A POD Success Story!

Self-Published Book Wins National Award For 'Best Single Breed Book' And Becomes Surprise Bestseller - Authors Pictured In The New York Times

'The Havanese' Wins the Dog Writers' Association of America Maxwell Award forBest Single Breed Book of 2005

Best-Seller Is Independently Published through Print-on-Demand Web Site,Lulu.com

'We received real medals,' says author...

RALEIGH, N.C., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A self-published book billing itself as "the quintessential handbook for Havanese dog-owners, breeders and fanciers" has won a prestigious national award as the "Best Single Breed Book" of the year and become a surprise bestseller. "The Havanese" by Diane Klumb and editor Joanne Baldwin, DVM, has won the Dog Writers' Association of America Maxwell Award for Best Single Breed Book of 2005. The book's success is all the sweeter since Klumb and Baldwin decided to publish the book themselves, using Lulu.com, because of what Klumb calls "a bad experience" with a traditional publisher. "They wanted to change everything," explains Klumb. "And the great advantage of publishing on Lulu is that we didn't have to deal with someone else's idea of what makes a good dog book."

"Complete control allows us to be completely honest with no soft-peddling or bowing to special interests. After enjoying the control, the audience and the margins at Lulu, the Dog Writers Association Award is just icing on the cake for us. They gave us lovely medals and put our pictures in the New York Times!"

Even before the award and resulting publicity, the book had been a consistent bestseller on Lulu. Klumb and Baldwin publicized their book in an old-fashioned grass-roots way, with personal notes to the many national and regional Havanese mailing lists. Now word of mouth helps "The Havanese" stay on top of the Lulu bestseller list.

"This is yet more proof that independent publishing and print-on-demand is legitimate and successful," says Bob Young, CEO of Lulu.com. "The Internet is truly the great equalizer and gives everyone the chance to publish, especially people such as Diane Klumb, whose award-winning, best-selling book would have never seen the light of day without Lulu."

"The Havanese" is available at Lulu.com, $39.94 for the full color version and $19.97 for the black and white. All proceeds from "The Havanese" and the accompanying Havanese 2006 calendars are used to support H.E.A.R.T.'s current research project, the Havanese Genetics Project at Texas A&M, under the direction of Dr Keith Murphy. H.E.A.R.T. was founded, by Joanne Baldwin DVM & Diane Klumb, in 1999 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to support research into health issues affecting the Havanese dog and to educate breeders, fanciers and the public about this wonderful companion dog.

ABOUT LULU: Lulu is the world's fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books. Founded by Bob Young, who previously co-founded Red Hat, the open source software company, Lulu provides independent publishers with free access to on-demand publishing tools for books, e-books, DVDs, music, images and calendars.

(Stolen from Publishers Lunch, of course)
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Anonymous said...

I think specialty books should do really well as print on demand. IMO, POD is the way to go for the niché market books, such as the one mentioned here. It's really exciting when something like that becomes a best seller.

SherryD said...

I don't think people should confuse self-published books with POD (print on demand) books. Print on demand simply means the books are printed in smaller batches; that avoids priting 10,000 and ending up with 5000 in cardboard boxes in the author's garage. Most small to mid-size publishers are POD publishers. There is nothing wrong with it.

Bella Stander said...

"They wanted to change everything," explains Klumb....Complete control allows us to be completely honest with no soft-peddling..."

Hmm, change things such as misspellings? I'd say Lulu.com is doing some hard peddling here.

Mark said...

Oh dear.

December Quinn said...

Just further goes to prove that if you have the right niche market, you can succeed in self-publishing.

What it doesn't come anywhere near proving is that self-publishing is a good idea for anyone writing anything else-i.e. fiction.

Heh, Bella. I always cringe when I see people so happy their publisher didn't ask them to change anything. Tells me right there they're amateurs, sad to say.

Anonymous said...

The quote 'We received real medals,' says author... just struck me as really funny, for some reason - I was almost expecting to be reading a parody.

I don't know how many books on Havanese Dogs consitute a best seller, but it looks like they made a decision around approach, content and supplier that worked for them. Well done them.

Doesn't represent a sea-change in the way the publishing industry works, but shows a workable option that some people have for some content to be successful according to some criteria.

Nuthin' wrong with that.


Kirsten said...

You know who's going to benefit most from this publicity? LULU


Anonymous said...

Define best seller.

Though I agree with the first post, specialty books with smaller markets can do well using this approach.

waywardclam said...

And yet, the book still isn't available through my bookstore...

Mary from Illinois said...

The National Award For 'Best Single Breed Book' now there's a coveted award! My question is just how many "Single Breed Books" are published in any given year? What are your comments on this Miss Snark?

Bella Stander said...

Sherryd is right: This is a self-publishing, not POD, success story. Important: Note how in the press release, "a bestseller on Lulu.com" morphs into "a bestseller."

I think the bar is set pretty low for that dog book prize. Here's the excerpt from the book posted at Lulu.com [sic font styling]:

Like a troupe of little Rumba dancers, the Havanese burst upon the American show scene in 1999, all ruffles and charm, a virtual unknown in the world of dogs. Soaring in popularity, they seemed to have emerged from nowhere, leading many to believe that the Havanese is a new breed, perhaps a recent cross.

Amazingly, the breed developed over the past three centuries a mere ninety miles from America’s shore. It’s often called the world’s longest ninety miles, that stretch of azure water known as the Florida Straits… for this is the National Dog of Cuba.

Below that is a map of Cuba with the helpful caption:
Christopher Columbus called Cuba the “Pearl of the Antilles”

Wow, who knew?