I'm still doing research into the possibility of print on demand for my inspirational romance stories. Based on the research I did before sending them off for publication, there are only a few publishers who carry this kind of story anyway, and all the ones I could find in the Writer's Market Guide have rejected the story. For the most part, form letters were involved, but one mentioned a scene that involves a description of something violent that happened in the past that they did not like. I think that's a little crazy since it's not graphic or anything, but that's the reason they didn't want to publish it. This scene is so important to the story that I can't change or cut it, so that's not even an option!
These publishers are all the ones who use mail order to sell their books. It's a book club setup and if you're in the book club, you get the books. If you are not in the book club, there really isn't a way to buy a certain book. Obviously, that's not ideal.
POD would give me the freedom to keep the stories the way I want them and will allow anyone to buy the books online. I'm still doing research on which company and I'm still trying to find other traditional publishers who would take this type of story, but I'm giving it until May and if I don't find any others to send it off to, I'm going with POD for this story and any that follow in this series. That way, I can keep my inspirational stories to POD and continue doing queries for my secular stories.
I worry just a little about the stigma of self-publishing, but then do the traditional publishers really have to know? I don't know. It's all so confusing and frustrating.
One good thing is, I've already got someone in place who will read and edit the book before I do anything else with it. She's freelance and is a friend, so I'm looking forward to working with her. She'll be the first person outside my family to read it.
I almost feel like POD is giving up. I mean, do I really want to rob myself of the excitement of being published for the first time by doing it myself? Do I need or want the validation that comes from being accepted?
But then again, do I want the story to sit on my computer for the rest of my life because it's not quite right for any existing publisher? There's a lot to consider.