If I setup a P.o.D. would you use it?

Working for yourself or for a publisher, chat about the business side here.

If Avi setup a P.o.D. service, would you use it?

Poll ended at Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:18 am

Hell yeah, all the time! I make like 200 pages of comics a year!
1
7%
Definitely. I don't produce much, or that often, but a local P.o.D. would be convenient
7
50%
Yeah, although it'd probably be more for posters or flyers than comics
1
7%
Probably... I don't do that much though
2
14%
No, I don't have any work, or don't make work often enough to consider it really
1
7%
No, I'd rather take it to a real printer
0
No votes
No, I don't trust Avi not to sell copies on the side without paying me for them
0
No votes
Avi, why do you always ask these fucking stupid questions? Can't you see you're wasting your life on local comics? You should find a real job and stop wasting your youth on something that has no returns, or you'll become old and jaded like me!
2
14%
 
Total votes : 14

Postby matt g on Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:02 pm

Well when it comes to costs to the consumer, there's a balance I can make as a creator - I can achieve similar quality with PoD, but the per unit costs will be higher.

I can theoretically set a similar price to a mass produced book, the balance involved means that while I may forego as high an initial margin on each sale, I have no opportunity cost in production. The work also remains in print indefinitely, allowing me to capitalise on the long tail effect.

There's no huge hunk out of my bank account which may attract higher fees or force me to miss a debt repayment, I have no actual cost per sale (excluding any marketing which would be the same regardless of production method) I have no expense on my time of managing production, managing distribution, managing sales and financials etc.

This time is available to create other works, and as anyone who's worked for themselves can attest, about 90% of your time is spent on the administration that supports the 10% spent doing what you actually want to do.

As I said, they're useful for different purposes. With graphic novels essentially being the only sustainable part of the comics market heading into the future, I think price considerations are going to be less and less important as the market gets more used to an upper range of $20-50 for a book, especially when you consider the inherent direct creator / fan dynamic that the internet can foster (i.e. a higher price can be tolerated because all of it goes to the creator - no huge publisher cut - in a transparent pricing fashion).

Cheers
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Postby bluetoaster on Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:46 pm

Good points Matt.

As long as the quality and delivery times (to customers) was reasonable, I would think it could serve a great benefit for new books and creators.( For getting the work out there at minimum expense to the creator).

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Postby Egofreaky on Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:52 am

Well, I'm going to throw in a ball park kind of figure here.
Having gone through the numbers, I could probably offer something of the quality of OzTAKU (in it's current iteration) at around $7-$8 per unit...
that's roughly 200 B&W pages internal with a colour cover on a nice paper stock, and perfect binding.
Considering the costs are pretty much the same PER PAGE, regardless what's being printed, it'd be safe to assume that a 40 page comic would come in around $2 per unit.

What do people think of these figures?

Oh, and a clarification point on the whole distribution/catalogue thingy:
Basically as we'd become a centre for production, it'd make sense to be a centre for distribution too. It saves money for all involved, allows stores to only have to deal with one person, and stock isn't an issue, as it'd be a print on demand run when stockists make a quarterly order or some such.
Speaking of which, it's a win win situation in terms of stock.
Artists are likely to want more stock eventually, and comic stores are likely to want to be able to return things. Returned consignment copies can just be given to the artists as part of their next order for free, as they've already paid for the cost of the book's production, or they can be sent to another stockist in the next batch of orders (provided they were still in salelable condition of course... maybe need to invest in a shrinkwrapper for that)
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Postby bluetoaster on Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:05 am

Those figures sound great.
The cut & quality of OzTAKU is good, so given that I think its a great idea.

Did you say that there would be saddle stitch available also? - or is it only perfect binding?

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Postby bluetoaster on Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:11 am

Also Ego, i noticed on a post that your sourcing different paper manufacturers for cheap stock.... does that mean we could get a choice in different types of paper too?

Just wondering.

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Postby Egofreaky on Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:21 pm

Well, it now seems I'm unlikely to open a POD in the near future... So this conversation has now become rather theoretical.
However, I'm still wanting to at some point a few years down the track, so this line of conversation is still useful to me.
I would like to continue it, get your input and suggestions, so that I'm aware of exactly what I'll be needing when I finally do get around to owning one of these monstrosities.

bluetoaster:I have indeed been looking in differing paper stocks in the past few months, from the lowly cheap 60gsm stuff (that turns out must be plate printed, as it would jam most laser systems except one of these) to the ludicrously lavish 310gsm display artboard with the semimatte finish... Then there are delightful things like metallic and pearlescent papers out there, not to mention the papers that are actually plastics and have funky patterns all over them that would be really good for those people that want them to look more zineish...

And yeah, saddle stitching would be something handled automatically by the machine itself, as opposed to having to stick the books into another machine.
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Postby bluetoaster on Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:14 am

Well, it now seems I'm unlikely to open a POD in the near future... So this conversation has now become rather theoretical.

You tease.

Your like the girl that gets me into bed, & then 'Just wants to be held.'

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Postby Egofreaky on Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:10 pm

No, actually, a POD was seriously something I was looking at over the last 3 months, and will look at again in future, funds permitting.

I'm hoping that perhaps I might even be able to set one up as a government initiative (there's an oxymoron if there ever was one) through the Victorian Arts Council
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Postby iangould on Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:49 pm

If I were going to do this, I'd look at starting out by buying or leasing a second-hand high-volume photocopier for the interiors and outsourcing the covers, at least initially.

That'd cut your upfront capital cost considerably - probabyl to a coupel of thousand dollars.

If you're distributing as well as printing, it might be possible towork some sort of deal where you offset the proceeds from distribution against the priting cost. I.e. if you have shop orders for 5 copies of a book and the artists wants ten copies you could say "I'll print and sell these five ciopies and knock the profit from that off your bill for printing your copies."
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Postby The Wraith on Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:32 am

Egofreaky wrote:No, actually, a POD was seriously something I was looking at over the last 3 months, and will look at again in future, funds permitting.

I'm hoping that perhaps I might even be able to set one up as a government initiative (there's an oxymoron if there ever was one) through the Victorian Arts Council


Again, read up on how ka-blam set their service/business up for some handy advice.
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