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Why Print On-Demand?

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on May 24, 2012 6:18:06 AM

A lot has changed in the publishing industry. Gone are the days of sending your manuscript to dozens of publishing companies and waiting anxiously for a reply. No longer must you give up the rights to your work in order to reach readers. Nor do you need to print thousands of books on an offset printer and store them in your garage. As an independent author, you now have a technology ally to help bring your work to life efficiently and cost-effectively: print on-demand.


Print on-demand (POD) is a smart choice for bringing your book to market without lots of risk or investment. If you've published your book using CreateSpace, you're already reaping the benefits of POD. If you're an author considering the indie route or a publishing veteran looking for a POD refresher, allow me to share what I find to be POD's biggest merits. Print on-demand is:


  • Inventory free. Welcome to the digital era! There's no need to stack your books in your closet or spend all of your money on a storage unit. With print on-demand, your book is encrypted and stored safely in digital form on our computer servers.
  • In stock. With print on-demand, your book is always in stock. Books are printed from your digital files when a customer orders them, so even if you have a sales spike, you'll be able to keep selling without worrying about how many books are warehoused in physical inventory.
  • Cost effective. Since POD books are only produced as they're ordered, you save money by not printing and storing the thousands of books often required by offset printing. Just think of what you can do with the money you aren't using on upfront bulk print runs or storage! That leftover capital could be used to market your book.
  • Environmentally friendly. With POD, copies of your book are printed only when there is a demand for them. Therefore, thousands of copies of your book aren't printed in advance with the risk of any unsold copies being thrown away or pulped. Additionally, you have the choice to use other environmentally friendly options, like paper made from recycled materials.
  • High quality. Advances in print on-demand technology have led to high-quality books with professional covers and interiors. The average reader cannot tell the difference between a trade paperback book printed traditionally and one printed on-demand.
  • Low risk. With no setup fees, and no physical inventory, you can test the market without worrying about inventory. There is little risk in making your title available on-demand.


Those are some of the primary benefits of this game-changing print technology. Bottom line: modern print on-demand ensures you aren't literally selling yourself short by running out of inventory or risking large investments in physical inventory. It's a good time to be an indie author!


-Kelly Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Kelly is a member of the CreateSpace Technical Services team. She is passionate about ISBNs, margins, and all the artistic endeavors of the writers who cross her desk.


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Jan 9, 2014 8:43 PM Starfish    says:

Another potential benefit is the relatively short time it can take from the time a manuscript is complete until the book is available.  Although a lot of time could be spent on editing and layout, it's aslo possible to turn the book around relatively quickly.  You could realistically have the book in hand in a couple of weeks -- and less if your really needed it.