Back in the early days of self-publishing, authors had to purchase thousands of copies of their book to keep in inventory. Only by stocking this inventory themselves were they able to sell their books on their own websites or at various events. Distribution of the print book was all on the author to handle, including the many hassles involved in that
Times have changed and so has the self-publishing process. With the advent of print-on-demand services and drop ship services, self-published authors are no longer required to purchase and store a large number of books in advance. Now, online bookselling platforms receive the order, print and bind the book on demand, and drop ship it directly to the customer. To truly grasp the beauty of print-on-demand book services, read on!
What is Print-on-Demand?
Print-on-demand is a publishing model that works a lot like ordering your lunch at a restaurant. The consumer places the order, at which point the product — whether it’s a book or a burger — is created. This is a cost-efficient way to provide the product without storing inventory in the hopes that someone will order it. Both the book and the burger are created and delivered “on demand.”
How Does On-Demand Book Printing Work?
When an author is ready to publish their book on a bookselling platform, they upload the book’s digital files into the system. Later, when the online bookseller receives an order for the book, the print-on-demand technology is initiated, culminating in the finished product, a bound book. The book then makes its way to the shipping department, and off it goes to the customer.
Advantages of On-Demand Book Printing
Print-on-demand books have been a game changer for self-published authors. Consider the many advantages of on-demand book printing:
In the past, a self-published author who wanted to distribute their book had no option but to invest thousands of dollars in a run of book copies. For example, if they ordered 500 copies they had to be prepared to spend about $3,000 over and above the editing and design expenditures in creating the book. On-demand book printing completely erases those additional upfront costs.
Maintain Minimal Inventory
Now let’s consider logistics. Using the prior example of ordering a run of 500 copies, these would be delivered to the author, who would then need to find space to store their inventory. With print-on-demand book publishing, authors need only to keep a few copies of their books on hand.
Fast and Convenient
This new development in publishing has also benefited customers. The efficiency of the print-on-demand system promises that most books are printed and ready to ship within a couple of business days of the order being placed.
Wider Market Reach
The best feature of print-on-demand book publishing and distribution is the incredible reach your book will enjoy. No longer is an author’s self-published book limited to a few local bookstores. Now, print-on-demand allows paperback books by indie authors to be marketed and sold around the world.
Common Challenges and Solutions for On-Demand Book Printing
Even with all the advantages authors enjoy with on-demand book printing, there are some caveats to be aware of:
Finding the Right Partner
As with any industry, not all print-on-demand companies are created equal. It is important to place your trust in a publishing company that has a solid printing and distribution model. Gatekeeper Press is a proven leader in the field of on-demand book printing and distribution.
POD companies also differ in terms of quality. Not all offer the same level of quality for paper, ink, and binding. You can trust that Gatekeeper Press will meet your high expectations for print quality and well-managed book distribution operations.
Marketing and Promotion
Regardless of the many benefits of on-demand book printing, it takes more than just uploading a digital file to succeed as an author. Gatekeeper Press provides marketing guidance, which is a must for self-published authors to increase their chances of success.
Self-Publish Your Book With Gatekeeper Press
Partner with Gatekeeper Press and enjoy the many sources of publishing expertise and author support we provide. If you are thinking about self-publishing a book, the pros at Gatekeeper Press will guide you every step of the way. Call us today at (866) 535-0913 or contact us online!