403 business model. If a publisher makes all its money from writers, it doesn't need to sell a single book to a single reader to stay in business.

No matter how much praise they send your way, that'srepparttar 108404 bottom line. Writing is a calling, but publishing is a business. Those authors who can't distinguish betweenrepparttar 108405 two are what keeprepparttar 108406 opportunists in business. (I was such an author for most of my life.)

Some POD places are no more than thinly veiled vanity (or subsidy) presses. They have a valuable role to serve, but let's be honest. Most do no editing, and they don't care. They may not be making a massive profit from your setup fees, but they're certainly making enough to stay in business. Even if you don't sell any books to anyone except your Gramma.

(A few new POD places help with marketing and charge no fees of any kind. I've been told is such a place, but have yet to visit it.)

Earlier, I recommended e-publishing before print publishing forrepparttar 108407 free editing you'll receive. If you're going with POD, consider it mandatory. Either that, or pay an editor. The author who can write a mistake-free manuscript does not exist.

Still interested in POD publishing? I've done it, byrepparttar 108408 way, and it worked out well. Here arerepparttar 108409 questions you should ask yourself when you select a POD publisher:

A) Sale price of each book 1) Who decides what it is? 2) Will readers pay that much for your book?

B) Profit per sale vs. your setup cost 1) How many copies must you sell to break even? 2) Can you do it? 3) If not, do you care? How big of a financial hit are you willing to take just to see your name in print?

As a rule, US$100 or less setup cost is good and US$1000 is very bad. The latter, no matter how much publicity they promise you, is only a thinly disguised vanity publisher. You will not sell enough books to recoup that $1000 unless you are a real marketing machine. Even then you shouldn't payrepparttar 108410 $1000 up front. Pay $100 or less and then sell all those books. $1000 or more won't get you anything that $100 or less won't.

A comprehensive list of POD publishers, along with descriptions, can be found on-line at

The site mentioned fails to mention Booksurge (, also known as Digitz (, and Publish America ( The first charges US$99 andrepparttar 108411 second is free.

Another that isn't mentioned is Digital Print Australia at I've used them before. My setup cost was AUD$35 (roughly US$18), which compares rather favorably to those listed.

Their price per copy is also excellent. The quality is at least as good as what you'll find inrepparttar 108412 bookstores. If you've ever bought a paperback from Writers Exchange E-Publishing, you've seen it already. If not, Digital Print will send you a free sample. They sent mine to China.

Two problems you may have with them, though, are shipping charges from Australia if that's not where your readers are located, andrepparttar 108413 fact that they don't offer a way to sellrepparttar 108414 books on their site.

For sellingrepparttar 108415 books, I usedrepparttar 108416 Book Store feature on Authors Den ( back when it was free. It offers a secure server. I know some authors who I trusted enough to send money to without a secure server. But I suspect that most of your prospective readers won't know you that well. In fact, they won't know you at all.

Another option isrepparttar 108417 shopping cart feature at PayPal (, which I haven't researched. But take a look. You oughta have PayPal anyway, because it lets people send you money or vice versa through email, absolutely free. They'll give you $5 just for signing up.

Ifrepparttar 108418 POD place only prints "trade paperbacks," which arerepparttar 108419 larger ones, your cost per book (and sale price per book) will be higher than if you can print "mass-market paperbacks." The choice is yours, but whatever you decide, visitrepparttar 108420 local bookstores and price similar-sized books. If you write like Stephen King but charge twice as much per book, readers are going to buyrepparttar 108421 author they've heard of, and that's probably not you. Yet...

Michael LaRocca's website at was chosen by WRITER'S DIGEST as one of The 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2001 and 2002. He published two novels in 2002 and has two more scheduled for publication in 2004. He also works as an editor for an e-publisher. He teaches English at a university in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, and publishes the free weekly newsletter Mad About Books.

Ecover Software : If I told you eCovers/Graphics increase sales

Written by Richard Dean

Continued from page 1

If your site sells an intangible product (including software or subscriptions) or a tangible one that people can't inspect, you can maximize your downloads, sales or signups by merely adding a three-dimensional graphic, such as a cover, case, box or card.

Statistics show that, when companies incorporate 3D to show off their products online, they see a 300% increase in page views, a 200% increase in sales and a 50% increase in time spent atrepparttar site. Moreover, websites who use 3D seem to experience a lower return rate than companies who used 2D (or nothing at all).

If you sell anything online, including intangible products, you can use 3D to help maximize your clickthroughs, downloads and sales. Three-dimensional pictures are quite effective for:

- Electronic books, - Software programs, - Streaming audio or video, - Email newsletters (or "ezines"), - CD-ROMs or music CDs, - Booklet or special reports, - Video- or audio-casettes, - Access to private sites or content, - Subscription services, - Web-based services and applications, - Or information products.

With scams and snake oils infestingrepparttar 108396 web, people are naturally skeptical when making "blind" purchases online. If they can't see your product, or ifrepparttar 108397 image you project is unprofessional, they will assume there's something wrong with it or that your product is just as unprofessional. People do judge books by their covers.

A recent BCG Consumer Survey found that people are still leery of making purchases online, noting that, "70% of respondents worry about making purchases viarepparttar 108398 web." But by giving your prospects something can at least visually appreciate, however, you not only increase your chances but also create instant credibility.

Simply stated, a multidimensional shopping experience givesrepparttar 108399 visitor more information and makesrepparttar 108400 customer more confident. By bringing your product to "life," if you will, you give them something they can feel better about.

Asrepparttar 108401 adage goes, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." What impression are you conveying? If people judge books by their covers, make sure yours is worth judging.

-------------------------------------------------------------------- Leading Graphics Designer gives up cutting edge secret to cut his work load down. Giving you the chance to cash in on one of the most profitable business on the internet. Richard Dean - Graphics Artist --------------------------------------------------------------------

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