A Primer for Printing on Demand

In the past, authors who were seeking to have their book published had to choose between two options: working with a publisher to distribute their book, losing control of the marketing process, or self publishing with a printer, which could be costly, time-consuming, and extremely frustrating.

Thankfully, in recent years, a third option has emerged: print on demand. Print on demand allows authors to take control by telling printing companies how many books should be produced and when. As demand grows, you have the ability to print more books over time–as opposed to printing 1,000 copies that might just collect dust sitting on a shelf.

Benefits and Customizations

The benefits of print on demand for authors are many, including the ability to:

  • Eliminate and minimize waste and out of date books
  • Minimize risks by printing only what you need to now
  • Reorder more books as your following grows
  • Update your book frequently and print out the newest version
  • Keep a backlist of titles in print
  • Use cutting-edge inkjet print technology with sharp graphics, crisp text, and vibrant color
  • Take advantage of fast shipping

Furthermore, books can be customized with variable printing options, making each one unique to the customer. For example, this is a great way for astrology books to include the buyer’s specific horoscope or to include a child’s name and characteristics into a custom children’s book.

In most cases, print on demand works in a step by step process:

  • Enter the book details, including the title, dimensions, binding, whether it’s color or black and white, etc.
  • Upload the interior part of your book as a PDF
  • Upload your existing cover design or create one on the spot
  • Order your book

If you’re unsure how you want your book to be formatted, many print on demand services include templates and example formats for your to peruse for inspiration. In essence, you are in control of the printing and creative publishing process!

Distribution Options

Most print on demand services are accessed online and then shipped to the consumer. However, there are also options available in some major bookstores to have a book chosen from a catalogue of options printed right in front of their eyes, adding a bit of entertainment to their shopping trip. This means that consumers can still have the pleasure of going into a bookstore and bringing their new favorite paperback home with them!

With online options, print on demand also allows for better distribution across multiple channels. Modern print on demand publication uses the internet to distribute a digital copy of the book to printers, reaching far more consumers than would otherwise be possible. The author just has to upload their finalized, formatted book into a database and it’s instantly available for purchase. If something needs to be edited, it’s as easy as updating the document and re-uploading it into the system.

Notably, print on demand services allow authors to contact wholesalers and retail outlets including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If the book has a lot of interest prior to publication, it may be stocked in advance of orders. Otherwise, the book will only remain as a listing available for order.

Economic Impact

While most books are still printed by offset through a publication house, print on demand renders it unnecessary to invest thousands of dollars in printed books before readers are interested in the book. In this regard, print on demand eliminates much of the economic risk that comes with book publishing.

Notably, profits from print on demand publishing are on a per-sale basis, and author royalties depend on how the book is sold. Because the per-unit cost of the book is typically greater with print on demand than more traditional publishing methods, print on demand books are usually more expensive than books done by conventional print jobs. Furthermore, because print on demand books cannot be returned, it’s important to keep in mind that some bookstores are reluctant to offer print on demand books.

Final Thoughts

Print on demand helps to bridge the gap between big publishing houses and self-published authors, giving authors, especially first time authors testing the market, the ability to reach readers they wouldn’t otherwise have access to while still giving them the option to purchase multiple copies to have on hand for events and conventions.

Yurchak Printing, Inc. was founded in 1998 with the goal of offering high quality, short-run digital book manufacturing services to the publishing industry, manufacturing and service companies, professional associations, government agencies, as well as colleges and universities. Our services were created to fulfill a need brought about by the digital age. We believe that all publishers and businesses should have the ability to offer print as a valuable resource of communication. By utilizing our print on demand and digital technology capabilities, they can satisfy the demand of the marketplace and maintain an additional revenue source while eliminating/reducing inventory, obsolescence and increase cash flow.

To find out more about our print on demand services, contact us today.