Print-On-Demand Publishing

Successful Self-Publishing - 20 Must Do Action Items

By Bobbi Linkemer

The following are 20 self-publishing actions items that need to be on your must do list.

1. Start with a great book title and subtitle. You're going to need it every step of the way.

2. Have your book cover designed by a graphic designer who specializes in books.

3. Go to your favorite bookstore and look at book covers. What grabs your attention? What feels good in your hand? Share your impressions with your book designer.

4. Write a book marketing plan that includes what your want to accomplish, strategies for how you plan to do it, specific tactics or actions you will take, target dates, and estimated costs.

5. Create a promotional piece or brochure.

6. Put together two mailing lists - one for snail mail and one for email.

7. Create a blog to keep people informed of your progress and establish yourself as an expert on your topic.

8. Choose a name for your publishing company.

9. Download or send for copyright form CO-instructions and file the forms with U.S. Copyright Office. Even though your work is automatically copyrighted when you write it, this is an added protection.

10. Check into the need for local business licenses and apply for them, if necessary.

11. Secure an ISBN from R. R. Bowker. 

12. Have your manuscript edited and proofread before it goes into design.

13. Send out advance review copies of galleys to appropriate publications and reviewers.

14. Request and obtain testimonials to include in the book, on the cover and in your promotional materials.

15. Research your options on printers and obtain competitive quotes (using the same specs.).

16. Decide how you want to handle storage and distribution.

17. Do a promotional mailing.

18. Set up a "press or media room" on your website so that media can find the information they need in a form they can use.

19. Write and submit articles on your subject to print publications and online article sites.

20. Consider alternative ways to repackage your content and develop spin-off products (CDs, DVDs, reports, mini-books, podcasts, ebooks, website content).

There is little doubt that becoming a successful self-publisher is a big job, but also one that brings creative autonomy, satisfaction, and profits.

[This post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to]

Exploring POD

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:

  1. You do not need a warehouse (not even a garage) because there is no book inventory to store or maintain.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.]

The Changing World of Book Publishing - Something Writers Should Know

Today, there are more books, published in more ways and available to wider audiences than ever before. For many readers, the printed-paper book is a convenient way for them to be entertained (fiction book) or informed (non-fiction book). For others, the audio book works well. And for still others, electronic books may be the preferable choice.

Howwever, before you begin printing your book, it's important that you understand one important factor: book production and book selling are changing. And to be successful, authors and publishers must recognize and adapt to these changes.

Historically, books have been printed in large quantities and sold through bookstores "on spec." In other words, old fashioned publishers have tried to "push" books into the market, rather than let public demand "pull" them into stores. Books that did not sell were returned to the publishers and basically scrapped. Some of the larger publishers would often get 25% to 35% of their books back. This practice is very expensive and has to be calculated into the cost of the books. This practice is also environmentally very wasteful as well.

Today and as we go forward into the future, the best book publishing strategy will be to print a modest initial print run of books to address early sales demand and to cover promotional (i.e. review copies) book requirements. Then as readers become aware of the book, print additional copies on a print-on-demand (POD) basis. The initial print runs are used to "prime the pump." If sales increase to a amount that justifies larger quantity print runs, book production can switch over to quantity printing using digital or offset methods.

Today's book publishing model makes very good sense, and is something you should strongly consider before you go to press.

[This post was created from excerpts from The Self-Publishing Manual, Volume 2, written by Dan Poynter.]

The "Greening of America" Through Print-On-Demand Publishing

A few years ago, Brenda Rollins wrote an excellent article on how print-on-demand (POD) technology was creating new opportunities for writers. And it's no wonder that today, POD is the hottest trend in the world of publishing.

Surprisingly, the basic concept isn't new - retailers of household goods like Walmart have used "just-in-time" inventory management for years. When a customer buys an item, a replacement is automatically ordered from the warehouse. POD simply takes just-in-time to the next level, both manufacturing and shipping the product as it is ordered by the consumer.

Before the advent of POD, the old traditional publishing industry engaged in a series of inefficient, wasteful business practices - namely:

  • routinely overprinting new books,
  • overstocking warehouses and bookstores, and then
  • returning unsold books to the publisher for a refund.

People outside the book world are often shocked to hear that bookstores don't actually buy books. Instead, they take them on consignment. Returns often amount to 20% or 30% of the total inventory shipped to bookstores. This inefficient and environmentally unfriendly system makes it hard for conventional publishers to break even financially, and it drives them to focus on commercial rather than literary factors.

The POD business model reverses this vicious cycle. Instead of printing thousands of books first, then hoping that readers buy them, the opposite of true - readers order first, then the books are printed and shipped (often within 48 hours) to the buyers. The number of books printed is only as many as are really needed, with few (if any) unsold copies left over.

The good news is that the philosophy of POD is driving the book world toward a leaner, meaner, greener future, and one that is more equitable to readers and writers alike.

[The post was created from excerpts taken from 5.0, co-authored by Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow.]