It is common knowledge that ebooks are taking over book sales and that hardcopy book sales are going the way of cassettes after CDs came along.
Not so fast……
Hardcopy sales are doing fine. You may be missing out in a big way if you only sell your books as eBooks and not as hardcopies. Most of my own self-published books are sold as both eBooks and as print-on-demand hardcopies in the major online book stores. The eBooks usually sell more units but on some months the hardcopies do outperform the eBooks. My print-on-demand hardcopies have become an excellent source of income every month for me. They can be for you too.
If you are self-publishing and selling eBooks on Amazon Kindle or will be soon be, definitely consider creating a print-on-demand version of your books that will be sold on Amazon in addition to your Kindle eBooks. It was totally worth the effort for me to do this with almost all of my books and it might be for you as well.
Here is what Print-On-Demand is all about:
Print-on-demand services are offered by printing companies to self-publishing authors. In summary, the self-publishing author sends specially formatted .pdf book files to the print-on-demand company. The print-on-demand company takes over everything from there. The print-on-demand company will make sure that the book is listed in the catalogs of all of the major online bookstores, such as Amazon. The print-on-demand company also handles all aspects of printing and shipping the book when a customer places an order with an online bookstore. After the entire transaction is completed, the print-on-demand company will electronically deposit the royalty payment in the self-publishing author’s bank account.
Your book must be converted to two .pdf files for submission to a print-on-demand company. One .pdf file will contain all of the cover artwork and another .pdf file will contain your book’s contents. These .pdf files have very detailed and specific requirements because the print-on-demand company requires both .pdf files to be submitted printer-ready for their professional quality printing presses.
Creating these printer-ready .pdf files requires detailed knowledge of printing standards and also how to implement them in .pdf creation using Adobe Acrobat. All of the book’s images must be configured in Photoshop to be printer-ready as well. Here is a link to a page on my web site which will give you some idea of the requirements that the .pdf file must meet. Scroll down to the bottom of this web page to see the partial list of specifications:
I use the print-on-demand company Lightning Source for all of my print-on-demand books. They have always done prompt and professional work for me. I can definitely recommend them. Lighting Source is the largest company in the print-on-demand business. They are connected with more online book stores than any other print-on-demand company. They used to be Amazon’s recommended partner for print-on-demand. At the time of this writing, Amazon currently uses another company, CreateSpace, as their recommended partner. I don’t know what prompted the change.
I like Lightning Source simply because they do a great job. You can get a quick look at one of my print-on-demand hardcopy books that Lightning Source created in this video, if you are interested in seeing what their work looks like. About 3 minutes into this YouTube video you’ll see one example of a print-on-demand book that Lightning Source makes and sells for me:
A common misconception among authors is that Amazon requires print-on-demand to be done by CreateSpace. Authors can use any print-on-demand company that they want. My recommendation is Lightning Source because of the excellent and profitable work that they have done for me. I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking CreateSpace because I’m not. I am sure they do excellent work as well. I just have never tried them.
If you are interested in finding out more about print-on-demand for your books, feel free to email with any questions at my email address shown above, which is firstname.lastname@example.org .