I would be very grateful for any input from authors here who have had some experience with getting a novel published print on demand and where the publisher took a percentage of the sales and turned out a good product. I'm prepared to supply cover designs.

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Midnight Ink might be worth exploring. Also Poisoned Pen. I see a lot of their books in B&N and independent bookstores. The authors from there I talk to are pretty happy, although not the same distribution as the NY pubs. Five Star is big with libraries, but the small discounts they offer keep them out of most bookstores.

The people at Bleak House just left to form Tyrus. Literary mysteries. Might be perfect for you, but they're brand new and small.

I don't think I should discuss my personal experience publicly.
The only ones I've had experience with publish in ebook as well as POD. The distribution isn't anywhere near the level of NY pubs, but they're growing. It just depends on how small a publisher you're looking for.
I would try a small publisher called Variance Publishing. They specialize in all kinds of mystery/detective fiction (much like Midnight Ink.)

Both Midnight and Variance have a fairly established distribution system for their books. Hell, give'em a try. What can the tell you you already haven't heard?
Thanks, B.R. Quite right. The POD publisher is really for a historical trilogy (think Matsuoka and Lian Hearn). I'm still hoping for an established print publisher for the Akitada series, though one who pays modest advances so that there is a chance for them to make some money. My latest in the series (CONVICT'S SWORD) has sold over 1000 copies since August 1. There should be some profit in that series.
I have no experience with any publishers, but you might try Soho Press. They do publish Asian crime fiction. Also maybe Soft Skull Press.

Anyway, good luck with the search. And if you decide self-publishing might be a good idea, I know Lulu has no setup fees.
Thanks so much John. I like Soho Press, but they offered when Penguin offered, and we chose Penguin. My agent thinks there is no chance now that they'll take the series.

I'm not going to self-publish. At least not the series, and probably nothing else either.
I've assisted a retired reporter with his cover design, editing and formatting. He used Lulu Publishers with terrific results. The quality of the printing, the paper and cover materials and the finished product are as good as any from the larger publishing houses. I am the moderator for the Fairhope Writers Group in lower Alabama. I recommend Lulu to our members. My wife is publishing her first murder mystery, "Who Was Benny Looter? The Body In The Sand?" Working with Lulu has been an unstressful process. They have a website that allows you to upload the text in DOC, RTF, and other text formats. You upload the pictures in JPG, GIF and other picture formats. Once they are uploaded in the appropriate entry areas, the website converts the files to PDF format, to make it viewable on any computer. It even has a cover design widget to produce your own covers, front, spine and back. We're delighted with them. They are a POD and eBook publisher. Their pricing is quite reasonable. They also provide you with a webpage, a storefront, a working relationship with Amazon and make your books searchable on Google, Barnes & Noble and other brick and motar bookstores, and they have international links, too.
Thank you for the information, but I'm still shying away from this.
Have you looked at small presses like Overlook Press, Severn House (UK) or Small Beer Press? They seem to produce quality books. In terms of POD publishers, many of them seem to also be e-book publishers. I've heard good things about Mundania. Our California Crime Writers Conference had a speaker, Marci Baum of Wild Child Publishing--she was extremely knowledgeable and seemed fair. If you have an erotica, Ellora's Cave sells a lot of books. I know that you probably don't want to go down the erotica/romance path, but that is a very successful genre.
I wanna go to next conference--a published arthor
Nice to know you're hearing good things about Mundania! My first book's coming out with them in March 2010. I've enjoyed working with them so far.
A friend of mine is published by Mundania, but he writes SF. I've heard of Severn House as a small but traditional publishing house in the UK. Am I wrong about that? Don't know the others. Many thanks here, too. The trilogy isn't quite erotica though it has a brief moment or two. :)


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