How Print on Demand Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

There’s no doubt about the fact that printing on demand has changed the publishing industry for good. Breathing new life into the independent publishing sector, POD has provided a reliable and accessible alternative to traditional publishing and has given authors the choice to assume full control of the process.

Although not the right option for everyone, there are certainly many new and established authors who have taken advantage of the possibilities offered by printing on-demand with great success. To get the most out of this innovative approach to getting your book out into the world, it is important to understand its works. Let’s breakdown the process one step at a time.

Preparation and formatting
To begin the POD process, you will submit your digitized manuscript to be prepped and formatted according to your desired specifications. You can also ask for advice about best practices and formatting options that are most appropriate for the work you’ve created. At this point, it will be ready to go to print at any time.

Your books make their grand entrance
Now that all your ducks are in your row, your book will make its appearance on the grand stage. This typically means listing your book on the most dominant online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also market your book through your own dedicated eCommerce shop.

The orders start rolling in
As word spreads about your book and potential readers have the chance to discover it, you’ll begin receiving orders. This process is largely expedited if you’re able to use existing social media platforms to direct readers to your preferred online store. Promote, promote, promote.

Made to order
Once an order is submitted, the retailer contacts your self-publishing/POD company, and the book is printed. A huge advantage of POD is that books are printed to order, saving significant upfront costs and ensuring you don’t spend a fortune only to have your printed books sit in a warehouse collecting dust.

Off it goes
Once the book is printed and checked, it will be shipped to the retailer’s warehouse. The process’s instantaneous nature ensures that quality is always top-notch and the book is shipped off in mint condition.

Into the hands of the reader
Finally, the book arrives at the destination it was intended for all along. Shipped from the retailer’s warehouse, it arrives in the mailbox and then into the hands of an excited reader, where it should fit comfortably thanks to the fact that POD can accommodate most popular trim sizes spanning all genres, including novels, photo books, and children’s books.

Time to reap the rewards of your labour
Once the process is complete, you’re ready to get your hands on the profits. You will receive the net sales revenue received from the purchase of your book. The process is designed to provide you with the maximum royalties, and you’ll get the largest percentage if you sell direct to a reader through your own eCommerce page.

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