There used to be only one way to get a book printed. You had the printer set up the book, then you had it printed using offset printing. All of the books needed to be paid for at the time of the printing and stored afterwards. With print runs ranging in the 2,500 books and up, the cost to print a book was prohibitive.
With Print on Demand, or POD, the cost to print a single book is marginal. In some instances, under $15 for a paperback book. Yes, it’s more expensive to print one book using POD than offset printing, but since you only pay for what you print, the cost is much more accessible to individuals. And since some PODs don’t even charge a setup fee, your only cost is for printing the book. Not counting the time, energy and effort it’s taken you to turn your manuscript into something worth printing.
Even better, many of the POD sources are connected to some sort of on-line distribution. If you use these, your book can be available for sale on Amazon.com, BN.com and/or other sites.
So what does this mean.
- More books are getting into print;
- More books are available to readers;
- Going through agents and publishers or using a vanity press are no longer the only ways to get your book into print.
Of course, the bad side is that:
- Anyone can have their book printed and for sale on the web;
- Quality control may be non-existent;
- And there are more books to weed through to find the good ones.