Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It ain't easy being green...

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I decided to blog on what it means to be green. Sure, we can all wear green, drink green beer, and even swim in the green Chicago River (though I wouldn't recommend it) on St. Patrick's Day. But what does it mean to be green?

When I decided to sell to an e-publisher instead of a traditional NY publisher, the decision wasn't made lightly. I've always had the dream of walking into a bookstore and seeing my books on the shelves. It is the dream of any writer.

So I started doing my research on traditional NY houses. I learned about advances, which thrilled me. Being paid upfront for work not even out, yet? Where do I sign! But then I learned about returns, and print runs, and all that goes along with that. I was shocked. Traditional publishers print a run of several thousand books right out of the gate with no guarantee even one will sell. This not only ties up a heck of a lot of money in overhead, it also wastes valuable resources (paper, chemicals, time, etc.). If the books don't sell, we now have several thousand books in a landfill somewhere. That's right. They just toss them out.

Are ya kiddin me? In this day of the digital age it just doesn't make much sense to me, which is why I turned to e-publishing. It made more sense, and is the more Earth-friendly approach.

An e-publisher has an online bookstore. All of their books are available on demand, downloadable immediately after purchase. No paper necessary. No landfills involved if the book doesn't sell well. And, if you're lucky enough, your book still goes to print, just in a much greener way. I say it's about time we take a closer look at how we can all be green...

There is a new trend sweeping the publishing industry. Well, actually it isn't new at all. It's been around for some time, but it's just now catching on (finally)! It's called Print On Demand, or POD.

Print On Demand with digital technology is used as a way of printing items on demand. In other words, unlike a traditional print run publisher, POD will only print the book when it has been ordered. POD has many benefits. Some of them are:
· You can still order books that otherwise would have been out of print and no longer available. As long as that book is in digital format, it will always be available.
· Large inventories of a book or print material do not need to be kept in stock, reducing storage, handling costs, and inventory accounting costs.
· There is little or no waste from unsold products.
· POD advantages reduce the risks associated with publishing books and prints and can lead to increased choices for consumers.

I'm doing my part at being green, or at least trying. I still eat off paper plates, use paper towels, and forget to turn the light off as I leave the room. Still, every little bit helps. I'm not going to chain myself to a tree to show my "greener" side, but by choosing an Earth-friendly publisher and buying e-books to read on my e-reader, I am showing that I at least do have one.

~Allie K. Adams~
"At Any Cost", Siren
"Seek And Destroy", Siren
"Under the Covers", Menage Amour
"Riding Double", Menage Amour- ComingSoon

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