Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Publisher's Weekly article on self-publishing

The desire to "release your writing" just got a little easier. I gave a presentation last night at Mt. Prospect Public Library (IL), touting the benefits of print-on-demand (POD). The savvy library director pointed me to this Publishers Weekly article. It says so many of the same things I was saying to the crowd last night:

[Lightning Source] CEO J. Kirby Best recites a list of print-on-demand milestones: Lightning Source has grown from three employees in 1997 to more than 500 today; the company digitally scans about 2,000 books a week and prints 1.2 million books a month. “It took us seven years to print 10 million books,” says Best as we stroll through the 159,000-sq.-ft. building. “This year we published 10 million books in the first 11 months.”

For years, print-on-demand has held out the promise of a new business model. Rather than print thousands of copies of a book and then work frantically to sell them, POD stands the usual publishing model on its head. POD offers publishers the possibility of selling a book before it is printed and then delivering it directly to a consumer, to a store or to a publisher's warehouse. As the differences in the quality between POD and conventional offset printing continue to shrink—“it's getting damn close to offset,” says Best—publishers are taking a good long look at the potential of POD technology to eliminate warehousing entirely and manage their supply chain as never before.

Nevertheless, publishers contacted for this article maintain that offset printing remains more cost effective for print runs over about 1,000 copies. Best, noting that Lightning Source can print up to 45,000 copies a day, is quick to argue that the difference in cost can be a myth, insisting that the cost-per-copy advantage of offset printing should be balanced against the prospect of pallets of unsold copies sitting in warehouses or sales lost because not enough copies are printed.

Note: In comment from "Yvonne" below, use www.ahablog.com for her link. Won't work without the www.
-- Helen

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Writing Diet

The new year is always flooded with diet books, but this one is a bit different.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way and The Right to Write, has released a diet book, called The Writing Diet. I haven't read it and probably won't, but if you're a fan of Cameron and morning pages, you might find it beneficial. She notes that some of us overeat as a blocking device and writing can be a comfort during those struggles. "All of us are creative and all of us can be more creative than we are. As we relinquish or blocking devices, we come into our power." Her other recent books were as diverse as blessings, prayer, walking and water, so maybe she's working her way through the alphabet.

If you read The Writing Diet, let us know what you think of it, by adding a Comment here.

You'll find many more productive aids to release your writing in my fat-free book: Release Your Writing.