Really and Truly Print-on-Demand: Pros & Cons

June 2008
by Linda Carlson

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Linda CarlsonLinda Carlson (photo right) writes for IBPA’s Independent magazine from Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at linda@ibpa-online.org.


How important is print on demand to your business? Not very, some of you say, but a recent survey by the Copyright Clearance Center shows that many small publishers expect print-on-demand publications, or POD, to be increasingly significant in the next few years. In fact, that’s how some are doing all their titles today. Others aren’t quite sure what it is.

When PMA members were queried recently, several said they simply haven’t had time even to consider POD. After all, when you’re a small publisher already juggling editorial, marketing, sales, fulfillment, and accounting, there isn’t an eighth day of the week to research new technology. Others call the technology too challenging to attempt.

What the Words Mean

Before we look at PMA members’ experiences, let’s define terms. Print on demand means that books exist only in electronic form until an order is placed. Then, using digital printing (such as Xerox’s DocuTech), one or more copies are created to fill the order. Most are glue-bound, and they may be shipped direct from a POD vendor to the customer, who receives what looks like a traditional publication. Many are shipped from POD vendors (for example, Lightning Sourc…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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