Posted by: nancycurteman | July 12, 2012

5 Things You Should Know About Print-On-Demand

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Print-on-demand is fast becoming an important function in the publishing industry. Here are some things you should know about this gateway to the future.

1. What is Print-on-Demand (POD)? Print-on-demand is a digital printing technology that allows a complete book to be printed and bound in a matter of minutes. New copies of a book are not printed until an order has been received, which means books can be printed one at a time using a printer like the Espresso Book Machine.

2. What is the Espresso Book Machine (EBM)? The EBM is a desk sized book-making device that will automatically print, bind and trim a high-quality paperback book in mere minutes. From printing the full color cover and the black on white pages, to gluing and binding them into a perfectly bound paperback book, the EBM can produce a book that is virtually indistinguishable from one printed by a traditional publisher.

3. What are the benefits of Print-on-demand? Print-on-demand is an efficient, cost-effective technology that saves time, money, space and paper.

-POD services can be used to make sure that books remain available when one print run has sold out. This maintains the availability of older titles.

-POD helps our environment because it reduces our carbon footprint by eliminating over printing and the associated waste of pulping.

-Large and small bookstores will be able to increase their offering of books by printing on demand because they will not have to store excess inventories of books.

4. Are POD books available in many bookstores? Yes. As of July 2012, Espresso Book Machines are located in many bookstores, libraries and universities throughout the world. The number of book outlets using POD is increasing everyday.  Indie publishers also use POD systems. Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California, boasts it can print any of 8 million titles it has in its database.

5. Are any of the big publishing houses making books available to bookstores for POD copies? Yes. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. said it would make about 5,000 current paperbacks available to bookstores through On Demand Books LLC’s Espresso Book Machine. HarperCollins estimates 25% to 80% of its trade paperback titles aren’t available in bookstores because of space considerations. They say POD will alleviate this problem.

Print-on-demand may save the brick and mortar stores. Bookstore lovers will be able to browse through the shelves of titles, choose a book and have it printed in about fifteen minutes. Bookstores will no longer have to maintain unaffordable inventories. They will simply stock single copies of books and inventory lists of millions of books available to their customers through their POD device. Print-on-Demand is indeed a gateway to the future.

More tips:

12 Reasons Mystery Writers Should Consider E-Publishing

Ebook Publishing: A Great Market for Mystery Writers


  1. Most informative! Thank you!


    • There are so many rapid changes in publishing, it’s hard to keep up.


  2. As Richard says, very informative indeed, thank you for taking the time to inform us. Always good to know these things for future use.


    • Alannah, So nice to hear from you. I hope you’ll be ready to publish soon.


      • Not quite Nancy, I’ve not done any work on my novel as I’ve been too busy with my music blog, but it’s also a case of not being organised enough to work on it, something I’m trying to change this weekend.


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