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The Advantages of Print on Demand in the Book Publishing Industry

Adil Husnain



In today’s digital age, publishing has undergone a significant transformation. Gone are the days when authors had to order thousands of copies of their books and store them in their garages, hoping to sell them eventually. We now live in the era of print on demand, where books are printed only when they are ordered. This revolutionary approach has revolutionized the publishing industry, providing numerous benefits for authors and readers alike.

At Bookllo Publishing, we specialize in helping authors publish, and promote their books. Our team has worked with numerous authors, helping them achieve their goals and make a lasting impact on their readers. One critical aspect of our work is assisting authors in generating income from their books. To this end, we often help authors build personal brand and sell additional good or services based on their book content.

For the publishing process, we guide our clients in creating print books (softcover or hardcover), eBooks, and even audiobooks. While every author needs a print book and an eBook, it’s important to understand the options available for printing and distribution.

Choosing Book Distribution Platform

When it comes to print books, we recommend our clients use two main platforms for distribution: KDP for distribution and IngramSpark for broader distribution including bookstores. What many authors may not realize is that both KDP and IngramSpark are print-on-demand publishers. Print on demand works exactly as it sounds: using a digital file of the manuscript and cover, the book is printed whenever an order is placed.

The benefits of print on demand are numerous and advantageous for authors. Firstly, there is no need for authors to store thousands of copies of their books while they wait for them to sell. While retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters/Indigo may keep a few copies in stock, there is no need for a warehouse to store excess inventory.

Secondly, the speed of the print on demand process is impressive. Within a week of finalizing your book, you can hold a physical copy in your hands. This rapid turnaround time allows authors to get their books into the market swiftly. Additionally, the efficiency of print on demand reduces waste. Traditional distributors and publishers sometimes face the unfortunate situation of going out of business, leading to the disposal of thousands of unsold books. With print on demand, this waste is minimized, benefiting the environment, authors, and potential readers.

Furthermore, print on demand offers flexibility for authors. If you need to make changes to your book after it has been published, such as updating the cover or making revisions to the content, these changes can be implemented quickly. In contrast, authors who have chosen offset printing face challenges when it comes to modifying their books. Offset printing involves creating plates and transferring inked images onto paper using a lithographic process. This method is cost-effective for large print runs, especially for books with color printing. However, it becomes impractical for authors who wish to make changes to their books after printing thousands of copies.

Offset Printing vs Print on Demand

While there is a slight quality difference between print on demand and offset printing, advancements in print on demand technology have resulted in excellent print quality that is almost indistinguishable from offset printing. Readers won’t notice the difference, and print on demand offers a convenient and efficient solution for the majority of authors.

Ultimately, the decision to choose print on demand or offset printing depends on various factors. For authors anticipating high-volume sales in the thousands and prioritizing profit per copy, offset printing may offer significant cost savings. However, authors must consider the storage requirements and potential challenges associated with selling such a large quantity of books. On the other hand, print on demand through platforms like IngramSpark ensures retail availability, manageable costs, and the convenience of ordering books as needed.

Obtaining an ISBN and Maximizing Book Distribution

In most countries, ISBNs are issued by authorized agencies. Each country has its own designated agency responsible for providing ISBNs to publishers and self-published authors. It’s important to research and identify the relevant agency in your country of publication to obtain an ISBN. In the United States, for instance, Bowker is the authorized ISBN agency.


It’s essential to determine the number of ISBNs you’ll need. Typically, every edition and format of your book requires a unique ISBN. This includes the print version, eBook formats, audiobooks, and any other variations you plan to offer.

It’s recommended to purchase a separate ISBN for each format, as this allows for accurate tracking and ensures accurate metadata for each specific edition. Additionally, having distinct ISBNs for different formats helps retailers and distributors properly differentiate between versions, reducing confusion and potential order fulfillment errors.

Once you have obtained your ISBNs, it’s crucial to assign them correctly to different formats of your book. This entails accurately recording the ISBNs in your book files, metadata, and distribution platforms. When working with platforms like KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) and IngramSpark, ensure that each edition and format of your book has the corresponding ISBN attached. This step guarantees that your book is correctly cataloged and accessible to potential readers through various distribution channels.

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