Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Print on Demand (POD)?

I wrote this post in an earlier incarnation of a "writing" blog that I decided was neither elegant enough in appearance or "meatier" enough in content. I'm much happier with the current layout and except for not yet figuring out how to group postings under different topics like I can in the Edublogs blogs I set up for my work, I'm content with the content so far. For now, this one seems like a "keeper"...But what does this have to do with Print on Demand?

I became a Dad a few months ago. Although this event was not entirely unanticipated (we had tried for three years), when it did happen, it took me almost completely by surprise. Suddenlly, every routine I had established over a lifetime of childless adulthood was turned on its ear. The first to go, it seemed was the writing regimen I had established only two years ago. Luckily, by the time my son made his appearance, I had my first book (Mai Shangri-La) "in the can", so to speak, and my second book at what I estimated was 70% complete. So much for good intentions.

In the nearly ten months now since Jr.'s birth, I have completed the first draft of the second book ("The Wayback Machine"), but the second draft rewrite of Mai Shangri-La has languished - and my marketing efforts have pretty much dried up on this, my first completed novel.

"Too long for a first novel," said one publisher.
"Too complicated," said one prospective agent.
"The flashback technique isn't compelling," said another agent.
"Not my kind of book," said a third, although I HAD carefully (I thought) researched the market to match potential agents with my genre and writing style.

And so, I find myself now with TWO completed manuscripts, and, at the moment, nothing in the way of a really promising publishing prospect in the works. This begs the question, "Should I launch the new book that's been simmering away on the back burner ever since I was halfway through Mai Shangri-La, or should I concentrate on getting something into print to confirm my belief that making the break into the publishing world will, ultimately be achievable.

To cut through this problem, I've decided to finish the third draft of Mai Shangri-La and let it go with the POD service. Although I'll need to spend a good bit of time on promotional work (since I'm a complete unknown at this point), I think that putting a wrap on MSL will free me to begin work on any one of several new projects that have been bubbling on the back-burner for some time (ike MSL did - for ten years....)

I'm not a whiner by nature, but if anyone was ever to read this post who can offer a new, sure-fire suggestion for making that first big break into traditional publishing, I"m all ears....