Print-on-Demand & other Independent publishing Options

Well for one, who says he’s right? Did he convince John Edgar Wideman?

Still, did anyone say this would be easy? Just because it is another option does NOT make it easy. Do I choose from places like 48HrBooks.com // MP Morris // Network Printers, better defined as production warehouses. You give them your manuscript as a pdf file; they will efficiently print your book and ship it to you. They are not in the business of adding an ISBN registration, or of building you press kit packets or of connecting your title to book distributors like Baker & Taylor. Think of your book as a product. They print the product for you. They are the production department. This is an economical and solid option to see your book in print.

But you can’t get it into libraries without an LCNN Assignment (a 10-digit Library of Congress Control Number). Or into bookstores, or to the other distribution channels without an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). I am of an age attached to libraries and bookstores.

I scour garage sales for books; the first thing I do is read the copyright page. My God, published in 1922!! Feel the paper! I want — no, I must have — the multi-departmental publishing house experience. I need a Lulu.com or iUniverse or CreateSpace. But which? Here is how I make up my mind. It is nearly impossible to form any sort of contact with Lulu.com. I’d have to be a misanthrope/ mute/ one self-sufficient tech genius/ to choose them. When I finally score their email address, no one replies. I just know they treated JE Wideman differently. iUniverse instead is very responsive; a polite young man emails me immediately, then phones me; I feel courted which I no longer imagined possible. iUniverse has all the support packages I could wish for. BUT they take 6-8 months to publish a book. Like an old-fashioned publishing house, except I have to pay out of pocket for this. It’s depressing.

Until I discover CreateSpace , a new merger owned by Amazon.com. Boy do they have a communications strategy!