Bank Holiday Monday, but many major stores open.

Today, I visited the nearest branch of Waterstones to collect a couple of copies of my latest book My Musical Journey by Lawrence Estrey, an autobiography.

I found it a strange experience. On the one hand, I left the store with a book officially published that is listed in the British Library and available from many bookstores.

On the other hand, I left, aware that I’d published the book as a Print On Demand, meaning I face all the marketing obstacles that self-published authors face. Although major bookstores can and generally will order Print On Demand titles for customers, they will not stock them.

A couple of hours later, I sold a copy.

Pros And Cons

Having gone down the Print On Demand route three times, I feel qualified to offer some advice on the subject.

  • Print On Demand almost certainly guarantees an official publication. Crucial in an industry where competition is rife. Anyone can publish.
  • Print On Demand rarely costs much, although the author may choose to pay for additional services.
  • Requires marketing skills, determination.
  • Mainstream publishers seldom take on Print On Demand books; if they do, they may ask for a re-edit.
  • Dealing with the often unspoken question, “if your book’s that good, then why wasn’t it accepted by a publishing house?”

As you can see, Print On Demand has advantages and disadvantages.

To sum up – if you’re passionate about seeing your voice in print and sharing with readers, go for it. As the old saying goes, the sky’s your limit. (Just don’t expect to get rich.)

Just some of my thoughts.

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