Customer Reviews: Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach To Printing And Marketing Books For Publishers And Self-Publishing Authors
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I've read most of the available books about self-publishing and can recommend this one wholeheartedly. It begins with the premise that authors must think of their writing as a business. Even before writing, you need to research who the audience for the book will be, and how you will publicize the book to them when it's finished. The author advocates focusing your marketing efforts not on paid advertising, but by building an informative Web site that will provide free advertising.

This book lays this groundwork, then proceeds through the practical steps of how to have your book manufactured, distributed, and publicized. All of the other self-publishing books talk about these things, but this book actually gives you the nuts and bolts of how to go about it.

The author is able to give you these specifics because he has self-published several successful titles himself. He actually shows you the financial results from his previous books and explains why today print-on-demand is the best option for most authors -- instead of going through a subsidy press or even a trade publisher.

I read this book about four months ago when I was in the midst of writing my first self-published book, "The Home-Based Bookstore." The advice helped me immensely; I know I would have made some costly mistakes without it. And I've referred back to this book at least a couple dozen times since then.

When I finished reading "Print on Demand Book Publishing" (the first time), I e-mailed the author with a few additional questions (he prints his e-mail address at the end of the book and invites inquiries). Basically I asked him what type of discount I should apply to my particular book and what my online strategy should be. Later that same day, Mr. Rosenthal graciously responded with a lengthy reply chock full of specific advice. I'm sure I would not have gotten better advice if I had hired a consultant, assuming I could have found one well-versed in this field.
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on June 1, 2006
POD (Print-On-Demand) has a poor reputation in the book publishing industry, because many of the "POD Publishers" advertising their services on the internet and in writers' magazines are in fact vanity publishers - you pay them in order to publish your work. There is little or no quality control, no editing, and they will publish practically anything - for good reason, this is frowned upon in the publishing industry.

This is a shame, because POD is actually something very different - it's a technology (which the vanity publishing model - along with most other publishing houses these days - uses) that allows you to print copies of a book, one at a time. This is very significant to self-published authors and small publishing houses - it means that you don't have to order a print run of 5000 copies. It makes self-publishing affordable.

Rosenthal explains in detail how the technology works and how to use it. He talks about LightningSource, the POD printing service that he uses, but his information is just as useful with other services (I use Lulu, and I found his book very helpful). He explains in simple, no-nonsense language the steps involved in bringing your work from a manuscript to a fully published book, and he provides good information about marketing, especially using the internet.

Even if you choose to pursue other publishing options, I highly recommend you read this book.

Danny Iny

Self-published author of "Ordinary Miracles - Harness the power of writing and get your point across!" (ISBN 1-4116-7252-6)
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on June 13, 2005
This wonderful tome of invaluable information is a must read for any author who is seeking to self-publish! As an unknown and soon to be self-published author of fiction, I had mistakenly signed up with a "subsidy press" having next to no knowledge of what it truly means to "self publish."

To explain my reasoning a little further here, it's common knowledge that the market is currently flooded with thousands of books from new authors, especially from print on demand titles. Numerous subsidy presses are ready and waiting to assist any aspiring writer in seeing their book in print, but for the uneducated what looks good on the surface is merely a ruse. Curious to find out just what exactly I had gotten myself into, I decided to do some serious research into just how well the rest of the authors at my publisher were selling.

I was dismayed to find that none of the fiction authors with my publisher had ever sold more than a few dozen books at most. I then was disheartened even further to find that all of the promised announcements and publicity weren't going to help at all, but my final reality check happened when I found out that my 250 page, 5 x 7 novel would sell for slightly over 20 dollars! To make a bad situation even worse, the publisher also wanted 8 dollars for shipping and handling, sending the total cost for my novel up to nearly 30 dollars. To say that this was a recipe for disaster for a new author is an understatement and then some...

I was very fortunate to have found this book by Morris Rosenthal because I had no idea that anyone could acquire ISBN numbers, nor did I know that companies like Lightning Source existed that removed the entire need for having a publisher. Quite simply I was amazed to find that I could have my book printed for half the cost, enabling me to offer it for sale at a competitive market price, with no cuts in royalties! I cannot stress enough that any potential author needs to do some serious research before attempting to publish a novel, and definitely before signing any contracts! Morris's book is a must have to learn all about Print on Demand, and he also provides a wealth of information on trade publishing. One of the greatest assets I found was his advice about marketing, along with his very detailed information about his own sales and profits. Morris shares his experiences as an author in a very honest and down to earth fashion, with no bells and whistles and certainly without sugar coating.

In closing, this book was a refreshing change amidst the copious amounts of bad information available and the many publishers and "writing specialists" whose motives seem to be questionable at best. The author clearly explains that there are no easy answers or magic pills to publishing a book, but with a lot of hard work and intelligent marketing it can be done on your own.
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on February 5, 2009
While this book by Rosenthal contains useful information, the world of Print-On-Demand (POD) publishing is moving very fast and much of his information is at a basic level. There are other books which address POD and many of its associated aspects (on-line marketing, marketing on Amazon, etc.). Many provide more detailed information.

Other books that you might consider would include "The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing" by Ross, "Aiming at Amazon" by Shepard, and "Plug Your Book" by Weber.
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on July 31, 2005
I did it! With the help of Mr. Rosenthal's book to POD, I am now a published author. I saved so much money up front by using a POD printer while not stocking my garage full of boxes of books. There are so many tips to guide you to a finished product.

Once I received my ISBN (numbers), it took four months to the day of publishing the first book, yes first. The second is due out this fall, and the third - next summer. It was a bit scary at first (ie: building a website myself), but after the first page, I was an expert. (See the novel "Crossing Burning Bridges" sold on this website or my website.) Since I am not able to leave the URL - search the title with yahoo and come see for yourself what you too can do.
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on March 29, 2006
To spout a cliche: if you only order one book on the business of self-publishing, make it this one. No hyperbole. I gleaned more useful information from this volume (as opposed to the unrealistic, unresearched concepts embraced by others) than any other book or website out there. Rosenthal shares a wealth of tips and tricks and backs up his suggestions with real world trial and error. If you want to get people to notice your own book, you cannot do without this one.
-- Mark LaFlamme, author of "The Pink Room."
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on March 31, 2007
Last year I started building booklists on Amazon. One of my earliest lists included the instant book being reviewed. I had a negative idea about Print On Demand publishing, and I didn't like the cover design for this book. So I never read it even though it had a fair number of positive reviews.

Then a month ago or so I read Steve Weber's book entitled "Plug Your Book" (ISBN: 0977240614) which I enjoyed very much. It lead me to read Aaron Shepard's book entitled "Aiming at Amazon" (ISBN: 0977240614) which I also enjoyed very much. Since Mr. Shepard makes reference to Mr. Rosenthal in his book, I thought it was time to read the instant book. And I'm glad I did.

I recommend anybody interested in self-publishing and marketing your self-published text to get copies of this book and the ones by Weber and Shepard. The instant book came out in 2004 and is a little dated. At least that is the impression I got after reading all three books since the Weber and Sherpard books have been published very recently and relate intimately with this book's content.

All three books are aimed at nonfiction writers. They all seem to be written with "authors" in mind. But I like to think they are written for consultants, coaches, and public speakers in mind. Such professionals need publications to act as credibility pieces, and self-publishing is the easiest route to follow to getting a book published. It turns out that it is the most profitable way to go if you are not a best-selling author. And how many people are bestsellers? Not many. 5 stars!
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on April 29, 2006
As the other comments made clear, Morris's book is a great tool for writers enroute to becoming publishers. Many books on publishing and self-publishing have good tips, but Morris cuts to the quick and addresses the new POD technology, and how it can apply to you. You may need some parts of the book but not others, depending on your background in typography, graphic design, publishing, et al. However, for the parts you do need, this book is more than worth the price. For a half dozen of its principal areas that I've used so far (e.g., the connection with lightning source), the value in time and money saved is truly notable. I highly recommend this book for writers who wish to empower themselves and not stay at the beck and call of the traditional publishing industry.

Heydon Buchanan, author of "Taking Care of Mother, Taking Care of Me"
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on March 7, 2005
If you're a writer who can also design a book using desktop publishing software (or pay someone else to do it for you), dump the search for a publisher and get a copy of this book instead. Rosenthal's lightly-worded, information-heavy book hands you a fresh, post-internet publishing model. The world is changing. If you're a writer who can handle doing it all on your own, it's clearly changing for the better. You don't need a publisher anymore.

I wish I had read this 12 months ago, but I'm glad I've got it now. If you'd like more information about the book before you buy, there's lots more on Rosenthal's web site at [...]
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I've ben on a bit of a reading binge lately and must say that this book provides information I've not seen mentioned anywhere else. It's an easy to read book, concise and informative. How good? Good enough to make me write a review of it--something I VERY RARELY ever do for any reason. Better than Bly's books which are highly popular but also include to much 'feel good' rah-rah for my taste. If you are searching for inspiration then this books isn't for you--but if you need real this book.

UPDATE-It's now 2009 and in addition to doing a lot of Amazon reviews, I wanted to update my original review of this fine book and suggest signingup for his blog - which is infrequent but typically very informative as well. I do not know Morris but have since gone on to buy and read just about every self-publishing book created...this was one of the first I ever purhcased and is still one of my favorites. In fact, I still own this original copy.

I also published a book using these exact methods a couple years ago. Did I make mistakes? Yes, of course and going forward, there are a few things I would do differently when writing or revising a book. However, those were specific to the book and audience I wrote for. Now for the results...I was able to get a finished product for sale within a budget very similar to that estimated in this book. Realizing my audience is a small niche field and this was my very first attempt at this, my goal was to reach $200 per month average in sales...something I was able to do for two years.

Obviously I'm not ready to quit my day job however, for less than $15 dollars this book has brought in an extra couple thousand per year...a great return on my investment! It's simple, easy to read, the examples are right on target and anyone can do this. Morris provides superb advice designed to walk a newbie from knowing nothing to putting a book in print that can bring in a nice little bit of cash flow.
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