Catalyst Book Press

The places, ideas, and people that change us

The AWP

I met some interesting people at the AWP and in the weeks to come will be posting some snippets of interviews, as well as much commentary about how small presses are using digital imaging technology (often known as POD), how some are saying “Screw you” to Ingram’s, and how online sales and internet marketing are driving the new style of small press.

I had wondered about the quality of some of the POD books. I thought Bookmobile’s quality was superior, but even Lightning Source’s quality was pretty good and if I hadn’t known it was POD, I wouldn’t have guessed. But admittedly, the price they pay per book is horrifying. Still, when I asked Richard Peabody of Paycock Press how he felt about Print on Demand, he joked, “It saved my marriage!” Then he explained how much money he spends to warehouse books that never sell, how much money is tied up in that….And, well, it makes sense.

Morris Rosenthal and Aaron Shepard do say that most small presses are simply using POD within their traditional publishing model and they suggest that that is unimaginative and still ties up lots of money and time. This is because most of these presses are still targeting brick-and-mortar stores, still offering returns, still getting back unsaleable books from bookstores. They’re right. But if you’re not self-publishing, and you want to publish self-respecting authors, they want to know that their books can end up in bookstores, so you do have to cater to that market to some extent. In the weeks to come, however, I will be talking to different presses to see how they do it and how things are a-changin’ in the book world.

February 6, 2008 - Posted by | digital imaging technology, POD, print on demand, small press

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