A great is getting a bad rap for the wrong reasons. () is often mislabeled “Publish On Demand,” which consequently associates it with the world; a realm inhabited by a few reputable operators and a large number of scammers waiting to prey on naive .

While it's true most Vanity do rely on , the majority of reputable self- and many small traditional publishers do, too. is entirely disconnected from matters related to whether you own your own ISBN , share rights and royalties with a third party, own your cover artwork or choose one distribution chain over another. After all the business arrangements are decided on, a file is sent to a POD printer and are then manufactured to order in quantities as small as a single book. POD is a digital technology, not a business strategy or a scam.

If it wasn't for POD technology, self-publishers would still be stocking up their garages with the thousands of required to make an offset order cost-effective. By combining POD technology with super-efficient distribution to major , companies like Lightning Source and Amazon's CreateSpace™ are a self-publisher's greatest enabler. POD is the technology to which the self-publishing revolution owes its greatest debt of gratitude.

If you're warned to steer clear of “disreputable POD publishers,” understand that literal adherence to that advice will possibly be your undoing. Instead, whether you engage a Vanity Publisher or take publishing matters entirely into your own , evaluate your vendors carefully but separately from your processes. Ultimately, a clear understanding of the differences between Vanity Publishers and POD Printing, and proper use of those terms will go a long way towards discouraging unnecessary stigmatization of a useful and valuable book production method.

This was originally published on my previous blog: The WorldsGreatestBook.com.