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  1.  (7738.1)
    So I have a book I'm working on and am trying to figure out how I want to publish it. My gut reaction was to publish it POD style and use it as a great bit of experience. As a mostly unpublished writer, I'm assuming it would be very difficult to get my book published by one of the big publishers. So I figure I'll go the POD route and see where that takes me, assuming I could always submit something else to traditional publishers once I have more experience.

    However, I was discussing this with a friend recently and he claimed that writers who go the POD route will then be blacklisted by traditional publishers because it's seen as an alternative to their monopoly.

    This seems strange to me, considering that (at least at this point in time) POD sales are nowhere near the sales from traditionally published books. Nonetheless, this is something I would like to explore and get more info on considering I don't want to eliminate myself from traditional publishing.

    Does anyone have any experience with this or think it might be true?
  2.  (7738.2)
    I don't think that's the case. A publisher will consider whether they can make money out of your book - that's their interest. They don't care if you've self-published other books POD in the past (although they'd be interested in your POD sales figures, as an indicator of the financial viability of your new book)
  3.  (7738.3)

    Yeah, it seemed a little strange of an idea to me but figured I should ask others who are "in the know". When it comes down to it, though, you sign a contract with the traditional publishers and you have to fulfill the details of the contract. If you do, they pay you; if you don't, they sue you. I don't see how POD could disrupt any of that.
  4.  (7738.4)
    Just because you are unpublished doesn't mean you can't get published with a mainstream publisher. You'll probably need an agent first.
    If you don't want to go that route, then POD is an option that won't hurt.
    Publishers won't blacklist you for going POD, I know I've seen at least 2 books in Tesco that mainstream publishers bought and published after they were serialised on the web. Meaning they took a shot on something people were getting for free.
    As lazarus said, publishers only care if they think they can sell your words and make money off of them. If you are trying to sell a book you have already put out through POD, then they might get hesitant - they will certainly say take it down.
    But if you are using the experience of writing a novel and getting the feedback from readers through POD to make your next book something you want publishers to look at, they won't care. They may even offer to re-publish that first one.
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2010
    This is a distillation of what I've read on the subject:

    The stigma behind it is that there used to be so much crap from POD that big publishers simply dismissed POD writers outright, instead of trying to separate the chaff. Self-publishing used to only put up really good numbers for erotica. Now it's broadened quite a bit.

    Now it seems to be that if you put up decent numbers, they'll probably make an effort to work with you when you come to them. If you sell 5 copies to your family + dog, then they won't be too interested. If you can sell to more than just your friends, they might be.

    And really, some people do just fine POD, if they can handle doing the marketing themselves. Shivering Sands is doing numbers I'd be proud of (even if Warren may not be.) And it's 100% creator-driven marketing. Same for Wil Wheaton.

    If you want to go the traditional route, I'd definitely suggest finding an agent that likes your work and will shove it down people's throats in the kindest possible way, though.
  5.  (7738.6)

    I'd love to go the traditional route but you always hear--starting at birth, it seems--that getting a literary agent is extremely difficult and takes a long time. I'd like to say I have it in me to go through all the hassle but it may just come down to a time factor: I may not want to spend that much time trying to find an agent and getting rejection letters when I could instead be writing. There's something (nearly) instantly gratifying about POD that I find very appealing.