Sunday, 12 February 2017

Print and Be Happy - an indie author explains how she converted to Print on Demand

Probably every writer wants to see their book in print and I include myself in that number.  People who didn't own a Kindle would raise their eyebrows and, from their expressions, I gathered that some of them didn't actually believe I had written anything in the nature of a novel. If you can't hold it in your hand, it doesn't exist. But many others were disappointed because they couldn't get into the idea of reading a novel on a device.  It was high time I looked into printing on paper.

However, as an indie author, I deemed it much too daunting an enterprise to start. Then I read an article in the UK's Writing Magazine  with a step-by-step guide on how to publish with Amazon's CreateSpace and decided to give it a go.  I'm glad I did. For one thing, it was easy once I got the hang of it - Writing Magazine did a fantastic job of explaining it all. You don't need to be a super-techie, you are guided every step of the way. And I love a challenge!

My five novels are now all available as POD (print on demand) paperbacks and can be purchased in most online bookstores, including Amazon of course. Print on Demand means that a book is only printed when it is purchased. In the case of print books, the bookstore agrees to buy so many copies from the publisher and can return unsold copies. With POD there is no such agreement since only items ordered are actually printed and supplied.  I think this could be regarded as part of a "save the planet" project. It reduces the amount of paper used on publishing.

Are there down sides?  Yes, of course. If you are at an airport and looking for a novel to read on your travels, POD isn't going to be much help. Besides, we all love browsing in book stores. Printed novels and POD novels can live happily together. Long may they prosper.

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