What is Print on Demand?

Since it’s still a relatively new concept, you may not have heard of print on demand. This new technology is easily changing the way printing is done today, and if you’re an author or an aspiring author, print on demand may change your work for the better.

What to know about print on demand…

What is print on demand?

Print on demand, also known as POD, is literally printing on demand. This means that you can print as little or as many books as you need when you need them. Rather than printing 4,000 copies of one book and then having to try and sell those 4,000 books, print on demand allows you to print a book as they’re sold. For example, let’s say that 10 copies of one book were sold on a website. This information would then be sent to the POD company who would only print 10 copies of the book.

Both the book and the book’s cover are set up in the printer’s system as a digital file. When an order is placed, the computer selects the appropriate file and the printing begins.  POD has the ability to print both soft and hardcovers, though many companies will outsource their hard cover binding.

Who uses print on demand?

POD is becoming extremely popular among aspiring writers or those who simply don’t have the means to pay for a traditional publishing experience. Rather than hassle with agents and publishing companies, writers are using print on demand services to take matters into their own hands.

What does it cost?

There is always an initial set up cost for the POD experience, which usually covers the cost of the initial set up. Some companies then charge a small fee for each printed batch while some simply ask for an annual fee to keep the file logged in their system.

What are some benefits?

The cost of print on demand is much less than traditional publishing. Plus, along with saving money on printing costs, there is no need to pay for warehousing facilities to store extra copies of the books, and it’s a great way to ensure that books never become out of print. POD allows books to continue to be printed for many years to come.

With print on demand, there is also no need to hassle with the needs and requirements of publishing companies, so the author can easily get the book printed when they feel ready. Plus, they also have complete control over the story and the design of the cover.

What are some disadvantages?

Many book stores don’t recognize POD as an actual piece of work, so they won’t place it in their shops. With POD, you are also stuck paying for your advertising and event expenses since you are printing independently and not through a publishing company.  You also have to schedule and pay for your own book signings.

How is the quality?

The quality is very comparable to those books produced through traditional publishing companies. Due to the advances of technology, POD is very suitable for many people. Plus, it’s so powerful that it can produce about four books every minute.

If you’re a writer tired of dealing with agents and publishing companies, or if you’re an aspiring writer looking to get your name out there, print on demand may just be your cup of tea.

George Simmons lives in Miami.  He likes to write in his spare time and has recently been telling others about the best Florida printing companies.