Top Ten Things to Think About Before you Go With Print on Demand
Judy Cullins c. 2007
Is Print on Demand all you think it is?
You, like many other authors who don’t want to go the long hard road with traditional publishing, and who like the low cost and seemingly easiest and best way to publish a book, Print on Demand Publishing looks good. They print one book at a time when it’s ordered. But, think again. After many years of authors coming to me saying they did not make money going with a POD, and my research noticing the poor payoffs from Print on Demand, as an author’s advocate, I say, think again.
Top Ten Things to Think About Before you Go With Print on Demand
- Notice how many other authors and books are listed on the POD web site.
Like a brick and mortar bookstore, your audience won’t go to the Print on Demand site looking for your specific book. In fact, the people who go are other authors like you. They don’t want to buy your book, they visit because they think this is a simple way to be on a web site where one can sell books. So who will buy?
- Notice that when you do get listed you get only a few hundred words to describe reasons people should buy your book.
That’s not enough to compel your visitor to buy your book. Without a doubt, the authors that make real money are the ones who put up an book web site. Talk about simple. You can create a three-page book sales letter site that when marketed, will bring only the prime prospects to it. The ones who are already your targeted market. These kind of sites cost less than $550. That’s a low investment for a big pay off.
- Print on Demand Publishing Means Printing
These companies aren’t really publishers just because they take your book and create digital copies for you. They are printers.
If they are printers, then they are really charging too much. And, they have control of your book and can charge you 40-50% commission before you get copies of you book. If you go Print on Demand, it’s much better to go with a POD printer such as Deharts.com where you maintain full control of the book. You or your fulfillment person takes delivery of the books and distributes as you need. Your coach advises to print only the number you can sell in three to four months. Now, you have more cash flow to spend on promotion, publicity, and marketing.
- Research the POD company well.
Has it been in business for years and has a solid track record? If they go out of business, your book goes out too. The list of Print on Demand sins is long. An example: One popular POD company may be cheap, but you cannot talk to a real person for customer service. Automatic or email service is no service. Recently, one really fine author researched 10 of them and was totally confused. I asked him what were the prices and service promised? Over $3000 for some. He wasn’t sure what he got for that. Many companies charge little to publish, but require extra money for editing, proofs, art work, and marketing kits. These marketing kits will not payoff for the author.
Beware of what you spend because like other publishers, POD people will not market your book well enough for you to make big money.. I advised this quality author to create a small web site or add a sales letter to his branding web site. Then, check out the internet and use free article writing and submitting to high-traffic web sites (advanced article marketing) to bring people to his web site.
- Check the quality offered by the POD company.
If your cover is amateur, your book won’t sell. Be sure to have a cover designer help you. If you didn’t get feedback on all the parts that go into a quality book, don’t expect the POD company to fix it. Be sure you include an order page, a testimonial page, a copywrite page. Get help from a book designer for this. Although it seems like a lot of steps, when you choose a pro to assist along the way, you will save thousands of dollars in mistakes as well as a lot of wasted time.
- Open yourself up to learning more about internet marketing.
Did you know not everyone out there will want to discribute or sell your book? Bookstores don’t like POD books because they are higher priced than traditionally published, mass-produced books and if they don’t sell, can’t be returned.
It’s natural to fear something you don’t know much about. Yet, the only way to take a so so success to outstanding is to market your book on the web. It’s a learn by doing thing. You can take a teleclass, get a mentor, hire a coach, or just copycat other pros who are doing well.
After the traditional route not working, and the POD route with too little payoff, like me, you can find a new path that will work for your quality book.
Your coach was a newbie six years ago, and kicking and screaming, she bumbled her way to learn how to put up a quality web site that sells books. Mentored by pros and her computer/technical assistant, she learned a natural, organic way to market books. Writing and submitting articles. This article marketing has paid off, and today she still maintains thousands of daily visitors and book sales to match.
- Think about problems that will come up with this technology.
Complaints from others reign huge. Problems with submitting your document–your system and the POD system aren’t compatible. Problems with the rights of the book. Remember, this book will be with thousands of others listed on the site. That’s not good odds yours will sell well there. Email service will make you tear your hair out sometimes. Get advice before you go this route from a reliable source before you jump.
- Study the contract. Make sure you retain the rights. Check the length of the contract. Make sure you can get out of it if you need to. Many authors simply give up after a year from frustration, and let their book die.
- Think about editing, proofing and what you will get for your money. Most POD companies do not edit. They merely print your book as is. These flaws when printed point to you as an amateur. If you do pay $100 or so to get 25 corrections, remember, you will probably pay a lot more after that because more corrections are needed. It’s best to use a professional editor and even a book designer ahead so your book showcases its quality. You’ll save money in the long run and raise your confidence you are on the right path.
- Be sure you can sell this book before you spend time and money with Print on Demand.
Hind site is expensive. Most authors charge into the Light Brigade writing a book they want to write. Too bad, because they needed to make sure a ready audience needed and wanted the book first. When an author writes a book for a preferred audience, the book will be well organized, engage its readers each paragraph of each chapter, and will be well recommended by their 24/7 sales team–the ones who finish the book and love it.
Avoid disappointment and heartache of low book sales. Most authors want someone else to promote the book. They don’t know which way to turn to get reliable but reasonable services and books to help them on their journey.
Before you leap, ask yourself, “What will I really do to market this book?” If you won’t do anything, then keep your book as an eBook that doesn’t cost to share.
Now that you know what to check before you choose Print on Demand, you’ll be better armed to make the right choices.
Book and Internet Marketing Coach, Judy Cullins, can help you build credibility and clients, sell a lot of books, and make maximum profits. Author of 11 books including “Write your eBook or Other Short Book Fast” and “The Fast and Cheap Way to Explode Targeted Web Traffic” Get her free eBook “20 High Octane Book Writing and Marketing Tips” and two free monthly ezines at http://www.bookcoaching.com