It used to be that self-published authors had to spend thousands of dollars to print hundreds of books that would arrive at their homes all at once and then they would have to figure out how to sell them. Today self-published authors have more options to sell a book, now the headache-producing problem is how to promote it.
A book can be sold as a digital item or as a Print-on-Demand (POD) book from sites such as, Lulu, CreateSpace and Lightning Source. The concept is that a book will be printed only when a copy is sold, thus thousands of dollars for inventory are not required. The POD company takes its cut from the price of the book and the rest goes to the author.
There are so many topics about POD books, site comparisons, the initial costs for the author, cost-benefit analysis, tips to avoid expensive mistakes, etc. In this post I just want to show you how a POD book looks, I bought a book from three popular sites and in the video below you will be able to see the books I'm mentioning here:
Book: Running and Dancing
Author: Carol Fenner
Site: CreateSpace via Amazon
Format: 5 x 8, Paperback, white paper
Size: 423 pages
Notes: While the book is sturdy with a strong bonding, the cover tends to curl up a bit. You'll be able to see that on the video.
Book: Cog Stone Dreams
Author: Diane Schochet
Site: Lightning Source via Barnes & Noble
Format: 5 x 8, Paperback, cream paper
Size: 501 pages
Notes: Same as above, except the cover remains straight.
Book: I Am An Island
Author: Jonathan Culver
Site: Lulu via author's site
Format: 6 x 9, Paperback, cream paper
Size: 227 pages
Notes: Strong bonding and sturdy book. This book is full of experimental writing styles and while the page layouts may look unusual, it's exactly how the author wanted it to look.
Book: Windows to Adventure
Author: Claudia Alexander
Site: CreateSpace proofs
Format: 8 x 10, Paperback, white paper, color illustrations
Size: 40 - 50 pages
Notes: Windows to Adventure will be a series of 12 Children's books with an emphasis on science, this is still a work in process but stay tuned for their publication! You will see how color and black & white illustrations look. While these proofs are from CreateSpace I did not notice any curling on the book covers.
- In all cases I got the books within 5 - 8 business days, since I choose standard shipping the transit time took the longest; the printing itself was done within 1 - 3 business days.
- The book covers for all books, except "I Am An Island", where made by Graphicz X Design.
- While I worked on the layout for all books, except "I Am An Island", you will see my work only on the Windows to Adventure books. The layout I made for Running and Dancing, and Cog Stone Dreams have not been uploaded to the POD sites yet.