Archive for September, 2007

Preface from BMD – The Invention of POD Publishing

Friday, September 28th, 2007

This is an excerpt (the preface) from Book Marketing DeMystified …

I’m Bruce Batchelor, the fellow credited with inventing on-demand book publishing, also called print-on-demand or POD publishing. That’s the business process behind the services offered to independent authors by AuthorHouse, BookSurge, Lulu, Xlibris, Spire, Agio Publishing House, Trafford and other “author services” companies. “Invent” is an odd term, since I didn’t design any particular machine or gizmo, but rather I took existing devices and processes, recognized how they could be combined into a viable business model, and then set up a company to prove the concept really works. The POD publishing services portion of the book industry now generates about $200 million per year in sales volume, and has enabled about 100,000 authors to be published since its inception back in the mid-1990s.

Here’s a bit of background to that invention …

Probably just like you, I have had a lifelong love of books. From following along as my mother read to me as a toddler, through my pre-teen years captivated by the Biggles and Hardy Boys books, I was mightily impressed with the printed word. Then, while working on my high school’s yearbook, I discovered that one could create books simply by being so bold as to typeset the words and pay a printer to make bound copies! After that, there was no stopping me.

In the 1970s, I wrote, self-published and successfully marketed two bestselling books, doing so independent of any conventional publishing house, somewhat oblivious to how selling books was supposed to be so terribly difficult. The marketing for those two titles was so obvious and straightforward that I thought marketing for all books would be as simple. I no longer believe that!

For the past 30 years, I’ve worked at editing, ghost-writing, publishing and marketing, sometimes with conventional publishing houses and more often assisting the self-publishing authors who bravely live on the fringes of the book industry.

During these three decades, my wife Marsha and I also operated a communications consultancy. We created marketing programs for business, non-profit and government clients. We designed, typeset and pasted-up literally thousands of books, magazine issues, brochures, technical manuals, reports, newsletters and ad campaigns. Generally, I was involved in the writing and editing of each job to some extent and Marsha was the graphic designer. We won numerous awards – the most gratifying ones were for the effectiveness of campaigns, rather than prettiness. I’ve taught marketing at the college level, and also worked as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor. When writing work was scarce I worked as a surveyor, fisherman and parks patrolman. Going way back, I was a computer programmer/analyst, and earned an honors degree in pure mathematical problem-solving. In the mid-1970s, I lived in a log cabin in the Yukon, sometimes going on long winter camping trips with a team of sled dogs, and often just sitting and thinking.

That eclectic background provided me with a unique vantage point in 1994 to foresee an amazing opportunity emerging from the convergence of certain technologies and trends. Print-on-Demand (POD) equipment + the Internet information super-highway + Internet search engines + credit cards + e-commerce + desktop publishing + email + Adobe PostScript(tm) + authors anxious to be published … I envisioned a book publishing service that would help independent (or ‘indie’) authors everywhere. It would conform with the conventional publishing industry by having ISBNs and copyright registration and library cataloging, yet it would be different in two very important ways. It would conduct most of its business over the new Internet, and it would use print-on-demand manufacturing to produce only as many books as needed. To keep costs to the absolute minimum, we would go one step beyond ‘just-in-time’ inventory to be totally ‘on-demand’, printing books one at a time only after an order came in. Most people thought I was nuts.

Within a year, Trafford Publishing had been established in Victoria, BC, and we had our first paying clients. These were pioneering authors who were departing from the book industry’s old distribution model (of having preprinted books sitting in warehouses and on bookstore shelves on a consignment basis), for the novel concept of promoting and selling books largely over the Internet.

By 1996, had begun to popularize the notion of buying books over the Internet. As well, Baker & Taylor, one of the USA’s largest book distributors, had set up POD equipment to print back-list titles for publishing houses, calling their service Replica Books. Then Ingram Book, the USA’s largest distributor, built a monster POD printing factory in Tennessee beside their largest warehouse, so POD books could flow into Ingram’s distribution system and out to bookstores and online retailers. Initially called Lightning Print, this print service later became Lightning Source Inc. (LSI). Soon other companies opened and adopted Trafford’s POD business model of serving independent authors: Xlibris, iUniverse, AuthorHouse and dozens of others. Now some newer publishing services, such as and, offer on-demand book printing without book trade distribution.

During my 11 years as Trafford’s founding publisher and CEO, it grew to become one of the world’s most prolific publishing houses with more than 10,000 active titles from indie authors living in more than 100 countries. Currently, thanks to Trafford and similar POD publishing services, over 30,000 new authors are published every year.

Now we authors are entering a wonderful new chapter in indie publishing, highlighted by ever-expanding distribution using eBook editions, audio books and truly global POD production. I call this coming phase the multiple long tails era and predict that greater awareness and availability of indie books will significantly boost the average number of copies authors sell, and quadruple the count of new indie titles by 2010.

Helping authors realize their dreams is magical for me. In July of 2006, I left my leadership position at Trafford to return to working personally with authors, their manuscripts and those dreams. Once again, as we did before launching the POD revolution, my wife and I are operating a small publishing company – Agio Publishing House ( I feel very fortunate and privileged to be editing and advising creative people.

I recently interviewed top executives in the largest POD author service companies and dozens of indie authors. The result is my new book, Book Marketing DeMystified [Agio, ISBN 978-1-897435-00-7]. We’ll soon have it available as a podiobook, an eBook, trade paperback, casebound edition and a German language paperback edition. For those who want the audio edition on a CD in MP3 format, we’re arranging that too. The widest availability possible is our aim; and to maximize awareness, we’re having fun learning and implementing many of the fabulous marketing tactics I discovered while interviewing authors for this book. This blog is one example!

If you’d like your manuscript published in similar fashion – as a handsome, well-edited book with effective marketing – contact us here at Agio Publishing House. We’re looking forward to working with like-minded people. Email me directly at bruce (dot) batchelor (at) gmail (dot) com or call us at 250-380-0998 (9 to 5 Pacific time, weekdays).

A big thank you to all the authors who embrace print-on-demand publishing and who continuously amaze the world with your writings and thoughts.

Essay by Arnold Reisman on “Self Marketing of Books: The Epidemic Theory Model and the WWW”

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Self Marketing of Books: The Epidemic Theory Model and the WWW.
by Arnold Reisman[1]

“The more publicity you stir up, the more books will be sold”[2]

Bruce Batchelor has been kind enough to mention my experience in self-promoting my recent book TURKEY’S MODERNIZATION: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk’s Vision via the web. His comments appear on pages 125 and 126 of the current edition of Book Marketing DeMystified. In the next few postings of his Blog I shall elaborate on that experience as a matter of sharing. I do not view this as part of a “zero-sum” game because we all stand to gain by taking advantage of the Web’s capability. My premise is that the Web has made possible a direct relationship between a book’s author, its purchaser and or reader, as well as the entire milieu of intermediaries. What is also significant to the author, is that it’s cost free and the relationship I mentioned is self energizing. This medium for marketing one’s book is relatively new and many people aren’t yet convinced of its importance. Misconceptions abound and the entire field is continually changing. Towards its evolution this series of essays discusses book marketing using what I have dubbed the WWW enabled Epidemic Theory Model approach. This mode of marketing can be used by any author irrespective of whether the book is published by a major commercial house, a small press, or self-published. Authors who ignore the power of the web are truly missing out. Publishing houses can not be relied on to do what the author can do for him or herself.

The Epidemic Theory model [3] involves one or more entry-points or “nodes.” The nodes are interconnected by a set of arcs that allow for information flows and in groups they comprise a number of feedback loops in an interrelated network. The nodes could be sources of information or destinations for information or both.

This long name the epidemic theory model of product knowledge diffusion, simply means that awareness of a new product is spread from one knowledgeable person to another in a pattern that is mathematically analogous to the spread of an infectious disease that remains unchecked. Graphically the model can be viewed as a never-ending genealogy tree or a set of radiating waves in a pool of still water into which close to shore a pebble has been thrown. However in this latter analogy the waves become self energized. They do not dissipate as they would if they followed the laws of physics.

diagram for Arnold Reisman essay

The center dot is Originally available knowledge/awareness


The rings represent Knowledge/Awareness that has been passed on to others

These “epidemic” models will vary according to the factors considered. Applied to my own book the nodes can be characterized by one or two key words appearing in the Appendix. In my original communication with Bruce I made him aware of my book with the Logo appearing below my name in the e-mail. Later I sent him a copy of the article upon which this series of essays is based. If he had contacted others for editorial advice then the reviewers would have been made aware of my book via the citations appearing in the footnotes of the paper. When his essay describing my efforts was published the references to my book became available to his readers. The readers may be teachers, students, researchers, and/or librarians. Bruce’s book may create an announcement of the essay on one or more websites. In turn this may provide a feedback loop to more teachers, students, researchers, and/or librarians. It might even be picked up by one or more of what I call Piggy-back [parasite] Blogs or websites. With a little bit of luck some people may write their own articles and directly or indirectly reference my book.

Please stay tuned for my other experience sharing essays and do offer your own experiences and any comments, or criticisms.


[1] Arnold Reisman received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in engineering from UCLA and is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Wisconsin, and Ohio. After 27 years as Professor of Operations Research at Case Western Reserve University, Reisman chose early retirement in 1994. During 1999-2003, he was an invited Visiting Scholar in Turkey at both Sabanci University, and the Istanbul Technical University. His current research interests are technology transfer, meta research, and most recently, the history of German-speaking exiled professors starting in 1933 and their impact on science in general and Turkish universities in particular. In this regard Reisman is also researching Albert Einstein’s role in saving Nazi persecuted intellectuals. Reisman is still actively pursuing his lifelong interest in sculpting. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, American Men and Women of Science, and Two Thousand Notable Americans, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his 200-plus publications in refereed journals and 14 books, Reisman’s most recent book is: TURKEY’S MODERNIZATION: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk’s Vision. It has received many outstanding pre and post publication reviews.

[2] Bruce Batchelor (2007) Book Marketing DeMystified, Agio Publishing House Victoria BC, Canada, p 33

[3] For those interested in what the scientists have to say about the epidemic theory model please see Brauer F, Castillo-Chavez C: Mathematical Models in Population Biology and Epidemiology. Berlin, Springer Verlag 2001; Diekmann O, Heesterbeek J: Mathematical Epidemiology of Infectious disease. Wiley Series in Mathematical and Computational Biology Chichester, Wiley 2000; Anderson H, Britton T: Stochastic Epidemic models and Their Statistical Analysis. Lecture Notes in Statistics New York, Springer 2000; Bailey NJT: The Mathematical Theory of Infectious Diseases and its Applications. London, Griffin 1975, among others.


In addition to providing this appendix as a listing of the Node designations applied to my own experience of creating the epidemic model, readers of this Blog might benefit from it in more personally significant ways. They can use it as a check-list to enhance their own creativity in brainstorming other ways of using the web to self promote their own book. Clearly there is nothing about my choice of key words that is chiseled in stone. Because the list is not all inclusive the reader can add other dimensions or attributes. This author and the Blog owner of this I’m sure, invite the reader to share their unique experiences and add what has not been included to broaden the knowledge base for everyone. Remember this is not a zero-sum game. We all stand to benefit from each other.

The list

Word of mouth

Announcements of articles


Logo on signature

Chat groups and Blogs


Announcements of articles




Pre-submission queries









Course adoptions





Wikipedia etc

Creating articles
Editing into existing articles

Amazon etc

Key words

Barnes & Noble Books
Indigo Books
Powell’s Books
Data bases


Google Nasdaq
Google Image
Google Scholar
Google Book Search



Piggy-back websites.

- 30 –

Welcome to Book Marketing DeMystified

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Welcome to BOOK MARKETING DEMYSTIFIED. This is the support site for the book by author Bruce Batchelor.

My intention is to share with readers my comments on book marketing, both as expressed in my book and as a commentary on changes within the publishing world (or lack thereof!). I will occasionally host a commentary by another indie author or publisher.

In this first post, I’ll reprint (with permission) a review of Book Marketing DeMystified by Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review. Midwest is a wonderful resource for authors because Jim and his volunteer reviewers give preference to indie (independent) authors’ titles over those books produced by conventional publishing houses. Here’s the review:

A resource for authors and independent publishers
5 Stars
September 3, 2007, by Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) -

It often comes as a shock when newly published authors discover that they must bear most of the burden of marketing their books to the general reading public — even if they are fortunate enough to be published by one of the major New York publishing firms like Random House, Simon & Schuster or Penguin-Putnam. For self-published authors that marketing responsibility is completely theirs. Most authors are aware of the many ‘how to’ books that are available to them for the purpose of helping them master the craft of writing. There are also instruction books on turning raw manuscripts into finished books. What is not so obvious is that there are a number of excellent instructional guides for authors on how to market their books after they have been published. One of the best of these marketing manuals is “Book Marketing DeMystified” by Bruce Batchelor, the man who founded Trafford (Canadian based and one of the larger POD companies servicing North America) and is widely acknowledged as the creator of the print-on-demand (POD) publishing process that has shattered the book publishing monopoly of the traditional publishing firms by allowing anyone to easily become their own publisher. This 167-page compendium of practical advice offers an especially ‘user friendly’ introduction to the art and science of book marketing because of its conversational style, it comprehensive coverage of book marketing issues, and Bruce Batchelor’s unique perspective.

Book Marketing DeMystified” is especially useful in terms of its discussion of where to sell books, price/value setting, personal sales, paid advertising, sales promotions, publicity and public relations. Simply stated, every author and every small press publisher needs to have a competent marketing plan — and Bruce Batchelor’s “Book Marketing DeMystified” specifically and effectively addresses that need.

Next post: a guest commentary by author Prof. Arnold Reisman