There’s one good side to my gardening column being removed from “Gothic Beauty” magazine. I had a beautiful essay on setting up gardens best appreciated in the evening or night for the next column, and figured that since it was never going to be published, it could go up here on the blog. So be it. Well, one of the absolutes I discovered about writing those columns is that new material always presented itself after the new issue came out. In my researches, I’d never heard about Peter Loewer’s The Evening Garden: Flowers & Fragrances From Dusk ‘Til Dawn until it became one of the first entries in Timber Press’s print-on-demand program today.
Equally interesting is that Timber Press, not one afraid to sell books directly to its customers, decided not to sell its POD titles directly, and instead offers them only through other booksellers, online and otherwise. Want a copy? Give a yell to Nena Rawdah at St. Johns Booksellers, the Triffid Ranch’s official bookseller, and buy your copy from her. That’s what I’m doing in about five minutes.
Never, ever let it be said that the illustrious crew at Timber Press isn’t ahead of the curve. Just when I was getting ready to pump out another hubristic diatribe about potential options for horticulture publishers, Timber Press announces the start of its print-on-demand program. Considering that horticulture and gardening book buyers tend to hang onto our volumes for dear life (present company included), usually the only options for finding rarer volumes are to pay a book collector out the nose for an out-of-print edition, or to wait for a funeral of a gardening friend or acquaintance and then camp out in front of the house for the estate sale. (I only wish I were kidding about this. The Czarina regularly looks for odd items at estate sales, and we’ve run into some real pockets of humanity in the process.)
I have to admit that I was getting a bit cynical about print-on-demand books, but a lot of that came from watching the flood in the science fiction and fantasy genres of authors desperately trying to sell their books to each other because nobody else wanted them. This, though, demonstrates the merits of POD and E-books for longterm reproduction and availability of books with sales that can’t justify a standard print run. Now if someone will give this treatment to John Crompton’s The Hunting Wasp…