The State of P.O.D.
by Heather Covington
Copyright 2008. Disilgold.


Print on demand publishing gained popularity very quickly as an alternative to vanity publishing where authors are offered a 10 to 100 books as an advance in return for paying for publishing at a cost of $5,000- $10,000 or more, and possibly never seeing a royalty payment in the history of one’s book life.Call it a sham or highway robbery and laugh as loud as you want to, but many authors eager to see their book in print with traditional publishing format making one’s book gain the same make and feel as any mainstream book on the market have fallen prey by the tens of thousands with silent despair and agony.

 These vanity presses promised that vanity books would be distributed onto book store shelves and authors would virtually never have to worry about clerical matters. As soon as a book sells over a specific amount, one only need to receive a W-2 form and report one’s earnings for tax purposes. It sounded good to newly copyrighted authors whose updated information became accessible to dubbed predators like Dorrance Publishing who send inviting letters for publishing to all authors.  Maybe they have changed, but the complaints are all over the net and some like companies have only changed their name and are still at it.

 Responsible authors like Tom and Marilyn Ross and Dan Poynter alerted authors of these “Ponze” schemes, but there were still hundreds and thousands of authors who had tried the self-publishing route. They copyrighted their work properly. They obtained an ISBN, BARCODE, listed their work with Bowker in Print, acquired a wholesaler and distributor for single titles and were only disappointed to find scams with printing companies, small distributors now out of business, shady fulfillment centers, and the biggest shock of their lives upon receiving returns for books listed with a wholesaler leaving them in the negative. You can’t make a profit until the sales in the negative are paid up.

 Self-published authors became reluctant to send book order requests until they received their payment for initial book orders in risk that they would wind up more in the negative. And for those who tried a consignment basis with direct deposit of their books to their favorite stores, the economy, new taxes, light, water bills and everything you can think off caused some bookstores to delay payment instead of shut down, but many authors without day jobs went out of business. It’s like no one is to blame because publishing is a risk, period. Publishing is not for wimps. It’s a business, not a game.

 Even people’s trends and taste in books change. Some books that are hot now lose steam and those that are timeless make a comeback like no one ever saw coming. It’s never too late to promote a book. And not to digress, but where many authors went wrong was trying to write more than 10 books in efforts to gain mainstream distribution, and even take on the arduous role of publishing other author’s books to gain that direct distribution access to stores, but didn’t realize to pull off this feat one has to already be a millionaire and have ground to take risks with all probability of disaster because again, trends change. Already, someone is trying to sabotage urban book authors. Many have families to feed and selling books is part of their every day lives. Of course, there is garbage and trach in every genre, but no one genre should ever be stigmatized to the point that all authors who write from the genre are put into a box.

  It’s 2009 and you can’t make money from one dollar or turn one dollar into one million. It’s time to understand that publishing success requires longevity, not hype and schemes. You begin to look like a con artist when you keep hustling the could ofs and would ofs. I tell authors to just promote your books. All of that other hype just changes the market from literature to a battle of words that can never be reversed once said. I probe the net and I am even offended by the nonsense and bashing out there. People are spending real time writing and want success, not pipe dreams or when they get to the top,a bunch of evil doers waiting to bring you back down.

 Keeping this in mind, the open window of 90 days for payment by bookstores and distributors slowed down progress for self-published authors leaving many to only be able to move at maximum 2500-5000 copies of their books per year. Take away minimum bookstore and distributor discounts and costs to print each book, plus travel, lodge and food arrangements per booksigning on a national tour and hard working self-published authors were only left with chump change. Chump change is anything from 300,000 and down. With taxes, management expenses, publicists awaiting their million dollar payout with their clients on the sidewings, traveling, lodging and food expenses and upkeep of one’s professional image and you have dwindled down any money to that of your highest paid city worker. It’s all an annual salary at the end of the day. Getting past the chump change to acquire longevity takes getting one’s work on the market various ways.

If you were lucky, you might outsell other authors on a given day by maybe a few books and be selected by bestselling list reported stores. At least,you could carry your bestselling status for some authors actually sell hundreds of thousands of books and others will admit, that even a New York Times bestselling novel at number 3 might only have sold 5000 copies nationally. It’s perplexing to even think about because the book scans are accessible for any book on the market sold through traditional bookstores unlike independent bookstores and distributors. No one wants to live the lie, and certainly respect in the publishing industry these days is valued by one’s worth which breeds hostility toward authors. If you’re making money and other authors are not, you are placed on the author hit list in forums and websites. No one loves a winner and why I have protected my interests as an author by not focusing on wealth as a determination  of my success an dbuilding a direct mail order publishing company with a variety of guides that serve better for niche markets than your mainstream market and I am fine with that. Some of us want fame only and some of us want fame and fortune… that’s a real fortune.

It gets pretty obvious by one’s actions. There are some very generous authors out there doing great things for others. Sometimes tears swelter my eyes beause I see growth and I am like this is the meaning of my 5 PRINCIPLES OF SUCCESS FORMULA  since 2001 that I published in a P.O.D. book called The Disilgold Way: Countdown 101 From Writer to Self-Publisher to make the book available for download at on purpose and not by accident everytime I promote it and directly show the value of P.O.D. without saying much to the naysayers of the form of publishing. I’m showin that regardless what peopel say, I have found a bullet proof formula, am not bothering a soul and am able to cater to anyone’s favorite mode of reading a book whether a downloadable e-book, hardcover or paperback. Now I hear my p.o.d. books are acessible with a new KINDEL device.

When I train new authors of guidebooks on my technique, in less than a few weeks they have their books on a new website that generates high interest traffice and makes the sale at the end of the scroll because they have books that give information. You don’t have to be famous or smart with my p.o.d. solution for authors who don’t want to stock books and deal with the paperwork and clerical. In fact, you can change your name and because your product is available from a sizeable and trusted p.o.d. bookstore and not some jack leg entrepreneur who may be a thief, you are able to promote more sales. Sure, you may not make anyone’s bestseller list because the books aren’t on bookstores shelves unless you request to have them stocked, but who cares. If wealth is what you want for high interest books than p.o.d. is the wave of the future. Remember people buy books that provide information and hate to wait for book orders. E-books help folks get the information they want right away. I don’t call myself the P.O.D. QUEEN for nothing. Folks may put their middle finger up at me, but I put my hand right on my ass and say kiss it because this Literary Diva is doing the darn thing. I still don’t think I even need a lone store although I have one online developing at Google search is powerful alone and folks can find specifically what they need by just punching in key words. It is up to you to upgrade your high interest book sites per each title with meta-tags.

I haven’t even had a chance to do this for a site called The amount of time it takes to promote each book with this method I explain in workshops is outrageous, but once you create one high interest site the sky is the limit. I am just getting aroudn to updating my personal websites like and where I give a perfect demonstration of this 1 page scroll effect. However, the best sell is when you get folks to contact you directly where they know you are accessible and request your mail order catalog. Even the one time sale is not good enough. You want repeat customers. You’ve got to let folks know that more books are on the way! There were other books that I made a big mistake in putting out there before they were finalized and I lost interest in marketing because the thrill of marketing is when no one knows that a book is by you. Having pseudonym names empowers yourself as writer. Trust me! I really can’t explain, but I will let you in on one secret I used while customers contacted for guides and asked who I was. I would tell them I am Heather Covington and if you don’t believe me go to myspace site and watch me change something specific. My base is so loyal to me it is incredible! And I have to admit their have been publicity stunts, but in the name of promoting books, there is no shame to my support of authors.

When I saw that some authors were receiving backlash for their success stories, I knew I had to kind of suppress the media over at Authors self-published or on the mainstream work very hard and don’t deserve backlash after they have  helped motivate others to rise to the top. Some will never show that they have been motivated, inspired or even lend an appreciation of support with a link because often there is animosity against people like me who chose to be the underdog and come out the winner on top despite opposition.

People should be happy for authors who rise to the top whether self-published or mainstream published or a p.o.d. author, but very often it’s a dog-eat-dog world and when one has reached the pinnacle of their success, gaining wealth often sacrifices fame and respect to no fault to one’s own mission. This is the very reason why P.O.D. publishing has been beneficial to new  to classic to mainstream published authors using pseudonym names. Why? Sometimes you just have to get away from yourself as writer to step out of the box and see yourself in the eyes of others which is very difficult when you are yourself all of the time.

For example, I am sometimes Heather and sometimes my alter-ego pen name BABE when I meet folks at signings. I write from different genres and so it is important for me to never let people figure me out and remain unpredictable. I am my own marketing machine and there isn’t  a single entity who can promote me better than I promote myself and if so, they are at the top of my websites or acknowledged as media from hundreds that have highlighted me. 

And- it’s not that I am ungrateful. I do know  how long it takes to promote and support folks because I am media. It is a labor of love, but I tend to know the difference between real supporters and opportunists. Yes, there are some people who believe you deserve negativity when you make it to the top or want to bring you down.

 I myself utilized the form of P.O.D.  publishing, but folks did not know it. I was received for my talent on a large scale and proposed no threat to anyone. I recall a well known classic author pinching my cheeks and congratulating me for breaking in with my little p.o.d. books. I remained humble and unaffected by the division of publishing because many local media with that support base for humble and new authors gave me a big break. I received the kind of publicity money cannot by. Folks would say, “Oh she’s just a p.o.d. author, poor thang!” I just stayed focused and kept submitting my p.o.d. books for awards and reviews.

My p.o.d. books were received very well and while there were still some naysayers who had every right to deny the form of publishing, I made it clear to never knock someone for trying, for it’s better to fail trying than to fail and never try something new at all. People asked me why I had utilized it, and then I slowly revealed my purpose which there were 3 reasons believe it or not. 1. As an educator, I simply did not have time on my hands back then to maintain a book business like I do now with efficiency. P.O.D. freed up my hands so I could focus on my craft of writing. (I’ll be back tomorrow with the other two reasons!)

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