More and more articles and posts are being written about print-on-demand printing or what's referred to as POD. So what it true print-on-demand printing? Simply put, it means that books are first sold, then using digital printing, one or more copies are created to fill the order.
Although soft cover books are more common with POD, a number of companies can also produce hard cover or case-bound books, including dust jackets, as well. Once produced, the books are shipped direct from the POD printer to the customer (usually the author or someone he or she designates).
There are several advantages to using print-on-demand technology. Among them:
- You do not need a warehouse (not even a garage) because there is no book inventory to store or maintain.
- You have publishing flexibility. Suppose you decide you would like to change your cover sub-title, adjust colors, or rewrite a portion of text. With POD you can simply make your changes on your next production run.
- There is also the element of speed. If you're dealing with a timely topic that requires a tight deadline, POD can create your books quickly. Some POD printers can turnaround a soft cover book within 5 working days - and hard cover books can be produced within 10.
There are also some interesting trends developing with print-on-demand book publishing. A number of POD printers are connecting with retail chains such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, making POD books more readily available in brick-and-mortar bookstores. The prediction is that this trend will continue to evolve.
Also, some book printers who used to specialize in larger print runs are now doing short-run POD - either exclusively or in tandem with their previous work.
There are many POD printers to choose from. For example, Book1One can produce as few as one copy (even hard cover) or hundreds, depending upon the author's marketing strategy and requirements.
What will it cost you to ride the crest of this new wave? Prices can vary from book producer to book producer and usually will be based on a number of factors including type of book cover, page size dimension, number of black/white and color pages, and quantity to be produced. It's important to obtain quotes so you can compare costs, terms and production turnaround times. And ask where the normal price breaks fall.
[This post was created from excerpts from the new 5th edition of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]