Independent Publishing blog

How Print On Demand enables self publishing

Print on demand (POD) enables authors to supply their book to the book trade, which is made up of booksellers, wholesalers, libraries and library suppliers. Print on demand has been designed so that authors can price books competitively for the customer (the reader) and offer the book trade an acceptable discount and a timely delivery service).

POD is lean and just in time manufacturing which works for both author and bookseller. So the author can concentrate on the fun of creating content and invest any budget in book promotion. Authors don’t need to tie up resources in the heavy lifting. POD takes care of the manufacturing and the logistics.

In other words, POD makes and ships a book when an order (demand) is received. Zero demand = 0 book. Demand for 1 book = 1 book, demand for 2 books = 2 books etc. The press prints from a library of PDF artwork, which Into Print prepares in industry-standard typesetting software.

The POD press references the PDF artwork to print the sheets, cut them to size and bind the sheets into a cover board to make a book. The factory line packages the book(s) and sends them out to the purchaser – usually a book seller.

Print on demand widens availability

The print on demand ecosystem goes much further than just printing. It includes electronic ordering from book wholesalers and retailers. When a bookseller gets a customer order, it sends an electronic message to the POD factory. The message contains the unique ISBN associated with the PDF artwork for that book title. The order triggers the printing and binding of that book, its packing and shipping to the bookseller’s address.

When you work with Into Print, we hold your hand and show you how it works; so you can decide how to use it most effectively for your book project. Fill in our form to request a free quotation.

Photo of author Kevin Marsh signing copies of his thriller The Witness. Kevin took pre-orders and assessed the number of books required for the launch and placed a print on demand order with Into Print specifically for the event.
Author Kevin Marsh signing copies of his thriller The Witness. Using print on demand, authors can order just the right number of copies for pre-sales and launch events.

Print on demand is economic and green

POD means:

  • no risk selling for authors.
  • you don’t have to commit to buying stock in order to drum up business.
  • instead we create a package of materials for booksellers to help them convince readers to buy your book, and only after a reader has bought your book, do we print it, on demand.
  • worldwide exposure and availability.
  • booksellers everywhere get data about your book.
  • no need to ship long distances.
  • instead we print and ship from our nearest factory e.g. Australia for Australia, New Zealand and Australasia, USA for North America, UK for UK and some parts of Europe. Partner factories in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Korea, India and China, make delivery even more local.

Print on demand also facilitates other author activities:

  • organise a launch event and ask Into Print to ship a box of books into the event venue on the day before.
  • take delivery of a small quantity and send out to reviewers with a signed copy and personal letter.
  • sell some books to a specialist bookseller and invoice on your agreed terms; Into Print ships the copies directly into the bookseller. 
  • low cost fulfilment of legal deposit copies.

Take your own Photographic Journey

Author Chris Halliday has launched his book Strathspey Myths and Legends – A Photographic Journey. The local bookshop has quickly added it to its window display to entice Christmas shoppers to the attractive mix of photos, maps, illustrations and tales from the mountains.

Photo through the shop window of Strathspey Myths and Legends, Chris Halliday's photo-based book.
Strathspey Myths and Legends, 216mm x 280mm landscape format, colour softback, 144 pages, £25.

We’re told that the local newspaper has reviewed the book favourably; Waterstones in Aviemore will stock it and so too Visit Scotland in the region’s tourist information centre. 

If you take photos, you may have visualised a book based on your work. Into Print can help you self publish a photo-based book with worldwide distribution. It’s not easy to compete with books that are TV-spinoffs or have celebrity backing. But you’ll know if there’s a local or specialist interest in your photos – birds, trains, castles, churches, landscapes and more.

We print hardback or softback premium colour in portrait or landscape formats, which present your photographs to the standard required by book retailers, libraries and, most importantly, readers. If you’d like to know more, request further information via our form or email our editors –

Strathspey Myths and Legends appreciation

In this beautiful book, Chris Halliday has re-united the rich lore of Strathspey with the places that gave it birth. His evocative photographs, personalised maps and focused storytelling style make this an irresistible invitation to explore and enjoy. In addition the use of the civil parishes as markers makes sense of both the geography and the culture. It’s  a labour of love which people of this area and far beyond will love.’ Donald Smith, Director, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland. 

Illustrations : Gwen Walker

Photography: C.J.Halliday 

Available from Waterstones.