Print on Demand books for self-published authors Australia

1. What is true Print on Demand (POD)

As a self-published author looking for print on demand in Australia, it’s important that you know digital printing does not necessarily equate to Print on Demand (POD). While POD utilises digital printing technology there’s a big difference between a printer who says they will print a book digitally and one who can provide a true POD service (by utilising digital printing methods).

Print on Demand (POD) is a type of printing technology that allows for the production of books, clothing, and other items only after an order has been placed for them. This is in contrast to traditional publishing arrangements where large quantities of books are printed in advance and then stored in warehouses until they are sold.

True Print on Demand refers to the process of producing a single book or a small batch of books only after an order has been placed by a customer. This means that books are only printed when they are actually needed, reducing waste, and inventory costs. This also allows for a more efficient use of resources as it eliminates the need to store and maintain large quantities of unsold inventory.

True Print on Demand typically uses digital printing technology, which allows for the production of high-quality items in small quantities at a relatively low cost. This method of printing is particularly useful for self-publishers, authors, and small publishers who may not have the resources to produce large quantities of books in advance.

True Print on Demand also allows for more flexibility in terms of book design and format, as well as the ability to easily make changes to the book content. This is also helps authors and publishers to test the market with a lower financial risk.

It’s worth noting that some companies may advertise as Print on Demand but they are actually using a hybrid model where they keep certain books in stock and print others on demand, this is known as Print on Demand fulfilment. This can result in a longer turnaround time for customers.

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2. Print on Demand (POD) suppliers for self-publishers in Australia.

While the printing industry in Australia is large (there are over 4,000 printing companies in Australia), the book printing industry is smaller and the POD book printing industry even smaller.

According to our experience in the Australian book printing industry there are only a small handful of true POD printers in Australia. This is just 7 in 4,000 printers or only 0.1% of all printers. Most of these are actually subsidiaries of large US conglomerates. But there are Australian companies that you won’t find by simply doing a Google search. They only provide services to publishers like Green Hill (not directly with self-publishers).

Having established that selling a book through Print on Demand (POD) in Australia is relatively simple, despite just the few options available. Unfortunately these publishing options use robots to produce book artwork. It’s cheap and it is nasty. They make their money from printing your book however average or poor it might look.

One of these options is to use a POD service such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or Createspace.These platforms allow you to upload your book as a PDF or Word document, set your own pricing, and create a book. They will handle the printing, distribution and shipping of the book on demand to customers.

Another option is to use a POD service provider that specialises in book printing such as BookBaby, which will handle the printing, distribution, and shipping of your book to customers on demand. They can help you with formatting, cover design, and ISBN number.

You can also use a POD service provider like Ingram Spark that is a global Print on Demand and distribution service that allows you to print and distribute your book to retailers and libraries around the world.

In any case, you will need to have your book in an acceptable format and cover design before uploading it to any platform. Many self-published authors fall into the trap of uploading  a sub-professional artwork for cover design and using a basic template for the interior of the book. The interior is designed by a robot and the cover might be author designed or done for just $10 on Fiverr. The old adage – “if you pay peanuts, you’ll get a monkey”. Unfortunately this is the death-knell for their publishing endeavours – potential readers can spot an amateur publishing effort from a mile off. Their books are destined for failure.

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3. What is Hewlett Packard (HP) Indigo printing?

Hewlett Packard (HP) Indigo printing is a digital printing method that uses an HP Indigo press. It is a high-quality, offset-like printing process that uses a proprietary electro-ink system to produce high-quality prints with vibrant colors and sharp images.

The HP Indigo press uses a four-color process (CMYK) similar to traditional offset printing, but also uses additional colors, such as pantone colors, that can be printed using the press’s electro-ink system. This allows for a wider range of colors and more accurate color matching compared to traditional digital printing methods.

Indigo printing is often used for high-quality printing applications such as photo books, business cards, brochures, and packaging. It is also commonly used for short-run printing and on-demand printing, as it allows for quick turnaround times and lower minimum order quantities.

Digital Print on demand book printing HP Indigo

The HP Indigo press

In Australia, Indigo printing is a popular method of digital printing among printers, publishers, and other businesses that require high-quality printing. The HP Indigo presses are known for their high-quality output, versatility, and ability to handle a wide range of media types.

HP Indigo utilizes dry toner instead of liquid ink and is known for its ability to print on a wide range of substrates and produce accurate color reproduction. HP Indigo presses are widely used in the graphic arts, packaging, and label printing industries.

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4. Dry toner versus wet toner digital printing for self-publishing authors in Australia

Dry toner and wet toner are two different types of digital printing technologies.

Dry toner printing, also known as electrophotography, uses a dry powder toner that is fused to the paper using heat and pressure. In this process, the image is first transferred onto a drum, which is then rolled onto the paper. The toner particles are electrostatically attracted to the paper and fused to it using heat and pressure. Dry toner printing is commonly used in laser printers and copiers.

Wet toner printing, on the other hand, uses liquid toner that is fused to the paper using heat and pressure. This process is similar to offset printing, in which the toner particles are suspended in a liquid carrier and then transferred to a drum. The drum then transfers the toner particles onto the paper. Wet toner printing is commonly used in inkjet printers.

Both dry and wet toner printing have their own advantages and disadvantages. Dry toner printing is known for its high-speed, high-volume output, and low cost per page. Wet toner printing, on the other hand, is known for its high-quality output, particularly for photographic images and fine art reproductions. Wet toner also offers a wider range of media options, including glossy and other special papers.

In Australia, both dry and wet toner printing are popular digital printing methods. Dry toner printing is commonly used for high-volume and low-cost printing applications, while wet toner printing is used for high-quality and high-end printing applications.

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5. POD is so you can distribute your book.

The main advantage of using POD is to establish a distribution channel so you can sell your book. It’s not so much about printing but insteadits about distribution.

Online retailers like Amazon, Book Depository, or Booktopia display your book on their shop – their website. When a reader orders the book they place an order with the printer. These companies can physically stock you book (at your cost) but they prefer to use the drop-shipping method detailed above.

Here’s how you can sell your book using Print on Demand (POD) on Amazon:

  1. Choose a POD provider: You’ll need to work with a company that provides POD services, such as CreateSpace (owned by Amazon), IngramSpark, or KDP Print.
  2. Create your book: You’ll need to create a print-ready file of your book in the format required by your chosen POD provider. This file should include the cover, interior text, and any images.
  3. Upload your book: Once you have a print-ready file, you’ll need to upload it to your chosen POD provider. They will then convert the file into a format that can be printed and shipped.
  4. Set up your product: You’ll need to create a product listing on Amazon, including information such as the title, description, author, ISBN, price, and shipping options.
  5. Start selling: When your book is live on Amazon, you can start promoting it and selling it to customers. Amazon will handle the printing and shipping of your book, and you’ll receive a royalty for each sale.

It’s important to keep in mind that POD providers may have specific requirements for book files and product listings, so be sure to carefully read their guidelines before getting started.

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