A New Era in Publishing

When I was studying the publishing industry, trying to figure out how to get published, one thing bothered me. There you are, a debut author, and because the publisher does not promote you — spending their promotion dollars instead on the big names — your books sit on bookstore shelves or in warehouses until finally the publisher gives up on you and remainders your book. That is the best scenario, because if it is remaindered, at least it will still be available for a time. Generally what happens is that it is pulped. 25% of a publisher’s total output (including your beloved book) is destroyed. This after shipping costs incurred to and from the publisher’s warehouse.

My books, More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire are being published by Second Wind Publishing, a so-called POD publisher, and because of it, I do not have to fear my novels succumbing to such a fate. Nor do I have to fear an inadvertent error showing up in thousands of volumes. As soon as an error is found, it can be corrected. Because of POD technology, there is no reason to destroy unsold merchandise. There is no reason to stop publishing a novel because it does not live up to the bottom-line demands of the traditional publishing houses.

Small presses today are where independent movie producers were in the late eighties and early nineties. They have the ability to publish books that need time to reach an audience, books that might not appeal to the masses but could still be loved by many (and turn a tidy profit in the process.)

Though POD still has the taint of vanity press, my books did go through a submission process, and I like knowing I was chosen. I like having a say in the editing, the cover choice, the arduous copy-editing. I even like promotion — what I’ve done of it, anyway.

So, new era in publishing? Good for us all. And I am pleased to be a part of it.

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13 Responses to “A New Era in Publishing”

  1. Dani Says:

    Popped straight over from your Facebook link! Are you on Twitter – I’ll follow you if so.


  2. A. F. Stewart Says:

    I certainly hope it’s a new era in publishing. Attitudes do seem to be softening towards POD.

  3. ~Sia McKye~ Says:

    “Small presses today are where independent movie producers were in the late eighties and early nineties.”

    That’s true, Pat. Technology is changing the face of entertainment, whether it be movies, music, or books. The trick is figuring out how to effectively ride the wave to success. With the independent movie producers there was a lot less money around for funding publicity, promotion or getting the big names. It didn’t stop them from producing some memorable, well made movies. It’s the same with independent presses and POD publishers. Quality is still present.

    Personally, I think you’ve done a marvelous job at publicity and promotion. Ask yourself, how many knew who Pat Bertram was two years ago? You can’t say that today.

  4. Pat Bertram Says:

    Sia, even I didn’t know who Pat Bertram was two years ago! I hadn’t started inventing her yet.

    People talk about the golden age of movies, but for me it’s that time of the big independents — Castle Rock, New Line, and dozens of others who have been bought out by the conglomerate. During the five years from 1987 to 1992 (with a spillover to 1993) some of the best movies were made. Maybe during this next five years, some of the best books will be published.

  5. John Marion Francis Says:


    You and I have been walking up the digital path now for a few months. You have come a long way from when I met you 😉

    A Reflection:
    I was in SAM’s last weekend strolling down the isles when I turned down the book isle. Low and behold on an End Cap (promotional section at the end of an Isle) I saw a Sony Digital Book Reader display complete with a demo unit setup with a book on it so shoppers could try it! You can store up to 300 books on it.

    The Big Authors are already Harlequin, Ian Fleming, Jack Higgins, even Jordan Dane (she’s in your Facebook Suspense Group)!

    The technology is catching up the print books. I don’t think print books will ever go away, but today’s generation and the future ones will be leaning more and more towards Digital & eBooks.

    You Rock!


    • Pat Bertram Says:

      John, it wasn’t that long ago when I was asking everyone I met online how to promote. Frankly, I still don’t know much — just muddling through — but it seems as if others don’t know much either. I guess we’ll all learn together.

  6. Jee Leong Koh Says:

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for inviting me on FB to join your blog. I’ve linked it to mine: http://equaltotheearth.blogspot.com/, and will be following it.


  7. Pat Bertram Says:

    Jee, I returned the favor.

  8. Jo-Anne Says:

    Hi Pat;

    My view of the large NY publishers are changing. I like what you said and will take that information as to my next step into the publishing era. Have you checked out my blog this week on “Publishing Formats” and “Publishing Options”? Really opens an author’s eyes. There are choices out there and it’s no surprise our views today differ from yesterday.

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    Professional Support Network for Writers
    Prolific Writer of Romantic Fiction

  9. Helen Ginger Says:

    I do agree that times are changing. Small presses and the POD technology are making headway into what used to be the “big” publishers’ territory. At the same time, the bigger houses are slowly adapting and getting into POD and ebooks. I think rather than head-butting each other, the two can co-exist.

    I’ll make sure I’m following you on Twitter, Pat.
    Helen Ginger

  10. lynn doiron Says:

    Interesting. Just read an article in the New York Times Books Update a few days ago regarding self-publishing. Does seem to be the buzz. Personally, I think I would fail, and miserably, in the promotional area. Are there Pulicists who work with POD authors/books? Interesting. Glad to have read this, Pat.

  11. James Rafferty Says:

    Good insights. The point you made about studying the publishing industry is telling; it’s clear you’ve already learned a lot during this journey. You already seem to a zen master in cyber promotion. Keep up the good work and I’ll borrow the part that seem to work for me.


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