Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Random Tuesdays {20}: Print on Demand

Once again it's time for Random Tuesday. Sometimes these topics are about everyday life and other times they are about my journey as an author.  So today I'm gonna talk a bit about one of, shall we say, my frustrations as author at the moment: Print on Demand.

This is a nifty little service that many indie authors use to create, publish and print their e-books into a traditional book form.  They are great for signings and while are a huge part of my sales, they are an important piece.  And with the release of Obscene Ecstasy last week, the next logical step is to get the print version set up and ready to go for next years signings - and that's where my frustration comes in.  

With Amazon's closing of Createspace - the service I've been using for the past five years or so, it's been a struggle to figure out which print on demand service I should use:  Amazon Print, Nook Print or Ingram. 

Let's start with Amazon.  From the front-end - it seems pretty seamless and similar to how Createspace was set up - as far as I can tell. The prices seem decent - kind of ticked I can't get Prime on my author copies, considering I am a prime paying member.  However, I haven't actually ordered anything yet. Checking the price for my newest release says it would be about $5.12 and I can get a free KDP ISBN for my print book - a plus as ISBN's can be pricy if bought individually.  (I am aware cheaper ISBN's are available in bulk)  But the rumors around Facebook and from other authors talk about delays in shipping and availability issues.  Do I want to chance not having my books in time for a signing if I happen to release a few weeks before said signing?  Kind a scares me. 

Then there's Nook. It was reccommended to me by another author friend.  She has used them in the past and says they are pretty good. They are new, and at first I was worried about my KU titles that I put in print.  Would I be able to use Barnes and Noble (an amazon competitor) for my print?  After checking the Terms of Service for K.U.  it does look like I might be able to print through them.  For my newest release, it looks like it's gonna cost around $5.19 per copy.  Not sure about the actual cost of shipping as they don't have that listed without actually setting up the book. 

Lastly, Ingram.  I've heard them spoke of before Createspace closed its doors.  Several author friends use them, and love the quality.  Using their pricing and shipping calaculator for Obscene Ecstasy, we're looking at $5.63 per copy - and pretty standard shipping rates.  Not horrible - a bit more than what Amazon wants or even Nook but gaurnteed turn around times listed in black and white.  Would it be worth my time to spend the few extra cents to have peace of mind about arrival times? Maybe.  

*I did sign up for an account and found out while they seem pretty comprable to Amazon, they do not supply ISBNs and if you have to load a new version of your book, then you're gonna pay $25 each time you do it.  

So now you can probably see my frustration.  Yes, Amazon is the cheapest, but I worry about their follow through, Nook just doesn't have enough information easily available about shipping and what not, while Ingram is very clear about their guidelines, in the end they will end up costing me more up front to print (with the cost of the ISBN and reload fees).   Makes an author wonder if print is really worth the headache.   

Any authors who have experiences with any of these P.O.D. services, feel free to sound off. I really could use some real life experience advice.  


©Dakota Trace All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

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