The Miracle of Print on Demand

November 5, 2013 11:03 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Some of you may not be aware that Print on Demand (POD) technology has revolutionized the availability of printable books. Print on Demand is based upon digital printing. Most of us can remember when LaserJets and other laser printers first allowed us to print one page at a time–in seconds–compared to a carriage printer (akin to a typewriter) that prints one letter at a time (remember the teletype).

POD technology allows book publishers to print small quantities of a book profitably. As the name suggests, a publisher prints a POD book when there is demand–even as few as one copy for a single customer. POD contrasts to traditional offset printing where many copies are printed at once. It makes no sense to offset print a run of ten books because the setup fee is too costly. Alternatively, you wouldn’t print 50,000 copies using POD because the unit cost would be too high.

My publisher, iUniverse, uses POD, and my three thrillers are available using that technology. You might think there’d be a significant time delay in ordering a POD book. Not so. As a test this past Sunday, I placed an order for two copies of my latest thriller, White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy, from Barnes and Noble online. The next day my books were ready for expedited shipping, and I received them Thursday.

What about quality? From what I’ve seen of mass-produced books in stores, the print and general production quality of my books are as good or better. My books are available as either softback or hardback (as well as electronic). The only thing I wish I could have would be a paper jacket (hardback) that includes embossing. The softbacks are perfect bound, which look fantastic and open easily for comfortable reading.

Before long I’m sure I’ll have a book enough in demand that it will qualify for an offset printing run (to date, my books sell in the low thousands). But, if it weren’t for POD technology, my thrillers would not be so widely available–nor, I’m sure, would I have sold as many as I have.

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This post was written by paulmarktag01