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The On Demand Dilemma

Online retail giant Amazon.com has acquired BookSurge, which maintains a catalog of thousands of print on demand book titles.

Greg Greeley, vice president of media products for Amazon.com says:

Print-on-demand has changed the economics of small-quantity printing, making it possible for books with low and uncertain demand to be profitably produced

Is this a good thing for writers? Depends. Often the perception of Print On Demand books is they are self-published, poorly edited books rejected by mainstream publishers. But this in not necessarily true. Best sellers such as “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” were originally self-published. Most of these successful self-published works were non-fiction pieces the authors marketed heavily. What about fiction? There are some success stories, but they are few and far between.

Greeley continues:

BookSurge makes it possible to print books that appeal to targeted audiences, whether it’s one copy or one thousand…thanks to print-on-demand, ‘out of print’ is out of date.

In general, don’t self-publish fiction if you think it will enhance your resume. But if you’re writing a highly-targeted non-fiction book and you don’t mind doing all the marketing yourself, this can be a great medium.

Christian Writer’s Blogs for Dummies, anyone?

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