Print on-demand. When is it a good idea?
POD print on demand books and authors need to have reasonable expectations.
Print on demand output or POD books often means that you can get only 50 books or less. You can get more copies on press too. There is a catch though — in fact, a few catches. It is impossible to cost effectively print only 50 books on a printing press, but is it a question we are often asked.It is possible to print a few hundred copies on offset press but POD service provider usually have only a webpress.
Digital output device.
This can be for a very small quantity of books. It is like a home office computer printer that outputs a page or two at a time, uses toner on paper, or worse yet, ink jet. However, the device is a floor model and has more bells and whistles. However, it still outputs toner on paper. Toner smears when wiping a moist finger across the page, and as you can imagine, is not goof for small children who may put books in their mouths. Star Print Brokers does our standard book proofs on digital output devices. One round is included in our quotes. But, for an added cost, press proofs are available too.
What’s a digital proof?
A digital proof is output from a digital output device, like you would print out a page from your home printer.
A web press is an offset press. It feeds paper using a large roll of paper stock. In larger commercial printing facilities and many presses are available, a web press is typically in use for fliers, direct mail, newspapers and magazines. They are not for fine, high-quality book printing in signatures.
Sheet-fed press for book printing.
High-quality books print in signatures. They print on sheet-fed, offset presses. A signature is a larger sheet of paper with 8, 12, 16 or more pages printed on it, front and back. The sheet folds, and folds again to form a booklet. This is a called a signature. Then the signatures “marry” together to form the text block.
The text block will glued or be Smyth sewn. The text back can then be put in the hard case for a hardcover book, or apply a print-on-press cover for a softcover books. Often, the softcover books have the covers applied during the printing process.
What’s a press proof?
A press proof can only print on an offset printing press. This is the definition of a “press” proof. We make plates, ink up the press, print the “make readies” and then a set of proofs to print for the clients. It is a pricey process, and this is what we do before a book can print. It is not economical to tie up a press for days or weeks waiting for approval, and there are also the the press wash up charges.
The quality and binding difference.
There is a significant difference in quality between books printed on press and POD print on demand books. Quality differences show up in binding as well as printing. Star Print Brokers does not output books, nor do we do print on demand books. We print only high-quality books on press. Printing with our small, but proven group of printers in Asian countries, we save our clients up to 70 percent as compared to printing in Canada or USA.
When POD print on demand is a good idea.
If your books are soft cover and black text only, print on demand is not a bad option. If there is any color, or the book is hardcover, print on demand is a good solution, except you can print a few books instead of a full print run. Bear in mind, you usually are only paid royalties when your print on demand book is sold.
But, with print on demand books, you can print a small quantity. Although the unit cost may be high. This makes books harder to sell profitably.
When print on demand is a not a wise decision.
With Star Print Brokers, you keep all of the profit. You can sell it yourself on Amazon. You don’t need a print on-demand supplier to set up the account. After all, you are the publisher. New titles are seldom placed in brick and mortar stores. They are placed on a list, along with a great many other new titles, that stores can order from. If you have your own ISBN and barcode (not given to you by a print on demand supplier), your title can also be found on lists available to bookstores. Star Print Brokers can sell you 1 ISBN and 1 barcode here, or go directly to isbn.org and myidentifiers.com
Print on-demand is outputting books digitally from a device similar to a copier. It outputs toner on paper. It can smear if you wipe it with a moist finger. Print on-demand books are never suitable for young children who often put things in their mouth!
Star Print Brokers prints books on press, printing ink on paper. They books are set up to print on commercial printing presses, our minimum print run is 1,000 hardcover or 2,000 soft cover books. Our minimum for board books is 1,00 books. You will receive high-quality, well-bound books delivered to your door. The unit cost is low as compared to the costs of print on-demand books. All costs are included in our quotes including all foreseeable costs: printing, one physical proof set, shipping, clearing customs, duty, and delivery to the door. It is the client’s responsibility to research and pay local taxes and VAT.
Get our free booklet.
There is a free booklet you can instantly download from Star Print Brokers: “Self-Publish Your Book Profitably. Control Your Revenue. Keep More Profit.” We do ask for your email, but we never share it — ever — promise.
We’ve been in the business of printing books on press since 1999. If you would like a quote to print a book on a sheet-fed, offset press and in signatures, please request a quote on our website, or call us. We are based in Bellevue, Washington.
Call (844) 603-1777 toll-free, or (425) 603-1777 in the Seattle area. Request a quote today! Click the “quote” button in the upper right hand corner of all pages on our website.