Today there are commercial printing presses that operate just like your home computer’s printer – send them a file and they print out your book – just one book or as many copies as you wish - at a high level of quality we could only dream of a few years ago. Print-on-demand means that your book project is affordable. It is possible to print a single copy of a quality, hardcover book illustrated with photographs for as little as $35-$50 dollars. Without set-up fees and considering that you are only buying the number of books you really need, you can save a great deal of money. Print-on-demand also allows you to order additional copies of your book at any time for the same low cost.
Self-publishing using print-on-demand technology is ideal if you want to create a memoir, personal or family history which will have a limited distribution. There are many on-demand printers and publishers to choose from. However, their prices and terms vary widely. Many package their printing services together with marketing services for authors attempting to sell books. These fees are unnecessary for those authors who are self publishing for family and friends.
When choosing a print-on-demand service, be sure to ask these questions:
- Are you being charged extra fees for editing, proofreading, custom design, or book marketing?
- Do you retain all rights to your book, including the files you submit and the ISBN?
- If your book is to be sold from their online bookstore, do you get all the proceeds, or do they charge a royalty?