How on demand publishing has changed the literary landscape.
Let’s first talk about traditional publishing. A book is mass produced on something called an offset press. This is a large scale production which takes a good deal of time to set up and costs thousands of dollars on average for a ‘print run’. The advantage of traditional printing is if say, 10,000 copies are printed the actual cost per piece is fairly low. The downside is it isn’t really worth using traditional printing unless you print thousands of copies because if you do a small run, what with all the prep time and press time, the cost per piece would be extremely high. You might look at it this way. If you produce 10,000 the cost per book might be $2.00, but if you only wanted 50 books the cost per piece might be $200. Not very practical, huh?
Then when you want to reprint the book you have most of the expense all over again. So generally traditional offset printing is done when there is a large quantity of books being produced. For the independent author this can be a bit troubling if your aim is to sell the book yourself and online. If you are fortunate enough to get a book deal with a major publisher they will use traditional printing, handle all of this and you won’t need to worry about it.
So what if you’re a first time author and you want to publish a book yourself, get copies to sell and sell it online via Amazon and Kindle (as an ebook, more on ebooks in other blog entires) for instance? Welcome to the world of on demand printing. There are several places you can go and at little or no upfront cost you can have your book up for sale on Amazon in the matter of a few days after you complete it (Go to the Services/Resources page to learn how).
With on demand printing your book is printed when it is ordered. Amazingly, if someone orders just one book, just one is printed. The quality of this process is very nearly as good as traditional printing, and in the case of books which are predominately text there is really no difference in quality. Better still you can order author’s copies inexpensively and have them shipped to your door in time for your book signing or other event. You can sell signed copied on your website. These books can be placed on Amazon and other outlets for sale without you having to keep any inventory at all.
Ok, what’s the downside? When you use an on demand printer that is hooked into Amazon, like KDP for instance, when the physical book is sold they keep about two thirds of the sale price. Fair enough because you have essentially no up front cost to sell it there, and remember they are both printing and selling it for you. Color interior books are more costly to produce per piece however, and not all on demand printers have a hardcover option.
But wait, there’s another perk! What if you want to make changed to your book, or a second edition with updated information? You just upload the new version without any issues on having to sell of the inventory of your first edition.
Read more blog entires to learn about ebooks, marketing, social media and much more.