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Consumer Alert:
What You Should Know about POD Publishing
Service Providers

By Shari Faden Donahue

On average, just 100 – 200 copies per POD title are sold – with a whopping 64% of those copies purchased by the author.

Bookstores will NOT stock a title that has been published by a POD publishing service provider.

Beware of POD publishing service providers that bait you with confusing low-ball packages – then “up-charge” you for extras once they have you “hooked!”

Books published by POD publishing service providers typically have a negative connotation in the traditional book trade market due to “quality” issues.

Books sold by POD publishing service providers are typically 40%-50% higher priced than comparable trade books.

POD publishing service providers set artificially high retail prices on the books they publish to compensate for the “royalty” payments they pay their authors.

POD publishing service providers typically do not meet essential bookstore requirements including competitive pricing and book return privileges.

You can’t hide your affiliation with a POD publishing service provider because its name typically appears as the “publisher” on the copyright page and cover of your book ... as well as on the Web sites of online retailers next to your book image.

ISBN, Library of Congress Number, and EAN bar code is registered in the name of the POD publishing service provider. You are not the “true” publisher of your book if these compliance codes are not registered under your name.

A POD children’s picture book can only be printed in standard sizes – typically 81/4” x 81/4” or 81/2” x 11”.

POD publishing service providers cannot print book title on vertical softcover spine.

Many POD publishing service providers use nothing more than adhesive to bind hardcover picture books.

POD publishing service providers rarely provide options in paper stock, cover stock, etc.

Some POD publishing service providers invite their “authors” to sign a contract enabling them to publish at a low price within the following 3-year period ... but will refund their money for only one year. Read the fine print!