Print On Demand (POD)

You have been reading all of the accounts of publishing on the web, POD publications, and the great success of  Still Alive, the novel about a Harvard professor with Alzheimer’s disease that no commercial publisher wanted to buy. The author went ahead and published it POD, that is self-publishing via a Web-based company (iUniverse) for $450, and after the novel received a few good reviews, Simon & Schuster bought the novel and now it is on The New York Times Bestsellers List.
It could happen to you!
My guess is that someday all books will be published POD. It will save a lot of trees, and with the world moving away from print, and depending on handheld electronic devices we carry in our pocket, soon books–as we know them!–will be a thing of the past.
Books are being “published” at a rapid rate on line. Since its beginnings in 2002,, for example, has digitally published more than 820,000 titles. They add about 5,000 book a week. (Who has time to read all of those books?)
There are plenty of digital publishers. iUniverse seems to be the favorite of RPCV writers; others have a corner of the market: Lulu, Author Solutions, and the ‘academic’ PublishAmerica to name three.
A few years ago BookSurge wanted PeaceCorpsWriters to start a line of “Peace Corps Books” that we would sponsor and promote, but I was reading too many books that I thought needed too much editing so I passed on that opportunity.
The bottom line is that very, very few publishers are interested in “Peace Corps memoir” fifty years after the start of the agency. The  Peace Corps Volunteer is now a ‘type’ in the plot of some novels.   Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald famous line? “Begin with a character and you’ll create a type; begin with a type, and you will created nothing.”
Enough said.

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