POD Series #5 –Nightmare On Madison Avenue

While most of the Print On Demand business plans result in an author’s book never seeing the light of day, there is another side of the coin: Success.

“What’s that you, say, Price? Success? You’re mad! Since when is success a problem?”

Obviously it’s not a problem when a publisher is set up to meet the demand that’s been created by theirs and their authors promotional efforts.

Case in point;

An author contacted me asking if I’d consider taking on her book. Her story tumbled out in an emotional rush.

Her book had caught the attention of a major sports chain, and they wanted 20,000 units in three month’s time to coincide with some sports hoopteedoo. She spent that night celebrating with an expensive bottle of wine and caviar. She’d done it. She hit the Big Time.

The next morning, while nursing a hangover, she contacted her publisher with the fabulous news, expecting they’d name a day of the week after her. They hemmed, they hawed, and……..

dumped her.

That’s right. They dumped her. What was their reasoning, you ask? Not being successful.

The author was dumbfounded. I explained that the Print On Demand business plan isn’t equipped to handle huge orders like this. First off, her book wasn’t returnable. If it was, they’d potentially face X number of returns. This can kill a small company, and they have to have the financial backing to withstand the financial hit. That’s why publishers are so careful about what they publish. We don’t want returns.

The sport company, naturally, wanted deep discounts. This isn’t unusual. For the POD company, however, it is very unusual to allow deep discounting because it costs them money. It’s a lot easier all around to simply sell books to their authors at higher prices because they don’t discount those sales nearly as much.

Suddenly without a publisher, this author was left hanging in the wind. The sporting hoopteedoo happened without her. They found another book to promote at their event, and that author is becoming quite a name in the sports world. This author aches at the thought that it could have been her.

End of story.

End of dreams.

One Response to POD Series #5 –Nightmare On Madison Avenue

  1. Rebecca Burgess says:

    Thank you so much for doing this series. I too have felt the temptation of immediate gratification that publishing POD offers. I came across your blog in my research trying to learn more about the pros and cons; how wonderfully you’ve laid it all bare. You didn’t have to do this, but I’m very thankful that you have.

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