Seeking opinions of authors who've used subsidy (sometimes called POD) publishers

If you're an author who has had a book published by a subsidy publisher (companies—sometimes called POD publishers—like Trafford, iUniverse / AuthorHouse Outskirts Press, Bookstand Publishing, Infinity Publishing, and others that charge authors a fee to publish their books), I'd like your help. I've created a short survey that I hope you'll fill out so we can get a more comprehensive picture of authors' experiences with subsidy publishers.

The survey takes only a few minutes and all responses will be anonymous. You can go to it by clicking on this link or by going to my blog, The Populist Publisher and clicking on "Survey of Subsidy-Published Authors" at the right side of the page under "Author Surveys."

Here's why I am doing this survey. I've read criticisms of books published by subsidy publishers, saying that many are badly written and poorly edited, that their layout and covers are amateurish, and that no reputable reviewer will review them. Some also say that subsidy publishing companies rip off authors by making false promises about how well their books will be promoted and how many copies they are likely to sell.

But as a long-time (30+ years) social-science researcher, I find myself wondering to what extent the authors who use subsidy publishers agree with these criticisms. The common belief seems to be that these authors are so gullible and ill-informed that they unwittingly sign on with predatory companies and later regret their choices. Is this true? I think we should hear directly from the authors.

Just so you'll know, I started my own small publishing company years ago and have never used a subsidy publisher, nor do I have any connection with any of them. My interest here is to find out more about how things have actually worked out for authors who have used these publishers. I will post the results on my on my Populist Publisher blog and make a complete report available for free download on my website so that everyone can read what authors have to say.

Thank you so much for your help.
Lynn Osterkamp, Ph.D., MSW

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I have posted on my blog today the results of my survey of authors who've used subsidy (sometimes called POD) publishers. Go to www.thepopulistpublisher to read the results. At the end of the post I also have a link to a pdf of a more detailed report of the results that you can download. Many thanks to all the authors who filled out the survey. I think the results are interesting. I hope you agree.

Lynn Osterkamp
The Populist Publisher
PMI Books


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