Inside Publishing: Print Options

by | May 3, 2024 | Behind the Scenes

Publishing Genius has two books coming out in June. This email is a bit of how the sausage is made, so if you don’t care about how publishers think about books: delete!

If you’re still here: one is a children’s book about rocks. It’s already at the printer. It’s gorgeous.


The other is The Thing I Was Trying to Tell You, a new book of flash fiction by Joseph Young. This one I’m still trying to figure out—specifically, how to get it printed. Sherrie Flick called the stories “wild and wonderful” and here’s what Garielle Lutz said about them:

“Each of the deep-souled and uncannily precise prose miniatures in this bountiful collection boils down a novel’s worth of human tumults and entanglements to a crucial, illuminant moment—and with all the calming and foreordained feel of a haiku. Joseph Young is a master of the form.”

—Garielle Lutz, author of The Complete Gary Lutz

Scroll to the bottom to link up some previously published bits.

And here’s what the book looks like:

Cover painting: “I Want to Go Fishing (Seed VI)” 2024 by Julia Kier Wilson
(Acrylic ink and graphite on raw canvas)

But how should we print it and sell it?

Print On Demand vs Sweeeeeet

Should it be POD, which is all the rage and great for distribution, but limited in quality? Or ought it be Sweeeeeet: printed beautifully, deluxe-ly, though it costs more and won’t be available everywhere (i.e., not on Amazon)? It occurs to me that POD is easy, but not all indie lit needs this “unlimited quantity” approach. We basically know how many copies will sell, no matter how it’s made, so why not make them exquisite?

Rather than continuing to obsess, I thought I’d bring this question to the market. Let readers vote with their dollars.

So, here are two versions of the book.

One: Fine.

Hardcover, heavy paper, unique endpapers, a dust jacket over cloth binding with a foil stamp—hand it down to your grandkids. $17.95

Two: fine.

Paperback, 55# cream paper, maybe a bit floppy, kinda gooey lamination, chuck it in your purse. Maybe a bit disposable, TBH. $14.95

The choice is all y’alls. No judgment. And I’ll let you know how it goes. This is the start of a series of emails about sausage.

— & —


Writing with Art (with Joe)

What can a painting teach you about writing a work of fiction? Can studying the 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi improve your use of adjectives? Is there something to be learned about tension by looking at one of Mark Rothko’s color field works?

Here are some stories from the book, published in:

Take this workshop and see what happens! Starts in July. We’ll have more info shortly. Tune into Pubgen’s Instagram so you don’t miss a thing.