Print on Demand

My e-book publisher has started a Print on Demand (POD) service to go along with its e-book publishing services.  I’m going to try it out for Portal.

POD fills a gap in the e-book self-publishing model: some people just prefer a printed book.  A guy at work said he’d like to read one of my books, but what he really wanted was an autographed copy.  Can’t autograph an e-book.  (It seemed kind of weird that a co-worker would want my autograph, but not totally weird.  There’s something about a signed copy of a book that makes it special.)

There are two major players in the POD world: CreateSpace and Lightning Source.  This article explains the differences in mind-numbing detail and ultimately recommends CreateSpace.  My publisher uses Lightning Source.  Oh, well.  The publisher’s model, as with e-books, is that I pay them a (relatively small) amount of money to do all the prep work. They also handle the ongoing dealings with Lightning Source, in return for a small cut of the royalties.  You can eliminate the middleman and do all the work yourself if you use CreateSpace, assuming you have the time and energy; I have neither.  Per-unit royalties through my publisher are much lower than they are for e-books, because there’s so much more overhead in creating a printed book.  The idea is that most of your revenue would be from e-book sales, but the printed option is there for people who prefer it.  I can, of course, buy any number of books at a steep discount, and then sign ’em for my co-workers, give them away to passing strangers, etc.

POD is another blow against the business model of traditional publishing.  Time to give it a shot.

2 thoughts on “Print on Demand

  1. Pingback: Photos of my Print on Demand book | richard bowker

  2. Pingback: Print on Demand pricing | richard bowker

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