Morris Rosenthal wrote Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach To Printing And Marketing Books For Publishers And Self-Publishing Authors to help authors and self-publishers develop a new and more profitable business model of book publishing using Print-On-Demand (POD) book publishing technology.
Rosenthal writes: “Print-On-Demand allows publishers to print commercially competitive books a single copy at a time, a true revolution in the basic publishing model. …. This means there is more opportunity than ever for new authors and publishers to break into the business.”
The first section of Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach To Printing And Marketing Books For Publishers And Self-Publishing Authors discusses traditional trade book publishing. Rosenthal gives readers a solid understanding of the economics of modern book publishing and how it works against authors and small publishers.
Rosenthal characterizes trade book publishing by
- Large, offset press runs of books, which tie up thousands of dollars in inventory and run a substantial risk of leaving authors and publishers with books that don’t sell;
- The need for publishers to give distributors large trade discounts (typically 55% or more of the retail price of the book goes to the distributor) to receive adequate distribution; and 3) the need to accept book returns.
Rosenthal tells us that conventional book publishing is based upon a business model that developed during the great depression and it hasn’t changed much since then. To allow bookstores to afford inventory during the depression, publishing became a consignment business. Today, because of POD technology, Rosenthal says authors and small publishers have a better alternative.
“POD does not obey the economics of traditional offset publishing…[,]” writes Rosenthal. Using Ingram’s Lightning Source (LS), Rosenthal develops a business model where authors and small publishers can utilize POD printing and fulfillment capabilities to operate a publishing company with little capital investment and essentially no inventory. The cost to get started is only a couple of hundred dollars and full book distribution is achieved. All distribution and drop shipping can be handled by LS in Rosenthal’s model.
Because Lightning Source will distribute books on a short discount to Ingram, Amazon, and other booksellers, Rosenthal shows us that the profit per book sold is much higher using his model than if the books were sold through traditional trade publishing.
To demonstrate his model works in practice, Rosenthal discusses one of his own POD titles in depth, showing how it earned $11,000 on 1,600 sales in 2003, even though the retail price of the book was a modest $14.95.
Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach To Printing And Marketing Books For Publishers And Self-Publishing Authors provides all the information the reader needs to get started using POD, including how to acquire ISBN numbers and copyrights, and how to create files to submit to the POD printer.
A valuable section of the book discusses “Author Basics.” In this chapter, Rosenthal shares his experiences as an author working with trade publishers. Topics covered include book contracts, royalties, querying publishers with new manuscripts, and the publication process. Of particular value is Rosenthal’s discussion of the book marketing practice which tends to create a limited window of opportunity for a new book to succeed.
Because of the meager royalties authors typically receive from traditional publishers, Rosenthal concludes that authors could often earn as much money going the POD route as getting a traditional publisher to accept their books. In particular, Rosenthal asks: If you can earn ten times as much per book doing it yourself with POD and if ten percent of the traditional sales typically go through amazon.com, what do you need a trade publisher for anyway?
The marketing aspect of Rosenthal’s model focuses on the Internet. About a third of Print-On-Demand Book Publishing is devoted to Internet marketing, creating a website, understanding how to market your book on Amazon, and other Internet-marketing-related topics.
Rosenthal says that the Internet has revolutionized the publishing industry, giving authors and publishers new opportunities to reach huge audiences and market their books.
Rosenthal writes: “The strength of authors and publishers is the written word, and the Internet is the media most ideally adapted to the written word since the invention of the printing press.”
As an author and a publisher with over five years of experience with both traditional offset publishing and POD publishing, I can honestly say that for most new publishers or aspiring authors wishing to sell their work that Rosenthal’s Print-On-Demand Book Publishing Model is the best method for getting started in the publishing industry today.
Given POD technology, today it’s easy to run a book publishing company from home with no inventory.
I highly recommend Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach To Printing And Marketing Books For Publishers And Self-Publishing Authors to all authors and publishers. The book is available from Amazon.com or directly from http://fonerbooks.com/cornered.htm
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