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A Quick Review of POD, Publishing On Demand, By Michael Lee Johnson


I used iUniverse Publishers, http://www.iuniverse.com/ for my adventure with my book of poetry,  The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedom, by Michael Lee Johnson. 

I started out attempting to contact traditional publishers of chapbooks and small press publishers specializing in poetry, and other non-main street venues.  I soon found out that most were associated with contests once a year to generate funds for the one publication printed per year; or no real interest since poetry as a general rule doesn’t  generate the publisher money.  It appears that self-help books and the occasional novel stand a better traditional chance of selling and making profit.  Since I’m 59, soon to be 60, I didn’t want to invest more time into seeking out the slim hope of finding a traditional publishers, so I looked to POD, “Publishing on demand. “   The key feature of POD, is they print only orders as they have been ordered, when they are ordered.  The wholesale cost is higher than a traditional publisher, but you are not stuck with inventory under your bed.  Prices and services vary greatly from one POD publisher to the next; but most have a format or procedure they follow and most provide a rudimentary distribution process through wholesalers to get your book at least listed with some key players like Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Target.com, etc.  But with out the author self promoting himself with his own efforts, the book is likely to die on line without sales.  With POD, you must market yourself right from the start if you have any hope of limited sales, especially on your first book as an relatively unknown author.  One could write a book on POD, one key benefit is the author keeps control over his work.  Some POD publishers are Author House, who recently merged with iUniverse, Book Surge.  A more complete list with pricing and comparison of services can be found at:  http://booksandtales.com/pod/index.php  Overall, POD suited my needs to get established, retain ownership, with a quick, and easy procedures to follow to get the book published and assigned with an ISBN book number which is critical for creditability.   

Written by,

Michael Lee Johnson, Author of:The Lost American:  From Exile to Freedomhttp://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7 


Ars Poetica, by Gale Acuff

I thought that using red ink to write would
help me draw better blood from the stone-page.
I can see better--the words are on fire
and there is smoke. Wait--that's my cigarette.
I've got the fan on, the poor-man's west wind,
and I've sliced an apple for the fragrance
that I hope will entice my gray taste buds.
Nothing's happening but this, which I read
as I write it and will read again once
when it's written. I'll hate its final form,
however, and wonder why poetry
can't be more like dance. The ballerina
could be writing something with her toes but
I'd rather watch just how she takes it down
and not the language of the steps themselves.
And nothing's ever finished anyway
that isn't finished, else why would one read
if not to learn he's missed the point again?
Maybe the mistake's in trying twice or
a dozen or a hundred times to get
it right, but once it is, it's never been.
Art, I think, is the end of things; making
it means having to begin again to
know that process is eternal and Art's
a corpse--what's worse, a corpse without a name,
though when I put the pen down and look up
I'm buried in the wind and blood and God.

Editor Comments:  I don't have an extended bio of Gale Acuff-yet, I feel this poem has as much to do with the art of poetry as it does being a poem itself-that's why it's on this page.  Hold it, Gale send me some info and I'm very impressed:  PhD in English/Creative Wrting from Texas Tech University.  Gale has many poems published in journals and little magazines, and authored two books (Buffalo Nickel; The Weight of the World) and a third one should be published next year. Gale has taught university English in the US, PR China, and here in the Palestinian West Bank, where now an assistant professor in the Modern Languages Department.


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