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Old 09-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
wannabee
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REAL INSIGHT PLEASE. Do you use Print on Demand? If so, let's hear your experiences.

I'm new to this game. My first year. (Almost exactly)

Our backlist doesn't warrant the printing of thousands of books any more. Our regular printer recommended a new PRINT ON DEMAND digital printer in the USA who do a great job by printing low quantities well below regular offset printing prices.

To print just ONE proof up front it's the same price as they will do hundreds (per each). $3.00

There's no set up, just upload it and for an entire book of about 200 pages with colour cover and gloss cello it arrives at the office of our USA manager for about $8.00 (after delivery - for the one off first proof).

I have had the books edited for USA English (here in OZ) and it cost nothing to re-upload it and have them sitting online awaiting our USA distributor to order them as needed. (at the $3.00 price)

So, when I heard that Lightning Source was to set up in Australia, I anticipated something similar.
BUGGER!
Reality sets in. Over $100 for a proof book and $10 per book to supply the backlist here. . . . . .

Oh! and pay us $12 per year to keep your title on our server. (We have many titles)

As Michael Caton said "Tell 'em their dreaming!"
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:06 PM   #2
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So, when I heard that Lightning Source was to set up in Australia, I anticipated something similar.
BUGGER!
Reality sets in. Over $100 for a proof book and $10 per book to supply the backlist here. . . . . .

Oh! and pay us $12 per year to keep your title on our server. (We have many titles)

As Michael Caton said "Tell 'em their dreaming!"

The great advantage of Lightning Source is their distribution into Amazon.

A 200 page paperback with Lightning Source costs AU$5.25. And you can have that available at Amazon for AU$9.99 and make AUS$2.74 on each copy sold and never have to see or ship the books. And you can also make it available in all the other Amazon stores around the world.

All for $75 setup fee and $12/year. And, if you need a rushed proof copy, $43 for the proof copy.

The Ingram Advance Trade Advertising is a dead waste of money though.

But if you expect to sell fewer than 50 copies in the first year though, Lulu.com's probably the way to go.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:54 PM   #3
mr ploppy
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Ask them for samples. There's a similar company in England, probably using the same technology, I was impressed by the samples they sent me.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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I'm not in the business but I've read several print-on-demand books and the quality varies considerably. The best quality was a hardcover by a vanity press. One book had ragged edges and I don't like those. They are hard to turn the pages.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:32 AM   #5
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The proof of my wife's book just shipped from Createspace - I'll comment on the quality as soon as we get it.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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The great advantage of Lightning Source is their distribution into Amazon.

A 200 page paperback with Lightning Source costs AU$5.25. And you can have that available at Amazon for AU$9.99 and make AUS$2.74 on each copy sold and never have to see or ship the books. And you can also make it available in all the other Amazon stores around the world.

All for $75 setup fee and $12/year. And, if you need a rushed proof copy, $43 for the proof copy.

The Ingram Advance Trade Advertising is a dead waste of money though.

But if you expect to sell fewer than 50 copies in the first year though, Lulu.com's probably the way to go.
Sorry Paul, I neglected to mention we already have a distributor doing that work for the paper books in Australia and USA. All we have to do is give them the books. The bigger sellers are offset printed and the backlist are the ones that I am really talking about. That might change the thread a tad.

It's the backlist that only requires a few hundred per year that I had in mind, not the next big hit. Sorry.

Anyhow, the POD guys in the USA win hands down, but here in Australia I'd rather print a thousand and let them sit on the shelf for five years while they sell than give all my profit to Lightning source for a couple of hundred.

Anyway . . . I love that it works at $3 per book in the US in quantities of 150 or more. It doesn't in Australia and Lightning Source will most likely be catering for others than the blacklists.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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Sorry Paul, I neglected to mention we already have a distributor doing that work for the paper books in Australia and USA. All we have to do is give them the books. The bigger sellers are offset printed and the backlist are the ones that I am really talking about. That might change the thread a tad.
Ah, yes. You're probably looking for someone who does very short runs economically (100+) rather than single-copy PoD.

Who do you use in the US?
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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So am I understanding correctly that you have a US-based POD company that you're happy with, and you're looking for an equally good company based in Australia in order to capitalize on lower shipping costs?

If that's the case, please let us know when you find one. AnthologyBuilder is tentatively on the lookout for non-US printing companies.

If you're looking for worldwide distribution, there's a fairly large company called Publidisia with outlets in Spain, Mexico and Argentina. Lulu used to work with them. As I recall, they require a minimum number of books printed per year, and they had a number of quality issues a few years ago that may or may not have resolved by now. But the prices and distribution were good.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:23 AM   #9
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Ah, yes. You're probably looking for someone who does very short runs economically (100+) rather than single-copy PoD.

Who do you use in the US?
Snowfall Press You have to upload the text and covers to their specs. Anyone who has experience in supplying a printer with a print ready PDF can do it. The first proof book is the same price as the 'per each' book when ordering hundreds. ie. no upload fees, no yearly ISBN fee. 192 pages with halftones, colour cover, gloss cello = $3.10 delivered for about $8.00 total. Approved, yes, hit the shopping cart for as many as you want for the same price. Shipping isn't their forte though. But they say they're working on using customer's carriers instead of their's.

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So am I understanding correctly that you have a US-based POD company that you're happy with, and you're looking for an equally good company based in Australia in order to capitalize on lower shipping costs? - - - - >SNIP<- - - -
Not really. The shipping costs haven't been forefront because we have distributors. There's really only one shipping cost. From printer to distributor. The same books over here costs $100 for the proof and $10.00 ea for the same quantities. That's just crazy so we'll continue to offset print backlists as long as there is a demand but our real focus on backlists now is to transfer the demand to eBooks.

The rights to foreign language books are sold and they do all the translations, printing and so-on. From what I'm told, the author doesn't see much return from them. Though I think the Spanish one's bring in a bit. The Chinese have just asked for copies to translate.

Does anyone out there have experience with selling rights to the Chinese? That's one hell of a market and it's not transparent. We have to just trust them to tell us how many books they sell.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:18 AM   #10
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The proof of my wife's book just shipped from Createspace - I'll comment on the quality as soon as we get it.
I use Createspace. Very good quality. Good price. It's the new US postal service charges that break your wallet, but if you can take the economy delivery, it's ok.

My experience involves shipment from Createspace in the US to Sweden, so ymmv.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:39 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tip James. A quick google about the service didn't bring home any bacon for Australia I'm sorry to say.
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