Please note that POD or Print-On-Demand is a technology that can be
appropriately used or significantly abused.
The biggest problem with self-publishing, commonly assoicated with the
technology of Print-On-Demand is that 99% of the authors (in my
estimation) are simply not ready to publish because they have not had
the book professionally edited or designed and the book cover looks
like it was made by a third grader. I guess this is just my pet peeve.
In this POD publishing scenario, you do have more control over the
look and feel of your book than you might get with a traditional
You normally pay escalating fees depending on how much you want
the POD publisher to do for your book.
Fees can range from around $500 to several thousand dollars.
POD might be a good deal for an author who just wants to write a book
and let someone else do the selling and fulfillment of the end product;
the book (notice I did not say marketing of the book).
Another advantage is there is no need to purchase quantities of the
book as they can be printed, packed, and shipped as they are ordered.
Some POD companies have minimum pricing guidelines for books
depending on trim size, page count, and whether the interior is black
and white / grayscale or color.
Since POD's are in some ways print brokers, they will attach their fee
as middlemen to the cost of printing the book.
For instance, a book that may cost $3.00 each to print, may cost the
author $8.00 a piece when the POD publisher adds their fee to the
This could cause the author to overprice a book because the author
must still take into account discounts required by stores, online outlets,
consignment venues, and possibly small press distributors.
You might be able to squeak a dollar or two in "royalties" or profits per
book. Of course, this all depends on which POD you work with. Some
are better; some are worse; some are up to no good.
The advantage of Print-On-Demand publishing is getting a book to
market somewhat faster than traditional publishing, a bit more control
over the end product, and the ability to order in quantities from a single
book to thousands of books.
Be on the lookout for vanity presses masquerading as true POD
publishers. You could pay a great deal of money for a whole lot of
nothing. Do your homework and research each POD before signing
with them and never, ever allow a POD to control your copyright on the
If you have questions about POD publishing, please e-mail me at