When it comes to Print on Demand one of the first questions the future-bestseller must answer is; which Print on Demand service is the right one for them?
In the last few years the number of POD services grew a lot which is great as it created a larger spectrum of choices but it is also confusing because it created a larger spectrum of choices.
So basically your first task is to scan through these services, see what they offer, read reviews, and choose the right one for you. Essentially conduct your own little research.
It is very much recommended that you choose your publisher before even beginning laying out your book because you want to make sure you are designing your book according to their requirements.
Some of the POD services, like Booksurge , Xlibris and others, require that you to purchase some kind of a publishing package from them, basic package starts at $799 at Booksurge, I’m not really sure what’s the point of it, but whatever, I’m sure it somehow works for someone.
Other POD services, like Blurb and mypublisher require that you design your book using their desktop application which I find to be quite limiting since all your design work is confined within a file that can only be used with their publishing services.
Not such a good idea.
This leaves us pretty much with Lulu and CreateSpace.
Both services let you create your own PDF, DOC, RTF etc, and then upload your content to their server. Both don’t charge you anything upfront and they print your books once they are purchased. You keep your share of the loot and everybody is happy.
There are two main differences between these two:
1) Lulu offers to sell your book as a download which makes your book available for just about everyone because the price of a download can be kept low. For example, my own bestseller,
No Rules Streets Photography is sold as a download 4 times more than its print version. CreateSpace doesn’t offer a download version.
2) When you publish your book with CreateSpace your book is automatically assigned an ISBN number and is published on Amazon and as a part of the service it also includes the “Look inside” the book feature. Lulu offers an ISBN number and the Amazon promotion only if you purchase their Distribution package which costs around a $100, takes forever to establish and you need to do some work, like adding the “look inside” feature on your own (which btw, a pain in the neck!)
OK, so the Grand question now is which one should you choose?
And the answer is….both!
Yes, actually, why not? Since both of them accept a PDF file, with just a little bit of adjustment your file will work just fine with both of them.
This way you get the benefit of offering your book in a download edition while also enjoying the exposure (and sales) through Amazon without any further expense or effort on your part.
And this should never be an under-rated quality.