If you’re self-publishing your book and you want physical copies – because there aren’t many things in life better than seeing your words on real pages with your name on the cover – you may be overwhelmed by the options (and costs) involved. Here’s some info on the terms you’ll need to know and what they mean.
Let’s start with the way books get published. There are, essentially, two types of printing: offset and digital. Offset is a more traditional type of printing. The process is more complicated and requires some lead time. However, if you’re going to print lots of books, offset becomes a very appealing (and cost-effective) measure, which is why it is still around.
Digital printing, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like. Your book is printed from a digital version instead of from plates like in offset printing. You are more limited as far as page size and cover options go, but for small print runs or rush jobs, digital printing is absolutely the way to go. A quality digital print copy will look nearly indistinguishable from an offset copy.
If the number of books (or the cost) of a traditional print run is intimidating to you, never fear! There are plenty of print-on-demand sites out there for authors just like you.With print-on-demand, you order the exact number of copies you need so that there’s never extras floating around taking up space and eating at your profits. There are printers that will happily run even 1 book at a time for you. Sure, it will cost more to do each copy individually than in large batches, but if you don’t have the space to store lots of copies, or are afraid of the upfront costs, this is a great option for you.
Print on demand services through places like blurb are actually not as expensive as you would think, and you get a professional looking product at the end. They’ll even help you sell your book at any stage – frompre-sales through Kickstarter straight through to the printed book on their website. They’ll handing the printing and shipping directly, all you have to do is sit back and get paid. They aren’t the only ones that do this. There are other companies out there as well, you just have to look for them.Having the ability to control the size of a print run really gives you the power to make smart decisions about publishing. It will allow you to maximize profits while still experiencing the joy of having physical copies of your books available. Plus, it is always fun to say, “let me contact my publisher,” or “I just got my book in from the publisher.”
Seeing your name in print is one of the best parts of being a published author. It’s great that there are so many different options on how you can reach that accomplishment. Good luck, and I hope you find the right size publisher for whatever your needs are!