Dear Miss Snark,
I have an opportunity (perhaps that's too flattering a word?) to have a short story included in an anthology. The problem is, the 'publisher' will be using a POD company to make the books, and 'payment' for the authors is the 'right' to buy the book at wholesale prices, and resell it (probably to friends and family) at retail prices. Shiftier and shiftier, I know...
The thing is, I've always thought it would be fun to try to market a book. And I'd rather write a short story than a novel, if I'm going to market it myself. But is that sort of thinking stupid and ignorant? I suspect it is...I suppose I just need a good tap on the head with one of your lovely stilettos to remind me to stick with real publishers, and avoid PODs.
The problem is not that the "publisher" is using POD. The problem is the publisher has confused "buyers" with "contributors".
Many years ago when Miss Snark was a Keds wearing cherub, her local troop of Girl Sprouts had a cookie drive. Much energy and rallying of troops ensued. Buy a box of cookies for a good cause! Buy a box and teach a Girl Sprout the value of hard work! Well, Miss Snark being young and foolish bought into the whole charade.
Then she went home to Snark Central. Grandmother Snark introduced her to the concept of margin. The Sprout troop kept 10 cents on a four dollar box of cookies. Miss Snark got out her Hello Kitty pencil and did the math. Didn't take her more than a couple minutes (carry the three divide by x) to figure out that she was better off to buy the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and sell them door to door at a fifty percent mark up.
I tell you this to illustrate that if you think it's fun to market a book why not at least work on something where you have chance of a reasonable reward. If you're going to be selling them to friends and family, compile your own work, print it up at Lulu.com and keep the dough.
Miss Snark will give you a merit badge. And a cookie.