As discussed in an earlier post, for the new writer, self-publishing is often the answer to being published because the author typically knows his audience and how to reach them. But, the up-front costs of printing can be $30,000 or more and the marketing costs can run into five figures as well. Also, any books that go unsold are "dead inventory" and become an expensive liability (wasted money).
So what’s the answer? Print-On-Demand Publishing!
Print-on-Demand Programs (POD) are programs that let you print your books one at a time as sales come in. It's great because it gets rid of the inventory problem. You don't have to come up with thousands of dollars to print a bunch of books, then hope they sell. Books are paid for on a per unit basis. Moreover, the POD vendor handles the shipping too. So an order comes in, it gets printed, stuck in an envelope and mailed directly to the customer.
However, there are some problems with PODs such as the time it takes to get your book in print and sent to the customer. Many companies have a six-month backlog. Another issue is royalties. Most POD firms pay royalties on the net profit and not on the list price. Royalties average 20% to 30%. Also, some firms ask for the rights to your work, so they can sell them later (Don’t do it!). Others lock you into a long-term contract. Finally, there’s even games played with ISBN numbers.
Some of the popular POD companies are IUniverse, Lulu, Xlibris, Authorhouse, and Trafford. Study each publisher and contract carefully before making your choice.
To help you out, I’ve done some research and found a great POD firm that has the best price and no surprises:
Deduct $200 if submitting your own cover. No hidden fees and includes everything. Books are usually on the market in less than a month. No extra charge for graphics. 35% royalties based on list price for public sales; 15% royalties based on list price on wholesale/bookstore orders. Added Bonus: Returning authors are only charged $99 setup fees on their second and subsequent books: BookLocker.com
To your success,
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