From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Print on demand (POD)
A printing technology and business process in which new copies of a book (or other document) are not printed until an order has been received. "Print on Demand" developed only after digital printing began, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing …
Print on demand with digital technology is used as a way of printing items for a fixed cost per copy, regardless of the size of the order. While the unit price of each physical copy printed is higher than with offset printing, the average cost is lower for very small print runs, because set-up costs are much higher for offset printing.
POD has other business benefits besides lower costs (for small runs):
- Technical set-up is usually quicker than for offset printing.
- Large inventories of a book or print material do not need to be kept in stock, reducing storage, handling costs and inventory accounting costs.
- There is little or no waste from unsold products.
These advantages reduce the risks associated with publishing books and can lead to increased choice for consumers. However, the reduced risks for the publisher can also mean that quality control is less rigorous than usual …
POD fuels a new category of publishing (or printing) company that offers services directly to authors who wish to publish independently, usually for a fee. These services generally include printing and shipping a book each time one is ordered, handling royalties and getting listings in online bookstores. The initial investment for POD services is usually less expensive for small quantities of books when compared with indie publishing that uses print runs … For authors, the potential benefits of POD publishing are several. They include editorial independence, speed to market, ability to revise content and greater share of royalties kept compared with traditional publishing."
Print on demand is gradually gaining momentum as well, providing a cost-effective service to authors to avoid costly print runs and being left with unsold stock. The quality is not usually as good as you would get from a local printer in New Zealand, but it has improved greatly over the past few years. Check carefully before going ahead.
You must bear in mind, though, that minimum runs from some printers are now quite low, even in New Zealand, and the quality is high, so it is still possible to produce high-quality books in small numbers. Books from Amazon, for instance, are the same unit price whether you buy on, or 1,000 - it is only the shipping that reduces slightly. We still don't really have any POD printers in New Zealand, so use a system like this, you really need to go through Amazon (CreateSpace), Lightning Source, Lulu etc. Book layouts that we do for print here in New Zealand, or anywhere in the world, for printers, are also usable for these processes