You probably want to learn more about print-on-demand if you’re trying to decide the best way to publish your book. The big question is whether it can make your book more successful.
On-demand printing has gained popularity as more authors publish their work independently. It’s primarily a way to sell books online and relieves you of responsibilities. In exchange, you give away a cut of the profits.
Whether printing on demand can make you more successful depends on your book’s genre, target readers, and purpose. All three require you to decide on certain aspects of your book.
When your book arrives on someone’s doorstep, it makes a first impression, and there are no second chances. Therefore, your printing choices have significant implications.
Advances in digital printing have made printing books on demand possible. You upload your book’s content (cover art and inside pages) to a printer’s system, where it is held in a queue with thousands of other books.
When a customer places an order, an automated system prints a single copy that is sent to a shipping center for book order fulfillment; then, it is wrapped and shipped.
Large online booksellers have invested heavily in on-demand printing systems and work hard on signing up authors for their services. They promise anyone can become an author with minor inconvenience.
It avoids the need for warehousing because books are printed and sold simultaneously. Their process promises to be customer friendly, and you, as the author, bear less responsibility.
Whether or not on-demand printing is better for authors has to do with goals. It also concerns whether your book is successful – when your book sells well, you may have more options to consider.
The “selling points” for printing your book on demand typically concern your time and money.
If you’re starting out and need to print your book for no money or see if it will sell well, your best option may be to choose on demand.
Book order fulfillment services often come with print-on-demand arrangements. They are explained as an added convenience feature, although other affordable order processing options exist.
Lastly, receiving some free perks like a complimentary ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is common. It will list the on-demand printer as your publisher.
Some self-publishers can do better outside the print-on-demand system. Specifically, they are individual authors and companies that can forecast their book sales and have titles that sell well.
The “drawbacks” of on-demand printing can be considerable for some books, especially those with higher sales volume.
Larger on-demand printers arbitrarily decide their percentage of the sale price and can cut your profit margin. If you have a book that sells well, why give away the income?
For unique and higher-end self-publishers, the template approach of print-on-demand books can reduce quality. Also, your customers may wait longer to receive their books during busy times.
The loss of customer data to on-demand companies can limit your opportunities. For example, you have upselling opportunities when you have your customer’s emails.
At Acutrack, many of our clients have found us while looking for alternatives to print on demand. We provide a “just in time” printing method that can improve your book’s profitability.
We also have all the resources of a big-time, professional book printer. It means you can print books of nearly any size, enjoy more cover stock choices, and request embossing or foiling.
Because we print books ahead based on your sales forecast, they are ready for immediate shipment when your orders arrive.
You keep your customer data when you work with us, and you can sell books anywhere, including your own website and on Amazon Marketplace.
Self-publishers assume the print process setup. Thankfully, the internet makes getting your book ready to print easier.
Once you have your cover designed and your book formatted, you follow the on-demand printer’s instructions to upload the content. It works the same with uploading your book content to Acutrack.
Insider’s tip: Publishing industry veterans recommend you work with a cover designer and have a professional format your book. You want the finished product to look great.
It’s also advisable to order a proof copy for final review if you plan to print books ahead with the just-in-time printing method.
Regardless of your chosen method, take the print process setup seriously. You want your book to represent you well and make an excellent impression on your target readers.
The best thing about self-publishing is that it puts you in control. You can make an informed decision about whether to have your book printed on demand.
Weigh your options carefully and consider your book’s needs. Also, consider your profitability and which method puts the most money in your pocket.
Do you need your customer data, or is it okay to forego it? If your book is a promotional tool for a larger business venture, you might want the data for future marketing opportunities.
If you’re in an image-conscious industry, will the print-on-demand template work for you? Or do you need greater flexibility in your book printing options?
At Acutrack, we’re always pleased to provide information and answer your book printing questions. We’re also ready to help with order fulfillment. You can call or email us anytime.