2007-03-23 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance I Write, Therefore I POD
Commentary by Susan Hartenstein RAA contact info:

Rockaway Artists Alliance
I Write, Therefore I POD

Commentary by Susan
Hartenstein
RAA contact info:

Title: "Fireman Spirit." Artist: Susan Hines. Medium: Digital Photo
Title: "Fireman Spirit." Artist: Susan Hines. Medium: Digital Photo

Phone: 718 474-0861; Fax: 718 474-4373; e-mail: rockart116@aol.com ; website: www.rockawayartistsalliance .org

Photography: Process and Print - Exhibition on view @ sTudio 6 Gallery in RoCA, Fort Tilden: Saturday, March 10-Sunday, April 1. Admission is free. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-4 p.m., Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.

RAA Fundraising Cocktail Party: "Wherefore ART Thou…?

Help support the wide array of RAA's education programs, exhibitions & cultural events enjoyed by you and your children.

When: Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 7 p.m. to Midnight

Where : LOFT 181, 181 Beach 116th Street, 2nd floor, Rockaway Park.

Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, DJ, dancing, raffles and artwork. "Wherefore ART Thou…?" will launch LOFT 181, a cooooooooool newly renovated commercial space of approximately 4,000 square feet. LOFT 181 is available to commercial entities for lease and rental by the property's owner and "Wherefore ART Thou…?" sponsor Harbor Wine & Spirits. LOFT 181 is located on the second floor of 181 Beach 116 Street, just above the event sponsor.

Advance ticket price: $50 per person. Ticket price at door: $60 per person. Please make checks payable to RAA. Even if you can't attend, a variety of sponsorship levels are available. Website and contact info above. RSVP by March 23, 2007.

FINAL CALL: March 23 - Deadline for submission to "The 'Big Show" & "Of Land & Sea."

On April 10 Marina Callaghan, RAA Education Program Coordinator, will receive a 2007 PASEsetters Award at the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) award ceremony. The annual ceremony honors afterschool educators whose commitment, energy and creativity have had an indelible impact on the children and youth of New York City. PASE is a highly respected agency, which offers professional development, training opportunities, technical assistance, publications, resources and advocacy to those in the entire after school field.

Callaghan was selected out of 65 candidates. Only five honorees were chosen. Awardees receive a $5,000 Cash Award to their agency, two roundtrip airline tickets, a trophy, and a feature article and photograph in the PASE newsletter and website. The ceremony will take place at Pier 60 in Manhattan. PASE expects over four hundred people, who will include representatives from corporate, media, academic, political and philanthropic sectors, PASE members and the PASE Board of Directors, to join in the celebration honoring this year's five most innovative and effective afterschool educators. Congratulations to all the winners. For more information: www. pasesetter.org.

Authors today, who wish to publish and market their books, have the option of using one of approximately 30 "POD" or "print-on-demand" companies. The POD companies employ digital print technology, rather than traditional off-set printing. The process makes it possible to print and bind a book in minutes. This can be linked to on-line book distribution with on-line sites like amazon.com where a POD book can be placed, on an even playing field, with off-set printed books from traditional publishers. Distribution means putting a book in places, on-line and off, where the greatest number of people can buy it.

However, quality of printing, distribution and other support systems varies widely among the companies. At best, the quality is said to be close to offset printing and the cost of publishing a single or small number of copies is very competitive with the cost of publishing a run of hundreds or thousands of copies with a traditional company. There are advantages and disadvantages. Certainly, the implications of POD to the nature of book publishing are enormous.

Any author considering this path must first investigate the companies, their packages and contracts, compared to the traditional publishing company options before taking the leap. iUniverse and Xlibris are two of the largest POD companies, and they will be sending representatives to the Rockaway Literary Festival on April 22. If you go on-line, you will find that both companies offer a variety of packages at a variety of prices that vary in terms of publishing, design, editorial, distribution and marketing services. If you Google "print on demand" you will find a number of POD websites and critical evaluations of POD companies in general. As with any publisher you must carefully examine contract details and your rights as compared to those of the publisher. You must also decide what you want to achieve by printing a book and if you are capable of accomplishing any services your package may not provide. For example, editorial services providing quality control may be limited, depending on the company and package. However some authors need this less than others, though an experienced objective eye can be invaluable. Marketing services (creating interest in a book with readers, booksellers, critics, etc.) vary. Traditional companies have somewhat of an edge here. There are marketers to be found on-line and off who can supplement. Of course, that is an extra cost. Because the price of a POD book is higher than if it were published by offset, bookstores may not wish to carry them or readers to buy them. On-line sites like amazon are becoming very popular. But since the books are printed individually, they can't be supplied to bookstores on consignment, further limiting their sale in the largest market - bookstores. Sometimes books published POD are picked up by traditional publishers. Unfortunately, this can't be counted on.

My great thanks to Stuart Mirsky, the tireless and dedicated organizer of the Rockaway Literary Festival, for allowing me to use his extensive and astute research into the field of Print-on-Demand publishing as my primary source for this column.

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