The State of Print on Demand Publishing
Patrick Swenson
Muffy Morrigan
M. Todd Gallowglass
Duane Wilkins
  • Even traditional publishers going to print on demand
  • The Oxford Dictionary is going to POD
  • POD: books never go out of print, so your backlist generate value.
  • You have the ability to quickly fix errors that are found.
  • Two major groups: Lightning Source (Ingrim) vs Createspace (Amazon)
  • They differ in whether they charge for changes. It costs you to make changes for Lightning Source.
  • ISBNs
    • If you take a POD-house ISBN, the publisher shows up as Createspace.
    • If you do your own ISBN, you can be the publisher.
    • Each edition needs its own ISBN: e.g. mass market paperback vs. trade paperback.
  • Pagecount and trim size affect cost of book
  • deviant art: 
    • hundreds of artists
    • easy way to find independent artists for doing cover art.
    • (make sure you have permission for any models/buildings/etc that are visible.)
  • iStockPhoto
    • reasons photos and art, royalty free
    • if you find an artist you like there, go to their website, because they may have other work not on iStockPhoto.
  • Be aware there are commercial and private fonts: you need to make sure you have the correct rights for commercial use.
  • Some cover artists do the entire cover including titles, etc, some only do the art.
  • Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal. Need 3-4 month lead time for ARCs to get reviews.
  • Your cover art should look good even icon sized: because most people are shopping online. 
  • Some small presses will still allow you to keep your e-book rights. If so, it’s a great deal, because you can sell a kindle book and keep 70%. 
  • Q: 
    • I’m self-publishing, trade paperback, and I want to keep the price under $10. So I have a pretty slim POD margin, less than my kindle version. And it’s worse even it it’s sold through a bookstore other than Amazon: then I get about 5 cents.
    • Any tips on how to get the cost down, or conversely, is there a cross-over point at which it makes sense to do a limited print run to get the cost down?