"POD" could mean the alien mothership has laid thousands of egg pods with her nestlings waiting to take over your life. Or....it could mean Print On Demand. (Phew.)
Print On Demand rose in the 2000s as technology made printing individual books as they were ordered more affordable than the old traditional way of paying for a print run and then having the books sit somewhere, either in a warehouse or your garage. There were several small companies at the beginning, but consolidation has brought several names that still operate under one umbrella, AuthorHouse. Names like iUniverse and Xlibris might be familiar to you that are now AuthorHouse.
AuthorHouse and others like it offer "full-service" POD, which typically included various package options that can include everything including editing. All you do is show up with your book and checkbook. This option can cost hundreds or even thousands, but could be a viable option if traditional publishers aren't for you.
Here are the key factors to consider:
1. This is the highest priced option. It will include solid customer service, as well as as many options as you would like to pay for.
2. Other than writing the book, there's very nothing you have to do other than pay for it.
3. You have very little control over pricing. All that is determined by the house. (The most common complaint is that it rarely coincides with where current paperback prices are).
4.You have to do all the marketing yourself, though there is a marketing package you can pay for.
5. This usually has the lowest royalties, but it's still more than traditional publishers pay.
This is not the only option, however. Next week I'll cover free service POD. I'm really enjoying exploring the possibilities out there. I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me!