Print-On-Demand - A Definition and a Comparison

Written by Michael LaRocca

PRINT ON DEMAND - A Definition and a Comparison Copyright 2005, Michael LaRocca

The purpose of this article is to consider Print-On-Demand publishing as an alternative forrepparttar aspiring author. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. You may wonder as you begin reading this, but inrepparttar 147742 end I'm going to say some good things about it.

The title explainsrepparttar 147743 technology. The way that literature has traditionally been printed involves running many copies simul- taneously in order to bringrepparttar 147744 price per copy down. Smaller print runs, such as advertising, brochures, or concert programs, cost more per copy because they are small print runs. Until recently, printing a single book was all but unthinkable.

Inrepparttar 147745 case of novels,repparttar 147746 traditional print publisher begins by printing several thousand copies. His goal is to run offrepparttar 147747 smallest number of copies he can while gettingrepparttar 147748 best possible price per copy.

These books are then sent to bookstores, which tend to prefer something alongrepparttar 147749 lines of what has succeeded before. The remainder sits in a warehouse somewhere. Perhaps to be shipped asrepparttar 147750 orders come in, perhaps to be joined by any "remaindered" copiesrepparttar 147751 bookstores couldn't move.

This represents an investment onrepparttar 147752 part of that publisher, hence his paranoia about experimenting with new formats or (more importantly) new authors.

Print-On-Demand (POD) uses a completely different process. The end result is,repparttar 147753 price per copy on a small run is much lower. How small of a run? Try one book. Zero inventory. The book is economically produced whenrepparttar 147754 reader orders it, not before.

This technology was probably invented for sales literature. Then someone realized it might be a pretty cool way to get ARCs (Advance Review Copies) out torepparttar 147755 book reviewers beforerepparttar 147756 book was actually available. Finally, someone decided to get it intorepparttar 147757 publishing mainstream.

Why is it so much cheaper to publish a single book via POD? The reasons really aren't relevant to this article, besides which they'd probably bore you. But if you care,repparttar 147758 first link below spells it all out.

I recommend reading (or at least skimming) all five of those, byrepparttar 147759 way. It's quite a comprehensive analysis of how. Then come back to this article to determine why. Or if.

Have you ever heard ofrepparttar 147760 author who self-published and wound up with a best-seller? They do exist!

Now look at allrepparttar 147761 self-published authors who couldn't do that. They'rerepparttar 147762 vast majority. The author who uses POD faces similar longshot odds.

POD has a definite advantage over other self-publishing, in that you don't wind up with a few hundred (or more?) copies of a book in your basement because you can't sell them. Thus, it's cheaper, with no difference in quality unless you hook up with losers.

But neither option will bring yourepparttar 147763 readership that you'll get from a successful book with a traditional print publisher.

I have self published. I went to a local print shop back inrepparttar 147764 pre-POD days, ran off 80 copies at $3 a copy, and sold them to local bookstores for $6 a copy. Lots of fun, and lots of learning, but I didn't get rich. My wage per hour stunk, but that was fine with me because I honestly didn't care. I broke even and gave awayrepparttar 147765 rest. A pleasant way to spend lunch hours duringrepparttar 147766 work week.

Most of us, though, just don't have that kind of time. And even if we do, why bother? Takerepparttar 147767 money you'd have invested and buy some Microsoft stock, then takerepparttar 147768 time you'd have invested and write more books. You'll be happier and you'll make more money.

Having said all that, why am I recommending POD at all? In my case, it's because I've written some books that no print publisher will ever pick up. That's my honest appraisal.

If I were a mercenary type, I'd follow that up with something like "Why'd you even write those books then?" But if you're a REAL writer, you knowrepparttar 147769 answer.

It's always about writing first, marketing second. Two different hats. I'm assuming you already didrepparttar 147770 writing and now are wondering whatrepparttar 147771 heck to do with it.

As an example, my EPPIE 2002 finalist is too short. I wrote it back when print publishers wanted 40,000 words. Now they want 50,000. But it doesn't take 50,000 words to tell that particular story, and I'm not padding it. Even if I were willing, it'd stink and nobody would buy it. Giverepparttar 147772 publishers some credit. They know padding when they see it. The same goes forrepparttar 147773 readers.

As another example, consider my short story collection. Critically acclaimed and selling moderately well, but no traditional publisher wants short story collections from unknown authors. It's just that simple.

So, I simultaneously published these books in e-book format and POD format. E-books are cheaper and more environmentally friendly, butrepparttar 147774 paperback option is still there for those who can't or won't ever read an e-book.

Extreme Research: 10 Snappy Rules For Success

Written by Christopher Brown

So you want to learn to research well, and not waste any time. Let's do it. Here are a few NECESSARY preliminary points.

First, adopt an aggressive I-am-taking-over-this-place mindset.

2. Develop a system for executingrepparttar research process. By creating your own rules to follow systematically, you really speed things up. Don't have one? No worries. You can use mine. I happen to have "research animal" stamped on my forehead.

3. Followrepparttar 147624 rules. You can tweek them to suit your own style after a couple of runs with this method. But these make for great training wheels.

4. Before going into battle, always ready your weapons.

Do not go near a library or desk to start research unless and until everything you will need sits neatly arranged all about you for quick access. This one is your call. I use 2 or 3 pens and a pad of paper to scratch out notes and thoughts, and a pack of index cards for especially important notes. Then comerepparttar 147625 highlighters. In college, I used to workrepparttar 147626 highlighters until they overheated.

Some people like sticky notes (post-its). You can stick 'em all around you as you work. You will want a rolodex and a phone nearby in case you have to call someone you know to ask questions. For instance, if you have a specially-gifted techie friend in your inner circle, or know a professor, you may want to put him on speed dial. Think a bit about anything else you might need. Some folks study and research well to music, so get your headphones if you need them. Okay, here we haverepparttar 147627 system lined up for you.

PART #1: Begin Reconnaissance. You're going in.

A. Get an overview and "contextualize" your topic. Learn its timeline of events andrepparttar 147628 major historical factors associated with it. When did it happen? What did it do? Why do people care about it at all? Find a short article that outlinesrepparttar 147629 history of, or at least offers a timeline for, your topic. Everything has a history, and gaining a quick overview of your topic's chronology will give yourepparttar 147630 context into which all your other sources will fit.

B. Next, riderepparttar 147631 wave. This isrepparttar 147632 surfing and browsing stage. Start with what you know. Pick out words associated with your topic or subject and Google them. When you land a starting topic (you can change this as you go, no worries. Just start somewhere.), use online encyclopedias and other resources to get a "quick snapshot" ofrepparttar 147633 general views onrepparttar 147634 subject that exist out there already. Try to see your subject from as many angles as possible, as it were, "walking allrepparttar 147635 way round it," inspecting as you go. Ask questions in your head, or even out loud like I do (caution: this may scare people), and put them down on paper in a special spot. Slap a sticky note on it that reads "QUESTIONS I HAVE."

To aid and abet developing a "snapshot overview," start looking up books onrepparttar 147636 topic. Find 10 of them. Noterepparttar 147637 titles on maybe 50 books -- if you can find that many -- about your subject or topic. Noterepparttar 147638 overlap in words used inrepparttar 147639 titles about your topic. This will give you a quick idea about who or what this topic means to others who have already studied it.

Next, readrepparttar 147640 bibliographies of books. One good book can give you 5-10 great leads you might never have found otherwise. Noterepparttar 147641 titles that show up repeatedly in different bibliographies. In research geekspeak this is "bibbo," bibliographic overlap. Bibbo identifies your IRT's -- Initial Research Targets. Photocopy or print out from your IRT's:repparttar 147642 table of contents;repparttar 147643 first chapter; a middle chapter that looks interesting or helpful; andrepparttar 147644 final chapter. Then read these and highlightrepparttar 147645 Dickens out of them. This gives you a snapshot, and a working knowledge, ofrepparttar 147646 entire book extremely fast. It works too. Use your scribbled out question set as a filter for "what to look for" -- and highlight or take notes on -- when reading your IRT's. Write down any further questions that develop. These can be as simple as "Who is that guy?" Let your curiosity guide you, and letrepparttar 147647 sticky notes FLY!!

Next, read journal and magazine articles. How do you find these? Try checking your Bibbo. Or just follow any that you think might land you somewhere interesting. Playrepparttar 147648 detective. Follow your nose if you smell a good lead.

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