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  1.  (4781.1)
    I've used Lightning Source for several softcovers published for Steve Jackson Games. We've got the advantage of our own list of ISBNs, and we're using them more as a short-short run printer, instead of "true POD with distribution." Nevertheless, I've been quite happy with the quality of the product and the customer service, and the prices.
    • CommentAuthorwhatever
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    What is the definition of a POD success, BTW?

    The direct market for floppies is waaaaaaay more front-loaded than the book market and you do need to give these things a little time.
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    I did a book of my collected travel writing through Lulu as Xmas presents for my friends this year. Had to explain to about a quarter of them that I hadn't been keeping secrets about me being published as it wasn't a real book.
  2.  (4781.4)
    After having published 3 art books thru my publisher NBM, I was inspired by The Katie West to try my hand at POD and recently released DANGEROUS BEAUTIES through

    I'm a bit suspicious of their sales data and plan on doing my own audit soon, and there's been a few printing complications (1 hardcover shipped with the contents of an entirely different book, a few softcover copies had a serious bleed/alignment issue), but overall I've found POD to be a great way to release stuff that I might otherwise not want to hassle with through normal channels.

    DANGEROUS BEAUTIES ordering info:
  3.  (4781.5)
    Well, I've got a question for all you PODers out there. A friend of mine and I did an online magazine for a couple of years, and we had planned on doing up a 'Best Of' type book of articles and images. So, what I want to know is, what is the easiest/bestest way to go about the layout/interior design of that type of book?

    Is getting a professional designer on board pretty much a necessity if we want it to look, well, uhh, professional?
    I've got a couple of designer friends, but they're always busy doing full-time, paying work...
    • CommentAuthorDreamline
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    I published my first novel through iUniverse and I'm currently shopping my second novel. However, I'm finding that since my novel isn't about teenage girls and vampires, agents aren't giving me the time of day and I'm probably going to pull the trigger on POD in February. I'll probably go with iUniverse again. I was happy with their service the first time and I was pleased with the final result.

    I write...because I must. I publish through POD...because it's better than nothing.
  4.  (4781.7)
    @Corey Waits - Since you'll be uploading as a pdf in the end anyway, it doesn't matter. You could use photoshop or indesign. I actually did my entire layout (for a prose book, but with pictures) in OpenOffice. You just need to save it as a pdf. That being said, OpenOffice will sometimes make graphics heavy documents a bit wonky. I used photoshop for graphics heavy stuff.
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    I guess part of the downside of POD is the general "vanity press" stigma associated with prose books (oddly, the stigma doesn't generally apply with comics) published this way.

    Someone above suggested making a personal imprint, to give the illusion of a publisher at a glance. The other side of that problem is that real publishers can get their books reviewed by professionals and talked about. Unless you already have a built in audience (which self-publishing novelists rarely do), it's almost impossible to get your book honestly critically evaluated and brought to the attention of readers.

    Has anyone ever heard or encountered anything like a POD book review site? Other than the reviews on Amazon, which no one sees unless they are already looking for the book?
  5.  (4781.9)
    I started my first 3 issues of QUANTUM: Rock of Ages through Brenner but then saw the hopelessness in that and switched to POD ever since. I've used ComixPress for floppies and OPM for my TPBs. More than likely I'll be publishing my next floppy with Ka-Blam simply because ComixPress' communication leaves a lot to be desired.

    Philip Clark
  6.  (4781.10)
    @OddBill - I think that this is the problem with the publishing industry in general. There's a bit of a snobbishness to being self-published, which is unfortunate. Still, the entire industry is on the cusp of a change from the old model as the traditional lines of distribution get sullied. It seems (and I could be wrong) that the publishing industry is going through the same thing as the music industry, just at a slower pace. Because of POD, the gatekeepers are beginning to get nervous.

    I think all it will take is one, major breakout hit to change the face of the industry in regards to POD. And really, imagine how many books Ellis would sell if he did it himself. I read about what were considered "successes" in self-publishing and few of them sold more than 1000 copies.

    Not that I'm an expert...
    • CommentAuthorthecolin1
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    Hi Warren and everyone else. I published my first book, a collection of short stories with CreateSpace and it's been up on Amazon since last June. It's listed up at this URL

    I've just finished my second book, also a collection of short stories and also published through CS and it will also be up on Amazon within the week. I've just approved the proof copy and so it's gone up on the CS E-store at

    I've found the whole experience to be very smooth, non-expensive and as I have friends who are professional graphic designers, was able to come up with a package that looked professional and nicely designed. For me, it's a way to get something out there, to start building my name up and showing that I can write and get things done. Obviously, I'll be hoping to get a deal with a major publisher but there are a lot of advantages to having an outlet where one can inexpensively put something out that might not be accepted as is at a major publishing house.
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    Constellation Magazine is going POD for our printed version of the magazine. We were an online astrology and art mag but wanted to supply our readers with a print version as well. Plus the layouts of the magazine were getting distorted online. We chose magcloud and the first issue will be out Feb, after the retrograde of course. We chose magcloud specifically for environmental reasons and liked that the viewer gets to preview the magazine before buying.

    I was also inspired by Katie West to try out blurb. I composed a book of self portraits of 10 women, each going through a different phase in their life. My Blurb book, They Be We should be on sale early March.

    I believe with blurb you can purchase an ISBN but they do not have the setup has with Amazon.

    My roomates teacher publishes through Asphodel Press and I believe they use lulu for all their printing.
    • CommentAuthorthecolin1
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    Oh and if anyone wants any feedback, advice or help based on the two books I've done through CreateSpace, then by all means, feel free to contact me at or on yahoo messenger as derek_zoolander2005. I'm on twitter as well as thecolin1.
    • CommentAuthorcblakeley
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2009
    @ OddBill - There's the New Podler Review with a handful of links there. There was a great one called POD-dy Mouth, but the project became too much for her as it was just going to be a lark, so the archives are still up.

    I published a collection of three years of my burlesque photography at and I'm very pleased with it. Ordering details can be found here:

    The process of putting the book together (barring the editorial work, which is its own series of "problems") was relatively easy and it's definitely the sort of thing where I'll always be more critical than the reader, so I try not to focus too much on that aspect of it.

    My biggest frustration is simply the fact that it can be a bit of a pain to get people to order it. There's no easy Amazon link and they can't order it at Border's so I have a lot of friends who keep meaning to buy it but never get around to it. Eh.
      CommentAuthorCameron C.
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
    @PhilipClark - I've purchased comics (Both periodicals and trades) from both comixpress and indyplanet and ka-blam does a better job at printing, I think. A trade I got from comixpress actually smeared on the back cover (Where their ad was placed). It shipped to me with sticker-like residue on the back (For whatever reason...) and so I took my pen thing that removes that stuff (My roommates are librarians and have a bunch of cool crap from their work) and have never had any troubles removing sticker residue except with the comixpress trade, where it smeared the artwork. Haven't had any quality issues with ka-blam printed books, though.
  7.  (4781.16)
    I'm really interested in this topic, and am sort of just starting to hear about it over the last week, or so, but I guess my concerns are thus: Even people who seem happy with the results of their books don't sound like they're selling much, and with some of the POD companies print and distribution services, it doesn't matter because the creator isn't out any money up front (as opposed to a place that makes you order in small runs and distribute yourself... unless that is what you want.). So I guess my concern is, even if you're not out any money, isn't it kind of depressing to be putting a lot of hard work into a book and then just having it sit on the internet waiting to be ordered?

    So, to the creators who have had experience, how do you do your promotion? Besides telling your friends and family and local book/comic stores to get some copies, who do you go to for publicity? Even having your book on Amazon seems like it would take a pretty random series of clicks to just happen onto your book without going there specifically to order it. And if you're no Chad Michael Ward or Warren Ellis, etc., do you place an ad in Wizard (for comics) or something? Do you do readings at libraries and book stores? Do you try "viral" marketing (sorry for going buzz word on you guys, but it COULD work...)?

    I was at an SDCC panel a few years ago, and the guy who was writing Stormwatch who then got fired for lying about being in the military said that he sent copies of the book to Soldier of Fortune magazine for review to stir up interest (although whether the books were ever actually reviewed is unknown to me...), and I heard that Chynna Clugston (previously hyphen Major) had sent copies of Blue Monday around to Scooter enthusiest mags (I assume something like that exists...) because scooter lovers will buy anything that has to do with scooters...

    So what kind of promotional stuff are you POD-ers doing?
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2009
    I've published The Fast Fiction Challenge via

    Some time ago, I issued a challenge on my blog :
    Reply with a title (maximum of four words)
    about which you’d like me to write a fast
    fiction of exactly 200 words, together with a
    single word you want me to include in the text
    of the tale.
    Readers of the blog, and writers I know, all responded with challenges to me.

    Three hundred stories later, one hundred and eighty of the best tales are collected in this volume.

    Stories with titles like She Killed Me Twice, The Brain That Exploded, The Pachyderm Wore Pink and Single White Fee Male. And containing, as per the challenges, words like ranunculus, vaginate and carronade.

    And yes, included in the book is a little (well, they're all little) story entitled Doctor Silence's Last Romance, using the word rectal. That challenge was issued by one Mr W. Ellis.
  8.  (4781.18)
    See, I've heard of THIS (the fast fiction thing...)! So obviously a good way to advertise is having Warren plug you.
  9.  (4781.19)
    I published my book The Long Sleep through It seems to be a pretty good site, well laid out and the final product looks nice and professional.

    It's available through my website Samarcand Books
  10.  (4781.20)
    I published my book of short stories, EMPTY ROOMS LONELY COUNTRIES, through CreateSpace:

    EMPTY ROOMS LONELY COUNTRIES collects a decade's worth of short stories, wandering through two continents, five countries and multiple universes to explore love, loss and redemption in the 21st century. This collection brings together for the first time many of Christian A. Dumais’ previously published stories, including “Mad Dogs” and “Counting Nuns” from GUD Magazine, as well as some never before seen pieces.


    If you send an email to, I’ll send you a free PDF copy of one of the stories from EMPTY ROOMS LONELY COUNTRIES as an incentive to buy a copy. Simply title the email “SAMPLE” and your free story will be sent to you.

    Thank you.