A Case Where POD is a Good Option

April 21, 2010 · 4 comments

in Self-Publishing

Dear LDSPublisher,

I’ve been following your blog for several months now and have found your posts to be knowledgeable and very helpful.

I am hoping to get your insight on an idea for distributing a young adult novel. The novel is my way of sharing the basic beliefs of the LDS church in a story form. My goal in writing it was not to be famous or make money (although either is welcome), but to share my testimony with others. That being said, my thought is to create a website where I would post a chapter a week for anyone to read freely and also offer the option to purchase a hard copy of the full book from an on demand publishing site, like lulu.com.

Being in the publishing business, what are your thoughts on such an idea? Pro’s/con’s?

Are there legal issues to be considered?

I don’t have a problem with that at all. I think it’s a great idea, given your reasons for writing it and your stated goals—as long as you understand that if you do this, a traditional publisher will most likely not pick it up for publication in the future. (Although, I worked for a publisher once who did just that, but the author had to agree to take the posts down.)

You should still have it edited. This is a must if you’re going to have it available for purchase.

You may also want to have it typeset and a cover design done by professionals—or not, depending on how much you want to invest and how important it is to have print sales. Personally, I think it should look as nice as books of similar content and style that you’d buy in the store.

Lulu.com is a good place. As is CreateSpace (Amazon). If you want to make ebook versions available, Smashwords is easy to work with. I’ve worked with all three of these companies and had good success with them.

There are a variety of other POD publishers out there. Just make sure you read their contracts carefully. Make sure that you retain the copyright and the ability to republish elsewhere at any time. Also, make sure their prices are competitive.

And good luck!

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 4 comments }

Anonymous April 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

How do you share the basic beliefs of the LDS church in novel/story form? Do you take each doctrine and create a plot line designed to bring that out subtly? Do you have sections of exposition where doctrine, germane to the plot line, is explained? Do you show a missionary teaching a discussion to a potential convert?

If the goal is to share the basic doctrines of the LDS church which I'm assuming range from from doctrines about the nature and role of God and Christ including them each having a physical body, Christ's atoning sacrifice allows us to repent, the plan of salvation which allows us to return to our father in, Joseph Smith the prophet who recieved multiple visions, the restoration of authority, the restoration of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of temples as part of the plan of salvation, and maybe some Word of Wisdom.

How do you put all those doctrinal concepts that make Mormonism stand along in its Christianity, into one Young Adult novel. I'm curious, since most LDS novelists have spent their careers trying to weave one doctrine into an entire novel and do it in a subtle way. How can you weave all the basic doctrines into one novel and not stop your story line often in order to expound, explain, and sometimes preach.

I guess the question is, can you combine religious exposition and story-telling into an acceptabale, publishable novel that will actually be picked up by an LDS publisher. Or would that much "doctrine" be rejected in novel form by an LDS publisher?

Moriah Jovan April 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

I understood the questioner to be uninterested in submitting the novel to a publisher, or at least that avenue is not on his/her radar.

Anonymous April 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Curious about the legal issues. In this sue happy world, is a copyright enough for a POD?

LDS_Publisher April 22, 2010 at 8:06 am

Yes. A copyright is adequate protection.

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