Diggory Press was what is commonly referred to as a “POD” or Publish/Print on Demand company, which prints a new copy of a book to fill an order — as opposed to a standard publishing model, which prints a “run” of copies with traditional offset printing, and then sells the inventory (or not).
The advantages of POD are fairly obvious: increased speed and efficiency, with less waste and expense by the publishing company (though it is usually more expensive per unit to print an individual book than a mass-produced run). On the author’s side, one can expect far more independence, control and a larger share of the royalties. Older or more obscure titles are far less likely to become unavailable (the dreaded “out of print syndrome!), and titles with uncertain market potential are far less of a risk for the publisher.
In either case, marketing and distribution is a completely separate matter; while a traditional publishing house will often handle such things, PODs either leave such things up to the author, or offer a range of optional ‘packages’ that include some form of further involvement for an additional cost.
For instance, if a Baton Rouge maritime lawyer wanted to write about his experiences dealing with maritime workers who have been seriously injured while plying not only the inland waterways of Louisiana, but also the intra coastal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico and how the complex specialized area of the law, known as Admiralty Law that protects maritime seamen has evolved over the last 100 years, Diggory Press could print his book as demand required. If the Baton Rouge maritime attorney represented any of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion survivors or their families, he might have an even more riveting book.
Louisiana has a number of large ports, such as the port of New Orleans and Port of South Louisiana, that handle the cargo of oceangoing ships, bulk carriers and cargo tankers from the Gulf of Mexico as well as numerous smaller ports such as Intracoastal City. Venice, and Morgan City. These port have become hubs for marine-related industries that employ deckhands, mates, engineers, able bodied seamen, cooks, and captains to transport cargo and offshore workers to rigs and platforms. In fact, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a center for petrochemical production and manufacturing, and the port of Baton Rouge is one of the largest in the nation. A Baton Rouge maritime lawyer will handle a diverse group of maritime workers and Jones Act seamen during his career. And each individual has a unique story to tell.
By adding information about maritime law, the Jones Act and remedies under the Jones Act, how to determine who qualifies for compensation and what vessels qualify for the Jones Act, what the statute of limitations are for filing a Jones Act claim, which maritime workers the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA or Longshore Act) protects, what does it mean when a vessel is unseaworthy, what additional injuries may be covered that are not directly work related, but occurred on a vessel, etc, this book could help many maritime workers and their families understand what their rights are and understand their legal options under the Jones Act and other applicable maritime laws. A POD is the perfect vehicle to get those stories and information out to the very people who need it the most.
It is not too far from the truth to assume that any given company referring to themselves as a POD simply desires to distance themselves from the derogatory “vanity press” label (one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter, and so on). In the debate over Diggory Press, you can assume that anyone who refers to the company as a vanity press is probably among the opposition, while using the term POD may indicate either support or simple neutral objectivity.