In the past year, I’d driven by Third Place Books a number of times — and although I’d ventured inside, the name always made me chuckle as it reminded me of a similar ‘Three Star Diner’ that I used to frequent on late nights in New York City. I liked the humble placement it gave to itself, rather than boasting a ‘first place’ or ‘five star’ ranking. It seemed instantly endearing to me.
So when we got our class assignment, I was excited to finally stop and see what the store had to offer. I learned about the various printing on demand (POD) services, all of which were equally new and intriguing to me as I was unaware such an option existed. For a nominal fee and a minimal heads up, a book of one’s choosing can be printed right there — no surplus stock, no wasted cost, just the exact book the reader had in mind.
For my purposes with Heart Swell, I’m not sure that POD will be the exact route that I choose, although it is another option that I will keep in mind if the time is right to turn Heart Swell into a book of some sort, or if I choose to publish something else entirely. It seems to offer the right cost and convenience for an author — rather than forcing the rigamarole of a complex publishing process — and yet it also offers less visibility. For a quieter book project, it could be the right fit. For one in which more promotion and audience is desired, it might not be the right option. Regardless, I found it beneficial to add one more option to my list. And to visit the infamous Third Star Books, which I actually found to be quite first-rate.