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March 4th, 2008

12:26 PM

I need suggestions


I don't like the current "POD/Self-Pub" tag on my website. Look under the "Book reviews" menu on your left hand side of the website, the third panel - that's what I'm talking about. The tag is cumbersome. I'm trying to think of an accurate and more succinct word or phrase (preferably a single word) to describe books published by both vanity publishers (Lulu, Xlibris, et cetera) as well as those self-published in a traditional manner (where the author sets up her own company just to publish her own books while dealing with the printers, et cetera directly).

The problem is, even the self-publishing community can't decide on what they should call themselves. Many traditional self publishers want to distance themselves from those people who use third-party self-publishing companies like Lulu, reasoning that companies like Lulu allow many people who have no business putting up and selling their books to do so. This, they say, add to the stigma of self-publishing that they already face. Personally, I see no clear-cut evidence where traditional self-publishers are in any way superior in terms of the quality of their works to those who use Lulu, but I'm just reporting the situation.

So, there seems to be a call to separate vanity from traditional self-publishers.

What therefore should I use to replace the cumbersome "POD/Self-Pub"?

"POD" is actually a method of printing, so it's not accurate to use that word. Or so these self-publishing folks say.

"Independent" is even more inaccurate, since small presses who don't use digital POD method and actually have conventional distribution methods in bookstores will therefore be lumped under here.

I'm leaning towards "Self-Published" but as I've said, some traditional self-publishers are not going to be happy if I do this and lump them with users of Lulu and such.

So, any ideas what word/phrase I should use to replace "POD/Self-Pub"? I've been following this discussion on Lulu but all I get is a headache since nobody can agree on a definitive term to call themselves!

2 comment(s).

Posted by annvremont:

March 4th, 2008 @ 10:25 PM

Posted by Ann Somerville:

I think you should distinguish between vanity publishers and self-publishers. I largely self-publish on my site and on Lulu. I don't pay anyone to put my books out, and Lulu takes a modest fee to handle the admin and so on. A vanity publisher takes a hefty fee to 'publish' someone's work and then tries to make it look like it's traditionally published.

Personally I think 'self-published' is fine because even vanity publications are essentially that. Not all self-pubs are POD. Most of my novels are available completely free on my website and will remain so. They're still worth reading!
March 8th, 2008 @ 2:03 PM