The Rise of POD Publishing

In 2010, traditional print publishing grew a mere 5%, up from 4% in 2009, but non-traditional publishing, such as print on demand (POD) and self-publishing, grew a whopping 169%, according to a Bowker report. The report estimates that non-traditional publishing will continue to grow in the future.

POD publishing first surpassed traditional publishing in 2008. Since then, POD publishers have been able to produce eight times the output of traditional publishers. This is great news for aspiring authors! It means that there are vast opportunities to write, publish, and sell quality books.

Most writers are overwhelmed with constant rejection from agents and editors or fear that their books will never be seen in print because of the difficult world of publishing. This doesn’t have to be the case. POD is a great option for many writers, and there are no agents or editors telling you your book isn’t good enough. If you believe in your book, you can see it in print.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

Celebrate Earth Day With POD

Earth Day is coming up, and everyone is trying to be a little more eco-friendly. Print on Demand (POD) is perfect for environmentally conscious authors because books aren’t printed until they are purchased. Therefore, no trees are being killed to create an inventory that will just sit around, and no energy is being used to create a book that won’t sell.

Self publishing can also be an eco-conscious choice if you find a company who shares your values. Check out Self Publishing for the Eco-Conscious to learn more. Happy Earth Day!

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

“Traditional” Self-Publishing and Print on Demand – What’s the Difference?

Your garage is full of books. Your basement is full of books. The trunk of your car is full of books. You’ve self-published a book, huh?

Historically, that was the case. Authors would order many copies of their book and keep them all around. They would often sell them on the streets or exercise other methods to “get rid of the inventory”. For a while, though, self-publishing authors have been able to take advantage of advances in the publishing industry to offer Print on Demand (or POD).

POD affords authors freedom from carrying loads of inventory in their home or vehicle. Authors also save money with utilizing such a solution. Though the cost per book may be a bit higher, resulting in lower royalty payments, self-publishing authors don’t have to worry about such a large upfront cost (to purchase books for their inventory) or having a lot of books on hand that won’t sell. With POD, your books aren’t printed until a customer orders them.

While some authors may be advocates for self-publishing in the “traditional” sense, POD makes sense for authors who are cost-sensitive or risk-averse. There is very little risk factor involved with POD. The only risk you really assume is wondering whether anyone will buy the book that you invested money into publishing.

DISCUSSION: Do you prefer POD or “traditional” self publishing? Have you experienced both? Share your story in the comments.

Books a Million: Marketing in the Digital Age

It was nearly a year after Google was founded that they saw even their first mention in the New York Times, as a mere parenthetical. In fact, most major online companies—Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, even Amazon—began in relative obscurity.

In today’s instant gratification, online world that dynamic seems almost backward, especially when as publishers and authors we often conceptualize a big-launch book publication as a measure of success. The big launch is what we’re used to. Think Harry Potter.

It can be helpful to plan major marketing events around your book launch. But, in today’s marketplace and through the long-tail effect, it’s time to take a different approach. There are virtually millions of books published every year, a massive increase in volume from just a decade ago, thanks in large part to POD and full-service self-publishing. Book marketing has changed as well. Think long-haul. With a bit of work and support, you may be surprised what success you find not one day or even one year after publication.

Self-publishing Costs: POD vs Offset Printing

Publishing has traditionally operated on a model of offset book printing where the publishing house pre-prints a set number of books based on what they feel they can successfully sell. Authors would receive an advance (yes – get paid upfront) based on that projection, and receive a royalty percentage on sales, typically 10%, only if books sold beyond that initial number.

Self-publishing authors have the option to print offset as well, and receive royalty figures well beyond that 10% mark.

As you consider your self-publishing options, you may be wondering whether the right choice for your book is offset printing or the newer POD model.

Here are 5 details to consider…

5 – With offset printing you will pay in advance for a large number of books, regardless of whether you sell any.

4 – Your books begin, and often end, in your basement or garage not in reader’s hands.

3 – Even after you pay to print your book, you still have to find a way to distribute it, and then you have to track sales, invoice customers, and ship product.

2 – Your book will go out of print unless you pony up more dough for another print run.

1 – An off-set order requires “overages” of 5%-10% of the quoted print-run. That means if you order 2000 books, you may actually get (and be required to pay for) 2200.

If you are considering self-publishing through a printer, the price quotes you received may have scared you. No wonder. Newsweek Magazine recently noted that it generally takes an investment of $5,000 – $25,000 to self-publish a book through an offset printer.

Time to think POD?