Which POD Company is Best?
Print On Demand (POD) publishing is widely used both by self publishers and by small presses. Even larger publishing companies are using it now for printing older titles and for carrying out performance testing.
Wikipedia nicely sums up the benefits of POD:
"Print on demand with digital technology is used as a way of printing items for a fixed cost per copy, regardless of the size of the order. While the unit price of each physical copy printed is higher than with offset printing, the average cost is lower for very small print runs, because setup costs are much higher for offset printing.
POD has other business benefits besides lower costs (for small runs):
- Technical set-up is usually quicker than for offset printing.
- Large inventories of a book or print material do not need to be kept in stock, reducing storage, handling costs, and inventory accounting costs.
- There is little or no waste from unsold products.
These advantages reduce the risks associated with publishing books and prints and can lead to increased choice for consumers. However, the reduced risks for the publisher can also mean that quality control is less rigorous than usual."
There are now numerous options available to authors who want to use POD. Which company is best though?
Here's what some Writers and Authors Community members had to say on the subject when I asked on the Facebook page:
"After several bad experiences, I found Star Publish LLC. Actually, they found me. They have been wonderful to work with. Their basic package include a full edit (a thorough one), cover creation, some marketing help, and they pick and choose the books they publish which has garnered them a good reputation in bookstores and among readers."
Janet Elaine Smith,
Monday Knight (Women of the Week Series)
"Createspace- If you are willing to do the work yourself or freelance out the parts you can't then Createspace is an awesome POD company to go with! They allow you complete control over your price and how your book looks in online bookstores, plus their royalty programs are very generous. You will be on your own with marketing unless you purchase a service but over all they are great printers! Createspace has the best customer service I have seen so far. "
Virginia Lori Jennings
The Alien Mind
"Createspace & KDP are the best & you can change your cover and interior any time. It's easy to use and the upload works even when not everything is perfect. They've got only one problem: You have to care about your marketing & this works or not."
Eat Sleep Write Independent
Now let's take a closer look at some of the most popular POD companies:
Owned by Amazon, CreateSpace offers competitive pricing and one of the highest royalties. ISBN's can be obtained for free via CreateSpace and there are no extra costs involved in selling your book via Amazon (you can opt for their expanded distribution package for a small fee - US$25 - to make it available through other channels too though). Their site is easy to use and they have one of the best customer services around.
Lulu is one of the largest POD companies around and offers a wide variety of types of books. Many of Lulu's book options are eligible for a free ISBN and distribution through Amazon.com. They also have several paid services available both for the creation of your book and for marketing it.
With Blurb you set the price of your book and keep your profits from the sales. Keep 100% of the mark-up for a print book (or 80% of the retail price for an ebook). The tools to create your book are free, there are no hidden fees, and your commercial-quality books are printed only as they're ordered. They also offer discounts for volume orders.
Which POD company do you think is best and why?