The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of new means of distributing information and books to the masses. Just as Gutenberg’s press made it possible for the layperson to read and interpret their own copy of the Bible, the internet and other multimedia outlets have made books more accessible to the public. If you’ve written a book, you may be wondering what method is best for publishing your book. Here are the current options available to you along with a few advantages and disadvantages to each. (This changes as we speak and there may be other options if you are reading this after 2013).
First of all, offset printing is still an option and most traditional publishers still use it. Usually there is a high copy minimum for this method of printing, but it does result in the lowest per copy cost.
Once you’ve paid the printing costs, you will then have to determine whether you want to pay to have the books warehoused or handle the storage and distribution yourself. If you keep the books yourself, you will be responsible for all sales or at least shipping to a distributor as needed.
Otherwise known as (Print on Demand), digital printing has become very popular in the past ten years. The flexibility of digital printing means you can order one or one hundred copies at a time with no premiums for the smaller orders.
When selecting a digital printing company, also consider that many of them are also distributors and your book will be available to online booksellers, libraries and physical book stores without you needing to do all the work. While the per copy cost for digital printing may be higher than offset printing, you never go out of print and you only pay for the copies as you print them.
With the creation of eReaders such as the Kindle, Nook and any other tablet available for sale, it has become easy to carry hundreds of books around in one small device. As a result electronic books are in high demand. Should you choose digital publishing, many times the same file can be used for an ebook after it is converted into an ePub or MobiPocket format.
By electronic publishing your book, you can sell through the major booksellers and directly alongside your physical book. While the technology around ebooks continues to be in development, it is a great option for books that are mostly text. Images do not display perfectly in all platforms.
Just Write Books publishes using print on demand. Many of our books are in ebook format for the Kindle. I picked Kindle because:
1. the larger audience,
2. the ease of creating Kindle book
3. and no need to set up a delivery and storage system. Amazon does that for Just Write Books while charging only 30 percent of retail price.
I hope this answers some of your questions about publishing in the 21st Century.