Publish On Demand

If you want to publish your book but can't afford the minimum run rates, why not try Publish On Demand?

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Publish on demand allows you to publish a small batch, say 50 copies, of your book. It's more affordable, but comes with certain caveats:

1. How much will the publisher charge you? What are the hidden fees?
2. How long with the book last, given the quick-drying glue used for your book's pages?
3. How well will they edit or proofread your book?
4. How great will the cover art be?
5. How are refunds handled?
6. Who will handle copyright registration / ISBN?
7. Who will create marketing posters for your book?

Given the "low" price of publish on demand services, please consider doing the following yourselves:

1. Create an electronic copy of your book (i.e., PDF file format).
2. Hire someone to create the book cover (again, in electronic format).
3. Market the book yourself via the web or with the help of your friends.

Here's the POD strategy: Build a web site that contains useful articles (to attract a lot of visitors), and offer a free download of the PDF version of your book. In the pages of that PDF file, put instructions on how the reader can get hold of a bound and printed version of that book.

Normally, the instructions would either request the reader to visit a web page where they can fill-up a form, or send email, or even fax your their order.

Getting feedback helps you determine the demand for your book, which then helps you decide how much to order initially from the Publish On Demand service provider.

Of course, if your goal is to give away copies of your book (i.e., a collection of your essays or writings online) to friends and relatives, then just go ahead and order the printed book yourself. Just remember to put the "If you want to order the printed version..." instruction in your book just the same.

In the Philippines, offers Publish and Print On Demand services. Initial fees can go as high as P9,500 while per-book fees vary depending on the size of your book and the number of pages (i.e., about P127 for a 100-page 6" x 9" book). It would be a good idea to see samples first of their work.

Be heartened by the experience of authors who first gave away free PDF versions of their book. That has helped increase the sale of the printed version. Have fun!
[ First posted on 08/30/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]

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