Print on Demand
Print on Demand 2
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This is the second part of the Print on Demand lesson.

 

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Comments here (3 comments so far)


  1. Joel
    8 years ago

    One participant in the course has emailed me several questions about print on demand, so I’m going to post both the questions and responses here.

    1.) Do you recommend us authors set up a business account with PayPal that acts as a go between with each of the business entities you mention in the video? or does the author go direct with the different entities via their account setup procedure requirements?

    You will only need a business account at Paypal if you intend to sell books or other products yourself. The print on demand vendors don’t require it, although you will need a credit card and at some vendors you may be able to request direct deposit as payment, and almost all should offer payment by check.

    2.) Do authors get good statistical information feedback as to how many books were sold exactly to the buyers?

    Each vendor has their own protocols for reporting sales and making payments. Usually you’ll have a “dashboard” or other software interface where you can see the sales for the current period. I don’t have any reason to believe these reports are inaccurate. For instance, with Lightning Source you’ll receive a statement each month showing sales by title, and if you are signed up for their UK division you’ll also receive statements separately for those sales. You won’t get any information about the buyers, however.

    3.) When the POD supplier conveys to the author his price to print a POD book, the author has to include that cost to his wholesale price cost, which includes the author’s profit, that then gets passed on to the Retailer by the POD Supplier. Is that the correct interpretation?

    Not exactly. As the publisher, you set the retail price for your book. It’s up to you to take all the costs that go into the book into account, and to decide what price to sell at and how much profit you want per book. You set the price when you do the “title setup” with your POD supplier, and you also set your discount at the same time. It’s those two things—retail price and wholesale discount—that are transmitted to the retailer, along with other book information.

    4.) “Discounting” is confusing. I would interpret a discount is offered by an author when a buyer makes a volume purchase. Since POD implies a one at a time purchase, why is there an author need to give a discount?

    The discount in this case is simply how you arrive at the wholesale price. A book intended to sell at a retail price of $10, with a discount of 40% has a wholesale price of $6. The POD vendor is not selling the book directly to readers, that’s the job of retailers like Amazon, BN.com, etc. The discount, (the difference between the retail and wholesale prices) is the retailer’s profit margin. Without it, no retailer will sell your book.

    If this isn’t clear to anyone, please leave further questions here on this page. I know that discounting can be confusing, and it’s absolutely crucial you understand this clearly, so let me know if there’s anything you don’t understand.


  2. Mario
    7 years ago

    I have a publishing company (selling only one book at this time but will be selling many more). I applied through the Lightning Source website and they accepted me into their IngramSpark division. Can you tell me a little about this? Is this still okay in terms of how retailers view me (i.e. am I marked at a “lower level” or looked at by the retailer as an independent publisher?)


    • Joel
      7 years ago

      Mario, Ingram has been moving all smaller publishers (not just 1-book self-publishers) toward their new Spark platform because that’s who they designed it for. Lightning Source is now for publishers with 10 or 20 or more books, and who know how to deal with print on demand vendors, discounts, metadata, and the other chores left to the publisher. I don’t think a retailer would be able to tell the difference from their end, although they can tell which orders are from one of Ingram’s print on demand suppliers.