Self-Publishing Terminology: What is POD?

If you’re a new author starting out on your self-publishing journey, you may be curious about some commonly used terminology. One term that many new authors have questions about is POD, or “print-on-demand.” At EABooks Publishing, we’re here to take the mystery out of the self-publishing process. We’re with you every step of the way! Whether you’re a seasoned author or publishing your first book, this guide will help determine if print-on-demand is right for you.

What is POD?

POD stands for “print-on-demand.” Print-on-demand services allow you to print books as they’re ordered so that you can distribute your work in smaller quantities than traditional printing. Print-on-demand is a popular publishing option for independent and self-published authors, as it requires less upfront investment than other printing methods. Many authors use POD to test the demand for their books before investing in a large printing run.

Benefits of Print-On-Demand

Here are some of the reasons you may find print-on-demand beneficial:

Cost Effectiveness

One of the primary reasons new and self-published authors utilize POD is the low upfront cost. Although the price is higher per book than other printing services, you save by being able to print in small quantities. As demand for your book increases, the investment increases.

Easy Revisions

Another benefit of print-on-demand is that you can easily edit and revise your book—even after it’s published. You maintain a digital master copy that you can edit as needed. When an order is placed for your book, the edits will appear in the following versions. This is another cost-effective way to add praise, forwards, additional chapters, and footnotes without republishing your book entirely. However, you will need to ensure each retailer has the most up-to-date version of your book.

Inventory Management

With print-on-demand, there’s no need to worry about storing hundreds of unsold books in your garage or stress about the amount of money you spent on unsold books. You only pay to print a book once a customer orders it, and it’s shipped directly to the customer. This cuts down on inventory storage costs, management, and waste.

Expanded Distribution

A large variety of online retailers and local booksellers offer print-on-demand. This gives you many flexible options to get your book in front of your target audience. You can experiment with distributing your book with various retailers, knowing you’ll only pay for printing once a book is ordered.

Short Turnaround Time

Advances in print-on-demand technology allow for quick printing on digital presses once a book is ordered, so customers can get their order within days. Typically, a print-on-demand book can be printed within five to seven days of placing an order. Due to digital press limitations, print-on-demand works best for novels with color covers and black-and-white printing inside.

How POD Works

The first step in the print-on-demand process is to prepare the digital file of your book. There are specific formats that print-on-demand providers require, so check with your publisher for details. Then, you or your publishing partner will find print-on-demand providers for your book. Your book will be published and marketed on those platforms, which could include Amazon, national booksellers, local bookstores, your website, and more. Once a customer orders a book, the printer handles payments directly. Profit (minus printing fees and shipping) is then passed on to you. The order is sent to the printer to be printed and bound, usually within one week of the order being placed. The book is then shipped directly to the customer or the bookseller.

EABooks Publishing — Your Christian Book Publishing Partner

EA Publishing is your publishing partner, helping you with all aspects of publishing—including print-on-demand. We specialize in assisting Christian authors to self-publish their stories. We believe God has called you to share your story, and we’re here to help make it happen. Contact us to set up a free 15-minute consultation with our Acquisition Editors to discuss your book and publishing options.

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