Indie Authors: Print on Demand (POD) Options

For indie authors, it’s good to have options. This means making your book available in multiple formats: ebook, audio, and print.

Just a few years ago, financing your own print books would have been either very expensive, take up a lot of garage space, or both. But now there are companies that offer short runs or print on demand, which significantly cuts down costs and eliminates the risk of ordering too many physical books.

Here is a list of companies that allows you to upload a PDF of your book and then order copies:

  1. 48 Hours Books: This company prints short runs. They have templates you can use and videos with instructions.
  2. BookBaby: This company does short runs as well. Use this for books you want on high quality paper (best for heavily illustrated books).
  3. CreateSpace: Owned by Amazon, CreateSpace lets you use templates or upload PDFs directly. You have the option to distribute through Amazon, or you can publish the book privately just to review it. If you do distribute with CreateSpace, Amazon takes care of fulfillment and shipping, and all you need to worry about is royalties.
  4. Ingram: Ingram’s Lightning Source is for indie authors, and they fulfill orders and have a large distribution network. Books can be printed in black and white or color, and you can also use Lightning Source to give deep discounts to physical bookstores.

Make sure that you take some time to design the interior of your book before sending it off for a short run printing or POD. The Book Designer offers tips for creating running heads in a book, as well as templates you can use.

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