The problem with P.O.D.
The problem with P.O.D. is that nobody reads it.
Way harsh, Tai. Yes, way. But as an omnivorous reader I have never had anyone recommend a P.O.D. title to me that wasn’t their own book. That does not exactly bolster my consumer confidence. In fact, it gives the whole enterprise something of a snake oil feel. As a writer, I stay away from P.O.D. for the same underlying reason- there is no quality control. Anything can be published, and you know what? I don’t want to read anything. I want to read something that has been through a wringer of edits. And I want my own writing to have it’s ass kicked by the best of the best, I want it to be released in the most accessible manner possible; which is still through a traditional publisher, be the press large or small. I want it to reach as many people as possible. If I can’t sell my work to an agent or editor, chances are it’s because the writing isn’t good enough. I’m fine with that, because I’m willing to work to be better. Of course, rejection can be a matter of poor timing, like if I had spent the last decade laboring over a vampire novel, I’d be pretty pissed right now, because the market is totally over-saturated.
I guess websites like Lulu make some people happy, but they just feel exploitative to me. It’s like saying, don’t keep trying. Just print here, and guilt trip your friends and coworkers into spending more than they would have to on a traditionally published book to receive a product that has gotten none of the usual professional treatment. Then they will have to awkwardly complement you on your talent when you prod them about it, even though they quit reading after the first twelve pages.
This website claims that the average self-published novel sells between 50-100 copies (but I don’t know how they obtained those numbers, so grain of salt). To me, that feels like giving up. It reminds me of that old SNL skit.
Yuck. And yes, now I have the jingle stuck in my head.