|Cryptozoology, BioForteana, Zoological Oddities, Unusual Natural History|
The Publishers: Who are They?
There are three primary categories of POD publishers.
The first is the individual author who is concerned with publishing only his/her own material. In this case, the author does all the work, though sometimes outsourcing specific areas (editing, illustrations, cover design, etc.) to others. All of the publishing details are done by the author. Generally speaking, in order to keep costs low enough to make a profit, the author should already have most of the software required for digital file creation. This is a business category, so the author will need to acquire ISBNs for the books.
The second category is the subsidy publisher. These publishers offer a variety of packages to authors that include textblock formating, editing, cover creation, and marketing. Subsidy publishers have received poor publicity in the past due to poor quality products and ineffectual marketing towards bookstores and libraries (who usually rarely accept POD products). There are a few companies that might be worth looking at, however. I've seen several authors use iUniverse.com. Xlibris.com and Booksurge.com may also be worth a look. (Amazon owns Booksurge, but has most recently been pushing CreateSpace for individual authors.) Generally speaking, I don't recommend paying for marketing packages. Also, make very certain you examine the contract to know what it is you are getting into.
The third category is the general POD publisher. These are publishers who publish books by various authors and market them online. They usually do not charge upfront for publishing services, though royalties will vary. (Generally, royalties are a percentage of cover price.) Right now, there are only a few POD publishers who work with cryptozoology books. These include CFZ, Anomalist.com's publishing arm, and my own publishing venture, CoachwhipBooks.com.