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PRINT-ON-DEMAND (POD), 1 TO 500 COPIES

You can print as many or as few books as you have need for. However each case is individual. Things to consider are trim size, page count and whether it is a paperback or hard cover. For the most part, for run quantities under 500 copies, digital printing is the way to go. The quality of digital output is excellent in most cases. It is hard to tell the difference between digital and press printed.

Print on demand (POD) is sometimes called publish on demand.

It is when new copies of a book are not printed until an order has been received. "Print on Demand" developed only after digital printing began. It was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as offset printing. There are many printers with POD equipment. Many academic publishers, including university presses, use POD services to maintain a large backlist. Some even use POD for all of their publications. Larger publishers may use POD in special circumstances. They may be reprinting older titles that had been out of print or doing test marketing.

Print on demand is used for printing items for a fixed cost per copy. Irrespective of the size of the order. The unit price is higher than with offset printing. The average POD cost is lower for very small print runs, because setup 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.

You do not need large inventories, which 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.

Digital technology is ideally suited to publish small print runs (often as a single copy) as and when they are needed.

Our POD services include printing and shipping a book each time one is ordered. We also handle royalties and getting your book listed in 95% of the bookstores in the US. The initial investment for POD services is less expensive when compared with larger print runs.

Our POD services are used to make sure that your books remain available between print runs. You can also use it for older titles whose sales may not justify another print run. This can be useful for publishers with large back catalogs of older works. Sales for individual titles may be low, but cumulative sales may be significant.

Print on demand can be used to reduce risk when dealing with "surge" titles. You expect to have large sales but a short sales life. An example would be celebrity biographies or event tie-ins. These titles represent high profitability. But there is also high risk. This is due to the danger of printing many more copies than are necessary. There is also the associated costs of maintaining excess inventory.

At One World Press we are always available to consult with you about your next print run.

This will help you to avoid costly printing mistakes. POD allows you, the publisher to exploit a short "sales window" with minimized risk exposure by "guessing low". You can use conventional printing to produce enough copies. This will satisfy a more pessimistic forecast of the title's sales. You can then rely on POD to make up the difference.

Print on demand is also used to print and reprint "niche" books.

These have a high retail price but limited sales opportunities. An academic publisher is expected to keep these specialist titles in print. Their target market is almost always saturated making further conventional print runs uneconomical. We have found that many publishers have become heavily reliant on POD technology. This is because they serve such a small market. One in which that large print runs would be unprofitable. Also, they may be too small to absorb much financial risk.

Profits from print on demand publishing are on a per-sale basis. Royalties will vary depending on the route by which the item is sold. Highest profits are usually generated from the author's website. You can buy copies from One World Press at cost, as the publisher, and then sell them personally.

Lower royalties come from traditional "bricks and mortar" bookshops and online retailers. They both buy at high discounts. The higher the volume sold the lower the royalty inevitably becomes. The retailer is able to buy a larger volume at a greater discount. The per-unit cost is greater with POD than with a print run of thousands of copies. POD books can be more expensive than similar books from conventional print runs. This is true if it is produced exclusively with POD. It is best to use POD as a supplemental technology between print runs.