“Did you know the trials you
face today will be the treasures that enrich your tomorrows?” Janet
Eckles illustrates this through her published-on-demand, or
printed-on-demand, (POD) book Trials of Today, Treasures for
Janet is not only a gifted
writer, but also a gifted speaker. Had she gone the traditional route
to publish her book rather than POD, she would not have been able to
sell her book to her speaking audience. She chose the Christian
publisher Xulon Publishing at http://www.xulonpress.com/.
She likes that POD publishing eliminates the problem of book storage.
My own POD publishing experience
allowed me to learn to meet deadlines, gain much insight about writing
and publishing, and publish two books. There are many advantages to POD
publishing. Little or no upfront money is high on the list. I found
Publish America (PA), http://www.publishamerica.com/,
offers some of the best book covers I’ve seen, and they work with the
author on designing them. I was able to use a digital picture for the
cover on my second novel.
The price per book runs more
than traditionally published books. The main drawback for me was the
cost per book and not having my novels available in bookstores so
customers could pick up the book and flip through it. When I buy books,
I want to read the first paragraph, cover material, the inside flap,
and scan through the book. To overcome this problem, online stores now
allow readers to browse books.
When deciding the publication
route, reasons for wanting your work published need to be considered.
It’s the perfect route for publishing a certain quantity of books and
for having your books available online. POD is an excellent method for
learning about the publishing experience firsthand. Be sure to check
reputable publishers by researching the company before investing time
Janet, a former American
Christian Fiction Writer (ACFW) critique group member, advises asking
yourself questions to determine if POD publishing is the route for you:
1. What is
the motivation behind your decision—disappointment, desire, or
diligence? At first, I was excited to see my book published. This isn’t
the best motivation, and I learned through my mistakes.
2. Is your book is different from those in the same genre? Do you
present a different angle? Does your writing grab the reader?
3. Do you have the commitment or funds to market the book? The only
marketing PA did was online. It’s up to the authors to market their
books. The bottom line is if you want your book to be successful, you must
4. Are you
willing to spend more time honing your craft? This was the
question I should have asked myself early on. When I published my POD
books, I learned how much I didn’t know about the
publishing world. I discovered how important it is to identify your
target audience, your readers.
Janet suggests investing in
writer’s conferences and networking with other authors. I suggest using
a critique group. My ACFW critique group has proven to be the most
helpful for me. I’ve learned so much since actively participating.
I had the desire, the love, and
the passion for writing, but I needed to work under a mentor. A
colleague told me she’s never seen anyone with the passion for writing
I have. I needed guidance and direction, and I found it through the
critique group and the Christian Writers Guild classes with Eva Marie
Everson as my writing mentor. Now I’ll strive for excellence as a
life-long learner and continue to hone my craft.
5. Are you
committed enough to work and present a well-crafted manuscript? Is your
manuscript polished so that it’s comparable to traditionally published
6. Are you devoted enough to spend funds to market your book and begin
a speaking platform?
If you can answer yes to these
questions, you’re on your way to seeing your POD or self-published book
soar to success. Janet is a perfect example of a lady who’s done her
homework and succeeded. Visit her at www.janetperezeckles.com.
Be sure to browse Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow
at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com. Talented writer and gifted
speaker Eva Marie says, “I chose to go with WinePress Publishing when I
decided to write Word Weavers: The Story of a Successful
Writers Group, rather than use traditional publishing because
I knew the market—though large enough—was small in comparison to, say,
my book about Israel, Reflections of God’s Holy Land
(Thomas Nelson), or any of my novels, such as The Potluck Club
series or Things Left Unspoken (Baker/Revel).”
My most valuable lesson learned
was realizing my need to hone my craft and improve my writing skills,
so I acquired my rights back from PA to rewrite it. As Janet says, the
trials faced during my POD publishing time became treasures, nuggets of
information to guide me on my writing journey.
John Grisham, Edgar Allan Poe,
Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain all self-published and were
successful. If you’ve the commitment and dedication for excellence,
your POD or self-published book can stand out and succeed.