The Poitin Press is a virtual publishing house in that we sell our books
over the Internet. Originally, we had planned to produce only eBooks, but back in the late 1990's it became
apparent that they weren't selling very well. That forced us to start printing the books as "Print On Demand" (POD)
and selling them through such firms as Amazon.com, Books A Million, Barnes and Noble, as well as many other large Internet-based
book sellers. In addition, our books were distributed by Ingram Books, so they were available from
just about any bookstore in the United States or United Kingdom.
Now we find that our plan has gone full circle, with the advent of the Kindle, Nook, iPad
and other eBook readers. In the year 2011, we saw our sales go from 80% POD to 85% eBooks. In fact, virtually
all of our business -- if you exclude Joaquin Murieta -- for the last half of 2011 was eBooks. This led to
some serious soul-searching. Clearly, the market had changed dramatically in just one year, driven mostly by the advent of
numerous eBook readers.
In hindsight, this is not surprising, given that POD books had to cost about twice
the price of the eBook versions. You have to include both printing and shipping costs, not to mention handling
of the physical POD book. People are simply opting for the lower-cost eBooks, and with that came the demise of the corner
bookshop and our POD revenue stream. Printed books were just too expensive given the alternative of eBooks.
In addition, we as publishers have costs that are not apparent to the user. For one thing, we have
to pay a yearly "registration" fee
to the company doing the actual printing. This adds up quickly, and when most of your POD books are not earning enough
to cover even the cost of that "registration" fee, it makes no sense to continue offering the book as POD.
Thus it is with great sadness and reluctance that we are forced to discontinue offering
our books as PODs. Except for Joaquin Murieta which is on the reading list of many college courses and thus
stocked by college books stores twice a year, we will discontinue offering our books as POD as the "registration" fee
We regret having to do this, but economics are a driving force that can't be argued with.