How Exactly Does Print-on-Demand Work?

Print-on-demand is a pretty common method for publishing books. But many people are confused about how it works. The way that print-on-demand works is a little complicated for anyone who is brand-new to formatting and self-publishing, but once you start learning the terms that you need to know and seeing it in action, it is actually fairly simple and self-explanatory.

What print-on-demand means is that a book is only printed when someone requests it. For example, if you set up a print-on-demand book, and then you decide you want to order a couple copies for yourself and family members, however many of those copies you pay for will be printed and shipped out to you. If a customer orders your book from an online venue like Amazon, then that book will be printed and shipped out to them. You don’t have to print a minimum number of books in order to do a printing. This allows authors to self-publish a book in paperback without having to spend money on printing beforehand.

So, how does the entire process work? It starts when you finish your book in Microsoft Word or whatever other tool you are using to write your book and then formatted so that it looks just exactly like it would within the printed book. That means adding a title page, copyright page and a table of contents as well as adding page numbers in the alternating author name and title to the headers and footers. Many books also have their chapter number in the same place each time a new chapter starts. If you have issues with working this out, hit up an IT Consulting NYC company.

What you have formatted properly, then you are going to upload it to whatever the tool happens to be for the print-on-demand platform that you are using. For example, CreateSpace is a popular choice. Once your manuscript – which is usually in PDF format – has been uploaded, then you can look at their online previewer and see exactly how your book will appear on the printed page. You will also be uploading your book cover. This can be a little bit tricky because of trams and bleeds. Most people are unfamiliar with graphic design, but if you are working with someone to create your book cover and you show them the instructions they will know what to do.

CreateSpace and other print-on-demand companies will also often do marketing for you. For example, once you have uploaded everything then you can add things like the author’s name and other contributors, the title of the book, a short summary or blurb, the categories or genres that the book is in, the number of printed pages and how much you want to charge for the book. Then your book can be distributed to websites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Print-on-demand is definitely one of the greatest things to come along for self-publishing a long time and it is helped lots of authors publish their book and start a writing career.