Sunday, 27 September 2009

POD – The uphill battle

I recently posted this reply on a forum following a comment from an author questioning why Caffeine Nights Publishing only chooses a maximum of 5 authors a year.
The question which prompted my reply was:
"Why only 5 books? Surely POD/electronic publishing isn't all that complicated"

There are hundreds of POD publishers out there (go to Preditors and Editors for some fine examples) who will publish anything and everything and many more that will charge a lot of money for the privilege. Caffeine Nights Publishing is neither. I thought I gave the clue away when I used the word quality, maybe I should also have added discerning. Publishing five new authors a year allows time to treat each book and author selected the quality of service their endeavours requires. We are a new company and maybe I have made some errors of judgement but personally I like to support each author with a decent PR push for their work. After all it is my time and money that is supporting this venture and I have a vested interest to see a return on that investment. Last year we received numerous submissions and most of it would undoubtedly have been picked up by many of the POD publishers who will print the details of a bus ticket without caring about the impact it has on the already tarnished reputation of POD. Most submissions simply were not good enough.

Our books go through a process of editing, re-reading, re-reading and re-reading before they get anywhere near final proof. Our covers are professionally and individually designed in consultation with the author but we have final say on artwork. We have set up excellent distribution channels for eBooks as well as printed and will be rolling eBooks out in the last quarter of 09. Finally, where possible with UK based authors we will be providing a filmed author interview and/or book trailer for each title. By choosing five authors it enables us to retain control over the quality of product, reputation and brand. Sure I could set up a company to fleece authors and bang out any old crap, but I chose the hard road instead by providing a service which is not too common with POD companies and a level of support for authors to ensure that each title receives individual attention.
POD has a poor reputation but many mainstream publishers are seeing the benefits and now publish titles using the technology. Many POD publishers have brought this poor reputation by offering a service which exploits authors and delivers nothing in return except a handful of sales to friends and relatives. I want Caffeine Nights to position itself in new territory which offers a digital publishing service but is not afraid of having high standards.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Good Man - I believe we share some common aims there.

Ed (Byker Books)