by Andrew Mackay
BelieversPress is pleased to be a part of the One Source alliance. Something that we do easier, better, more efficiently than ever is Print-On-Demand. We do that courtesy our sister site, http://www.bookprintondemand.com .
So, where should POD fit into your publishing plans?
POD is the name publishers and printers use for the capability to print books one at a time as you need them. If you were around the book printing industry in the '90s, small quantities just weren't cost effective. Nowadays, though, we can print a single copy very cost effectively.
It's important to understand, though, that POD is a trade-off. It's still more cost effective per unit to print large quantities. Why POD then?
- Lower risk
When you're becoming a publisher, you're running a business -- whether it's what you set out to do or not. There's a certain amount of risk (that is, dollars spent without guarantee of return) in every publishing project. Using POD instead of printing a large quantity of books up front keeps your printing dollars spent to just the books you know you're selling.
- No storage costs
Everyone has heard the story. "My aunt published a book and ended up with a garage filled with books. Drove her crazy." Storing books costs money and space. POD keeps those costs from being a burden.
Need 100 copies in Des Moines? Sure, we can do that. Need 12 copies delivered to that church that is starting a women's ministry? On it. Want to do 40 copies that say "Smithfield Baptist Church Women's Retreat 2014"? Send an updated file and we can do it.
Are there downsides?
Sure -- it's like any tool. It works great for some things and not-so-great for others. The higher unit cost of POD printing means that your profit opportunity per book is lower. If you know for sure that you'll sell 1000 books this year and you can make the investment in printing a larger print run, your return on investment is going to be significantly improved (you'd pay 4.45 per book printing them one at a time, and $2.88 per book printing 1000 at once).
It's important to work with a team that can help you evaluate the best strategies for your project. If you need help thinking through your publishing strategy or understanding how BookPrintOnDemand works, please get in touch!