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Print-On-Demand Publishing--My Report



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Many, many thanks to all who responded on this. Numerous readers said: “I
don’t know squat about P.O.D., but will you please post whatever you find
out, as I’m thinking of doing a book myself.” OK, here you go. (1) Nobody
reported having been blatantly ripped off. All the P.O.D. firms seem able
and willing to do what they say they will do. However (2) it’s like having
a contractor in your house. He’s not likely to subject you to a bold-faced
ripoff; but if you don’t watch him like a hawk, he will very likely goof off
or screw up somehow. **Keep your eye on them.** (2) The largest number of
happy customers seem to be for iuniverse.com. Nobody expressed serious
dissatisfaction with this firm, though always bearing in mind my point (2).
Two different people expressed surprise at iuniverse.com’s low prices, a
thing no-one said about any of the other outfits. They definitely seem to
give most bang for the buck. (4) 1stbooks.com also got good reports, though
some customers thought it was pricey. (5) Xlibris, who did my blockbuster
(shall we soon be saying “MOAB”?) novel FIRE FROM THE SUN, came in 3rd. (6)
Booklocker.com got an honorable mention from a reader who had not actually
used them, but heard a good report second hand. (7) Don’t even THINK of
submitting anything produced by any word processor but MS Word. All P.O.D.
outfits want MS Word documents, though some forget to tell you this. (8) As
with your home improvements, you can do the thing yourself. However, this
involves you in some capital expenditure, and (my impression is) a lengthy
and time-consuming learning curve. (9) Regardless of satisfaction with the
production services, most responders thought that the “marketing services”
that P.O.D. publishers provide are wellnigh worthless. For marketing, you
are on your own.



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