POD Subsidy Survey – Lynn Osterkamp (thepopulistpublisher)

Currently Lynn Osterkamp is conducting a survey for authors who have used pod subsidy publishers and would like their feed back.

You can take part in this survey at the following link;


Here are my generally posted comments about Lynn’s survey.

I’m a little bemused as well about some of the negative criticism. I welcome any survey or analysis on subsidy publishing. I find any heated discussion on this topic seems to throw up as much about the attitude of traditionally published authors as it does about the subsidy published ones! I think authors who have been published through both channels will, perhaps, return a fairer and more balanced view of the subsidy publishing experience.

As different authors will have had varying experiences with subsidy publishers, all will answer the survey questions in a highly subjective manner. I think every author is on their own journey, and often, that journey is pre-determined by their starting point they choose in an effort to be published. I’ve been researching POD subsidy publishers for a while and I’ve found that writers (because all authors are first writers) fall into three broad groups.

Group 1 – Those who write for pleasure and have limited or little understanding of the publishing world. They set out on their writing journey and often, many of them will board the first bus that arrives. They board the Big Bright Subsidy Bus, because it seems to be the first bus to arrive, even though they have not quite worked out where it is they are going.

Group 2 – Those who don’t see themselves as writers and pursue entirely different journeys. Somewhere along the way, something wonderful/extraordinary/tragic/notable(read celebrity/politician etc) happens them, and they decide to write about their experience. With belief and support and champions close around them; most of these writers will ultimately board the Traditional Bus, that’s if the driver thinks they really have a book in them and the masses will want to read it.

Group 3 – The most interesting group. They know/believe with a real purpose that they are writers. Doggedly, they will not let go of this, even if their belief is misplaced. They may study literature, the arts, join a writing workshop, but along their journey they will hone their skills. Some may find themselves working behind the scenes in media(print/tv/promotional), all the time they are becoming more familiar and accustomed to the publishing world. Some of these writers because of their ‘knowledge’ will publish traditionally, and then, perhaps grow frustrated with the industry, eventually moving to subsidy or self-publishing. A small few will subsidy or self-publish directly, and then get the opportunity to move to traditional publishing.

I do believe that many of the above groups will merge over the next 10 years with the advent of in-bookstore pod technology, the general traditional publishers embracing pod technology for 50% or more of the books they publish; the continued development of digital print and E-publishing; a continued reduction in pod digital costs per book, and ultimately a proper ethical publishing charter that all pod subsidy publishers will have to sign to operate as a business.

Lynn, I welcome and wish you the very best with your survey.

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