The Printing and Distribution of Your Work
Nearly all large printer and printer/distributor companies now offer print on demand (POD) services. This is simply whereby your book is stored as a digital file and printed when an order is presented. By utilizing POD, an author who self-publishes can avoid carrying large amounts of inventory that requires significant cash investment. Typically, companies that allow you to self- publish your book (CreateSpace, Lulu) for sale on sites like Amazon only use the POD option. The POD option is also commonly used by printer/distributors who fulfill orders by online retailers. In all of these options your manuscript will require the proper formatting and file types produced through typesetting. Whether opting for a traditional printer or POD through a printer/distributor it is important to see examples of their product and get information on their binding methods and paper weight options.
The publishing route is directly tied to the distribution possibilities for your work. Self-publishing with CreateSpace for instance locks your book into a single sales venue – online at Amazon.com. Here it will be available with the hundreds of thousands of other books for sale online. If you would like your work in a brick-and-mortar bookstore then you will have to either contact them yourself or have a trade distributor. Typically, trade distributors only work with publishing houses from whom they then represent catalogs of works to bookstores. Bookstores almost never consider books published via CreateSpace or other self-publishing companies. Hence, an author needs to have the ability to submit the proper files for a print/distributor, such as IngramSpark, where bookstores can make orders for their work. It is also possible for the author as publisher to order copies at wholesale prices from these print/distributors to fulfill bookstore orders or orders on their personal website. Lafayette & Greene can ensure you have the proper typeset files for uploading to print/distributors. We can also advise you on the best wholesale settings for your work that include if the book is returnable and the discount rate. Bookstores and trade distributors purchase at a discount that can range from 40-70% off the retail price; it is important that you set the proper percentage so as to remain profitable without sacrificing marketability. Lafayette & Greene provides expert marketing and consulting services for author platforms.