Guide to Understand On-demand Book Printing

We can all agree there’s no feeling akin to holding a paperback or a hardcover book – the musky aroma of aged books, the touch of well-thumbed pages, and even the cathartic sound of flipping through pages one at a time. Lost in the land of our imagination, the experience of reading is elevated by holding a book between our palms. But, there are several steps that take place before a finished copy of a book reaches our hands.

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes?


Printing of Books 


As a writer and reader myself, I have always wondered about the magic that goes behind the process of book printing. However, the writing and publishing of books existed long before printing came into the picture. Writers would write their book by hand, not once, but 2-3 times to keep with themselves and in libraries. Reading was deemed a luxury. 


In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing by inventing the first movable type. This made it possible to print a large number of books at a time. Books became widely available through this speedy process, and the low cost of production allowed anyone to afford a book. 


Johann Gutenberg's printing press, 1450s - Stock Image - V290/0060 - Science Photo Library


Today, there are two types of book printing that take place. While traditional publishers generally opt for offset printing, self-publishing companies such as Notion Press print books on demand. Here’s what you need to know about each method of printing. 


Offset Printing: 


In this printing technique, an offset printing machine is used for the mass production of books. The offset printing machine requires a high initial investment. In this commercial printing process, ink is transferred to a metal plate, onto a rubber sheet, which is then turned into paper. According to the various dimensions of a book, the sheets of paper are then cut, bound, and stitched into a book. This makes for a long and tedious process. Since books are printed in bulk, an additional cost goes into the warehousing and shipping of books. 


On-demand Book Printing: 


On-demand book printing or Print-on-demand was developed to keep older books in print without having to print and hoard them unless a sale is made first. But nowadays, new books are printed on-demand too because you can print as many books as you require and they will never go out of stock! A vast majority of indie authors and self-publishers take the POD route. This is because it offers a flexible distribution model and writers can benefit by making a higher profit. Unlike offset printing, POD requires a low initial investment. 


Another advantage of on-demand book printing is that if the first 20 copies of your book are released and you happen to find an error in the script, you can quickly make the change before printing any more copies. How convenient is that! When you receive a book printed on-demand, you are assured that fresh stock is delivered to you from the nearest storage facility. This makes the delivery of your book faster and cheaper. New authors and self-publishing houses have readily adopted this model due to its cost-efficiency. 


The Notion Press Publishing platform uses on-demand book printing for its economical and time-saving approach. Along with this, our platform offers publishing for all and a chance to see your book on leading e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart. Notion Press allows you to have complete creative control over your publishing process. Fulfil your dreams of becoming a bestselling author and earn 70% royalties on the sale of your book. At Notion Press, we aim to share stories, spread ideas, change the world! 


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Naqiyah Hasan

Naqiyah is pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing at Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology. She is an avid reader, writer, and book collector.

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