2.05.2007

Some basics on small pond tadpole starts

Miss Snark,
So, what if your novel has been accepted at a POD or an ePress, what if the press doesn't have any distribution other than Amazon and ebook type sites, in fact, you may have to pay the POD set up fee if you want to see your book in hard copy ... if you later come with a new novel, do agents look favourably on these publication credits? Can I really launch my writing career with an ebook/POD press? And, if so, how many copies do I have to get out and sell before it becomes impressive to you?

Thanks for your time,




First, let's make sure you understand that an e-book and POD are entirely two different things. They also refer to how a book is manufactured, its form, rather than how it is acquired and edited.

I don't care if you have an e-book, a k-book (printed on Kit Kat candy wrappers) or a book written in smoke by an sky plane. What I care about is whether an editor read your work, selected it from amongst many, and decided to publish it.

That's if you want me to consider it a publishing credit. I don't care how much it sold really because I know there are a lot of really good books at small presses (both POD and traditional print technology) that don't sell a lot of books.

The only time sales figures are important is if you are talking about licensing that rights to that same book to a larger publisher. That's when "you have to sell 2000 copies to interest anyone" comes into play.

Ebooks routinely sell under 1000 copies because it's not a popular form yet. If you have a book at an epublisher, I don't look at sales figures, I look at the publisher to see if they have two wits and good taste.

Of course you can launch your career doing this. Not a lot of people do but it's entirely possible.

3 comments:

the poopie says said...

"Of course you can launch your career doing this. Not a lot of people do but it's entirely possible."

You could also get to LA from NYC by walking, but that don't make it the best way to travel.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I'm not opposed to e-publishing. I am uncomfortable with a fee for press setup.

BuffySquirrel said...

If the publisher doesn't believe they can sell enough copies of your POD book to enable them to recoup the setup fee, then they are probably not the best publisher to go with. Iirc, the setup fee for Lightning Source is $70. That would be, what? seventy cents markup per book on 100 books? In other words, they don't envisage you selling even that many.

Either you need a better book, or maybe a publisher with a better marketing plan.