This answer has been excerpted from “Self-Publishing & POD Services” an article by author Victoria Strauss, reprinted with her permission in the Winter 2014 issue of our Canadian Author ezine.

“Print on demand (POD) is the commonly used term for the digital printing technology that allows a complete book to be printed and bound in a matter of minutes. Digital printing makes it easy and cost-effective to produce books one or two at a time or in small lots, rather than in larger print runs of several hundred or several thousand…

“A few POD services are free or very low-cost, but most will set you back anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Typically, POD services’ contracts take only nonexclusive digital rights, and can be terminated at will. Low-cost POD services such as and CreateSpace let authors set book prices and control profits, but other services determine the prices and pay the author a specified percentage of the net (cover price less discounts)—recouping their manufacturing costs at the point of sale.

“Though POD services began to appear only a little over a decade ago, they’ve become what many people think of when they think of self-publishing. However, it’s worth remembering that there are important differences between using a POD service and self-publishing the traditional way.”

Victoria Strauss is a co-founder of Writer Beware.

Category: Publishing

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