After running into difficulties finding a publisher accepting new writers, I decided to look into Print on Demand (POD) publishing. POD uses digital technology to print one book at a time relatively cheaply (but still not cheaply enough, as I found out). I researched three of the top POD publishers--XLibris, BookSurge (run by Amazon), and AuthorHouse. What I found was rather depressing. A big problem is that POD publishing is not highly looked upon by most readers, reviewers, and booksellers, mainly because very few of the publishers actually screen the submissions. Little Miss Wanna B. Awriter off the street can use it and call herself a published author.
Then there are the fees. $500-$700 just for the basic service! If you want marketing help or promo kits, those will cost $100s extra.
And finally, what you end up with is a 5.5"x8.5" trade paperback that you can really only buy online for the astonishing price of $21.99 (XLibris), $14.99 (BookSurge), or approx. $11.95 (AuthorHouse). That doesn't include shipping costs. Who in their right mind is going to pay those prices for a little paperback book by an author they've never heard of? All the marketing campaigns in the world wouldn't help sell a first novel at those prices. Now, if I were the outgoing type, I could buy thousands of my books myself, at the much more reasonable price of $4.40 (for 2000+ books at XLibris) or $4.50 (for 1000+ books at BookSurge), and attempt to sell them on my own. Since I'm not the outgoing type, I'd more likely just end up with thousands of unsold novels molding in my garage. While researching this avenue of publishing, I came across a very good article <a href="http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html "><strong>here</strong></a>. This is part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website (whose <a href="http://www.sfwa.org/beware/"><strong>Writer Beware</strong></a> section is a superb source of info on many other related subjects), and a great overview of the problems associated with POD. At the end of the article was a link to another great site, <a href="http://dehanna.com/database.htm"><strong>The Original "For a Fee" Print-On-Demand Publisher Database</strong></a>. I intend on reading through it carefully with highlighter in hand to see if there are better publishers than the ones I've already found. I certainly hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.