What is “POD” (Print on Demand)?

A relatively new method of printing, “POD” (also know as “print on demand” ) has revolutionized the publishing and printing industries. Before the advent of this technology, books could only be printed in large runs of 500 or more, by a method referred to as “offset printing.” ¬†This resulted in a large up-front cost, and storage and inventory issues as well. If a book did not sell well, money was wasted on copies that were never purchased. Similarly, if a book sol well and its inventory was depleted, purchasers would need to wait until another edition was printed.

POD technology allows books to be printed in any volume- from one to one thousand or greater. The obvious upside to this technology is that it eliminates the need for a large up-front investment in printing, and also eliminates the need for warehousing large quantities of books until/unless they sell. Books can be made available for sale on any platform and instantly printed and shipped immediately upon an order being placed. It has leveled the playing field so that new and independent authors can offer their books for sale without begging the large traditional firms (who will typically issue a flat-out rejection to authors submitting manuscripts to them).

The down side to this technology is that the price of each book printed in this manner is substantially greater than if it were printed via an offset press. It can, however, be used as a great “hedge” when launching a new book. If the book experiences slow sales, the POD method can be utilized. If sales pick up, the method of printing can be switched to offset so that the greater price discount is taken advantage of. You can learn more about which method is better for you by speaking with a Literary Development Agent at Page Publishing.