You won’t call it unfair if I told you that technology is influencing everything it’s touching. Thanks to the rapid advancements due to consistent research and development in the publishing industry, several changes have set in and have changed the way books are published. And the result of one such tech advancement is the onset of a new form of book-printing technique called Print-on-Demand. This technology has made printing books way easier, fast, and cost effective than the conventional counterparts.
What is Print-on-Demand?
As the name suggests, print-on-demand is a printing technology that allows published books to be printed as and when a demand arises for the book. This is not a publishing model but rather a distribution model that has opened up new avenues for publishers and aspiring authors to get their books out in the market. The print-on-demand technology solely relies on digital printing process, where in a completed manuscript is typeset and formatted to the specifications eligible for digital publication. When the quality check processes are done and when an author gives a nod, a book is sent for printing and the copies of books come out depending on the quantity required. This is a major advancement in the printing and distribution process since the times of industrial revolution times when offset printing technology and others emerged as a solution for publication processes. In offset printing, authors and publishers had the advantage of printing huge volumes of books at cost-effective prices, and stock them in stores and warehouses and await sales orders. What offset printing did not offer, however, was the convenience of printing a standalone copy of books. If a single copy of a book had to be printed, an author or a purchaser had to shell out more money than the price involved in bulk-printing or in most cases experience denial to print by printers. But what print-on-demand does is completely different.
Making use of the digital printing technology, print-on-demand technology offers printers and publishers a convenient way to distribute books. Take for instance the printing and distribution system of Notion Press. Here, we work on print-on-demand technology, wherein the books published with us are made available for sales after their completion. The books get listed on some of the most popular ecommerce websites like Flipkart, Amazon, and our very own Notion Press store. When readers find a book intriguing and decide to make a purchase, a purchase order is received by the ecommerce websites. The purchase order is then notified to people associated with the printing of the book, which provides details on the name of the book and the number of copies required. Depending on this information, the selected book goes for print and is delivered at readers doorsteps. So, every book that a reader owns is a fresh-print copy that has not been stocked in a warehouse. Unlike the conventional methods of printing, books don’t get printed and wait for a sale to happen but the entire process works the other way around.
The Advantages of Print-on-Demand Technology
No Warehousing Required
Cost-effectiveness is one of the most fascinating aspects of this technology. Since the books are printed only when a demand arises, it eliminates the requirement of a publisher or an author to print hundreds or thousands of copies and stock them. As you know, one of the most disgusting sights for an author is his books being piled up without any sales. The Print-on-demand technology just eliminates the cost one spends on renting out a warehouse or a storeroom and also the consequences an author would face in case of the failure of his or her book.
Easy to make Revised Editions
If, for any reason, an author decides to make a major revision to his book within days of the publication of his books first edition, this will be really tedious in offset printing. In such cases, thousands of copies would go waste and be unsuitable for reading after the publication of an updated edition. Since print-on-demand works on digital printing technology, it allows authors to make necessary revisions and changes and get the copies printed seamlessly.
Less-expensive Short Run Costs
One of the disadvantages of offset printing was that it yielded profits only when books were printed in bulk. But print-on-demand allows for short-run printing and is beneficial for those who want just one single copy or hundred copies of a book. This enables authors to have a minimum number of copies ordered and printed for any book promotion activities, reducing the expenses one can incur on stocking and maintain the printed copies of books.
No Out of Stock Concerns
Ever got frustrated when ordering a preferred book online and the website immediately throwing an error saying out of stock? In print-on-demand, your book will never go out of stock. Yes, you read it right! Your book will be available to readers years and years from now if the technology used is print-on-demand. Since copies are not stocked in bulk, when a huge demand arises, your book will never go out of stock and will be available for purchase even decades later. So, when you publish your book and it becomes an instant bestseller, where everyone wants to own a copy of your book, print-on-demand will ensure everyone has.
The print-on-demand technology is highly beneficial for publishers and authors, who look forward to making their books available throughout the world. When books are printed and sold in physical stores, the distribution of books is restricted to certain geographical areas and extra efforts need to be taken to ensure delivery of books to foreign regions. But in print-on-demand, the books are already live on international markets and a reader can automatically purchase a book and get it delivered at his or her place.
Print-on-Demand is a revolution in the publishing realm. With this technology simplifying the efforts taken and cutting down the expenses involved in printing and maintaining books, print-on-demand is sure to get increased patronage in the coming days. So, the next time someone asks you as to how many copies have you got your books printed, explain them about the print-on-demand technology and tell them how beneficial it actually is. Hope this clears the air about the printing processes involved in self-publishing.