Profits from print-on-demand publishing are on a per sale basis and the amount of commission will often vary depending on the route by which the item is sold. Highest profits are usually generated from sales direct from the print-on-demand service’s website or by buying copies from the service at a discount, as the publisher, and then selling them yourself. Lowest commission usually comes from sales from bricks and mortar bookshops, with online bookstores falling somewhere in between. For writers who don’t want to go through the submission process required by commercial publishers, or who feel they’ve exhausted the possibilities of the commercial publishing market, or who just want to produce a few dozen copies of a family memoir or recipe book for private distribution, a POD (print-on-demand) book can be an excellent solution. It provides an attractively-designed book at a far lower cost than traditional self- or vanity publishing, and offers many of the same benefits, including guaranteed publication and lack of editorial interference. Also, since the book is produced only when ordered, you don’t risk winding up with a garage full of unsold volumes.
Is any PR considered good PR? The simple answer: no. Bad PR is simply that, bad. PR is one of the best ways to grow your brand and your image. The best PR is strategic, thought provoking and well planned. At the same time, Guerilla’s have to be ready to strike at a moments notice. If there is a newsstory that makes sense to attach your brand to in real time, go for it. A great example: do you remember the miners who were stuck under ground for several days? When they were finally rescused Oakley knew it would take their eyes some adjusting. So what did they do? They sent pairs of their sunglasses to hand out. When all the TV crews were there filming their products were getting featured and seen by hundreds of millions of people. The cost: a few hundred dollars in gratis sunglasses. Now that’s Guerilla Marketing.
But if you’re a new writer looking to establish a career, a POD book is probably not a good choice. It’s widely equated with vanity publishing; it’s not likely a book published this way will be considered a professional credit. Nor is POD a stepping stone to conventional publication. According to a 2004 article in the New York Times, out of the 10,000 or so titles published by Xlibris since its inception, only 20 had been picked up by commercial publishers.
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