Welcome to our definitive guide on the 10 best print-on-demand providers for book publishers. With the boom in digital technology and the rise of self-publishing, print-on-demand services have transformed the publishing landscape, giving authors and publishers more control and flexibility than ever before.
In this article, we’ll explore the top-tier providers who offer outstanding value, high quality, and exceptional service in this space. But we won’t stop there we’ll also help you understand the unique features of each, ensuring you choose the provider that best aligns with your individual publishing goals.
So, whether you’re an aspiring independent author or an established publishing entity, get ready to meet the print-on-demand professionals who can bring your literary vision to life.
What is print-on-demand?
Table of Contents
Print on demand (POD) is a digital printing technology in which a book or other publication is printed as needed. The POD model flies in the face of traditional printing, where large quantities of books are produced in initial print runs to reduce costs before distribution.
POD facilitates online book and e-book sales and eliminates the need for printed book displays. Print-on-demand has also changed the publishing industry by reducing the need for traditional publishing houses. This allows authors to self-publish at very low costs.
Basic steps involved in print-on-demand book publishing
The author or publisher prepares the manuscript to be printed. This includes writing, editing, and formatting the text of the book, as well as creating or commissioning any necessary illustrations or graphics.
After the manuscript is finalized, the next step is creating the book’s cover and interior layout. The cover is typically designed by a graphic designer, while the interior layout might be handled by a professional typesetter or layout artist.
After the book’s design is complete, the layouts should be converted into a print-ready format. This normally means a high-resolution PDF file that includes both the cover and the interior of the book. The file will also need to meet the print-on-demand provider’s specific requirements for size, resolution, color format, etc.
Selection of a print-on-demand service provider
The author or publisher chooses a service that fits their needs best. Popular print-on-demand providers include Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, Lulu, and others. Each of these providers has different costs, turnaround times, quality, and distribution capabilities.
Uploading to the platform
Once a provider is chosen, the PDF file is uploaded onto the platform. The book’s details are entered into their system, including the title, author name, description, pricing, etc.
After the book’s print file and details have been uploaded, a proof copy can be requested. This proof lets the author or publisher check the physical copy for any corrections, revisions, or fine-tuning before it is released to the public.
Publication and distribution
The final step is making the book available for purchase. The print-on-demand provider creates a listing for it on their platform and/or other online retailers, which means the book is now available to be printed and shipped to customers as they order it.
When a customer orders the book, the print-on-demand service manages the entire process. They print the book, package it, and ship it directly to the customer, and also handle any post-sale customer service if required.
Remember, each book is printed only after a customer places an order, reducing the risk of unsold inventory and allowing for easy updates or modifications to the book if needed.
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How to start and profit from the print-on-demand industry
To start your business in the field of print-on-demand, you only need some information, then open your account on a platform or website, and then start publishing. But among all these needs, you will need or have to do other things. What will you need to get started in the print-on-demand business?
You will need to know a lot of things (just simple things) about this field. For example, what it is, what you should do and what you should avoid, how to write books, and how to communicate the idea. As well as the right platform for your books and the number of books you can post. You need to also know ways to increase your sales.
2. Choose the right print-on-demand platform
You will need to choose the platform or site you will work on because you will need a place to display your written products. There are many sites and companies you can choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Take your time and find what’s best for you.
Of course, it is better to choose platforms that are visited by a larger number of visitors, as the more visitors there are, the greater your chances of obtaining more sales and profits. Or you can choose according to a product that is only available on a specific site or is sold more on that site.
Note: You can register on more than one site and publish the same books on all of them.
3. Register on the platform
After you choose the site or print-on-demand sites you want to work on, go to the registration place and enter the information required for registration, such as email, name, country, etc.
4. Add information and payment information
After you finish registering and creating your account on the site you chose, you will need to add other important information. Some sites will request additional information such as tax declaration, etc. (you can ignore this point). But one of the most important things you will need to add is payment information (it is preferable to enter correct information while entering all information).
The 10 most cost-effective print-on-demand providers for book publishers
1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
This platform lets you publish both eBooks and paperback books for free and sell them on Amazon online stores worldwide. They also provide optional services like ISBNs, book cover design, and Kindle eBook conversion.
IngramSpark helps authors create print books, e-books, and offers online distribution. They provide global distribution options, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a network of over 40,000 stores and libraries.
Lulu offers eBook and print-on-demand services, with distribution in their bookstore. Lulu’s key features include a cover design wizard, flexible print formats, and industry-standard file formats such as EPUB for eBooks.
BookBaby offers comprehensive services that include editing, design, publishing, printing, book promotion, and global distribution. BookBaby’s BookShop helps authors earn more profit selling books directly to readers.
Blurb specializes in photographic and image-heavy books, providing a suite of creative tools to design and publish your work. They also offer distribution through Amazon and Ingram.
Printify primarily offers merchandise print services, including books. Their global network of print providers helps ensure quick delivery times. They also integrate with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify.
7. CreateSpace (Now KDP)
After merging with KDP, CreateSpace provides an even wider array of tools, including interior review, free ISBN, and direct Amazon distribution.
8. Barnes & Noble Press
Barnes & Noble’s print-on-demand service allows authors to create and sell both print and eBooks. By publishing with them, authors get an opportunity to take part in their in-store events or book signings.
9. Apple iBooks Author (Retired & Integrated into Pages)
Previously offered specific software for creating eBooks, which was integrated into Pages app. Notably, books have to be sold via the Apple Book Store.
10. Kobo Writing Life
Kobo’s eBook publishing platform expands your book’s reach to millions of global readers. Kobo also allows for pre-orders and can ship print books via partner platforms.
Note: You will get more information about each platform on their websites. Remember to consider cost, accessibility, distribution scope, material/print quality, customer service, and any additional features (like design assistance or ISBN services) when choosing from these print-on-demand book publishers.
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Print-on-demand book publishing mistakes you must avoid to attract more publishers
There are several things you should avoid when working in the book publishing print-on-demand business. Some great examples are:
- Trying to publish copyrighted ideas
- Violating the rules of the platform you want to publish your books
- Lying in the title, description, or tags to attract book buyers
- Giving up too early without knowing why you are not making sales and profits
Final words on the best print-on-demand providers for book publishers
In order to better understand the methods of working and making a profit from book printing, we advise you to search for the site or company that you will work with. Then watch a video explanation or course on YouTube or elsewhere to learn how to work on the platform or platforms you have chosen. And finally work hard and smart to reach your goals.
We are hopeful this article has helped you know more about the best print-on-demand providers for your book publishing. Additionally, feel free to come to this website anytime for more valuable content.