How print-on-demand works

Old Mate Media
 | Updated May 4, 2022

How print-on-demand works

Old Mate Media
 | Updated May 4, 2022

If you're thinking of self-publishing, using a print-on demand-service is a very cost-effective way of distributing your book.

Old Mate Media founder Kate Stead explains how print-on-demand works when using IngramSpark and Amazon's KDP to distribute your book.



Print on demand means that a copy of your book is printed on demand when a customer orders it. Now how this works is, you create your book file and you upload the book file to a book distributor.
The two main book distributors that independent authors use are KDP, which is linked to Amazon and Ingramspark.
There are other book distributors around and other book printers so these are not the only two ones but these are the two main ones that indie authors use.
You create an interior file which basically covers everything on the inside and you create a cover file. There are slightly different cover files for each provider.
Then these two files sit in the system for KDP and Ingram, whichever one you're using.
When a customer goes to amazon and they order a copy of your book, let's say that I'm in Australia and I order a copy of this book from amazon.
Amazon will send an order to the book printer that is closest to my delivery address. So Amazon has a network of printers all around the world and they are digital printers and they are set up to do single prints.
They will send an order to that printer, the printer will print one copy.
Then they will package up and send that one copy direct to me as the customer that ordered it
And that is how print on demand works.

Where to next

Check out some of our other videos like What is Bleed, Important tips for story text in children's books and What is DPI? We also have a bunch of free indie author guides to help you on your self-publishing journey. You can find them all here. Let us know what other topics you would like us to cover by getting in contact with us at the bottom of this page. If you are looking to self-publish and have any questions, get in contact with us or book in for a free call to discuss your book.

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