How Print On Demand Works [Infographic]

How Print on Demand works Infographic

In “Print On Demand: The biggest advance in publishing since Gutenberg,” we detailed the benefits of how print on demand books work for the independent author, and how digital printing hasn’t just leveled the playing field, but changed the nature of the game. It is now cost-effective to print books as needed, not relying on offset printers to churn out thousands of books to justify the fixed costs. We also pitch the value of BookBaby’s BookShop program, where independent authors are paid a 50 percent royalty for all printed book sales, the latest boon to our Print On Demand offering.

Now our designers have made this fun infographic that walks you through the seven steps of how Print On Demand works.

Print on Demand Infographic

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Read more on the BookBaby Blog about Print On Demand:

Print On Demand: Your Timeline To Maximize Book Sales
We have an unofficial mission statement around the BookBaby offices: “We make the little guy (or gal!) look big.” What does that mean? It’s really quite simple. We help our self-published authors from around the world create and publish a book that looks every bit as good as those produced by big-time authors from the large publishing houses.

Print On Demand: All You Need To Know About Book Pre-Sales
Every online book retailer has its own schedule and process for handling the ingestion of new books. Some are on a weekly schedule; others are on a monthly routine. Because this involves the shipment of a physical book, there is a lot of prep work involved for each store to set up an inventory number in its own store catalog database. As your book enters into the various systems, your listing will start appearing on retail websites around the globe. This is usually two to three weeks after you have finalized your files. Now starts your critical pre-sales period.

How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic]
You’ve finished your novel, you’re ready to self publish, and you’re considering print books for promotion and giveaways. How many should you print? Make it an even 100 to start with!

BookShop and Your Print On Demand Success
BookBaby has expanded its POD program to better serve indie authors. In sum, our new program: pays authors more – 50% of their list price; pays authors fast – in just a few days; promises in-stock status 24/7/365





  1. I self-published a book through Xlibris. As far as I know, I retain all rights.

    Would it be legal for you to publish that book, perhaps with a few changes, and perhaps a little cheaper?

    • Xlibris, in my past experience, holds the ‘rights’ to your book. However, you can buy back those rights and republish with your changes through BookBaby.

      • Once you copyright your book you hold 100% of the rights. The cover if you supplied the cover picture or if you did a purchase from them. You’re paying them for a service. Unless you signed a contract that you didn’t read, you own it all.

  2. Nice article, but none of it is any use to me. The big problem is ‘MARKETING’, of which you mention nothing. Without a clear, cost-effective way for self-publishers to reach millions of prospective readers, there is no sense in writing a book, in the first place.

    • I just write for the fun of it anyway… Maybe someday someone will read my books but that’s not my concern. Its just for the joy of writing… but marketing is a big problem and no one has any idea except spending more money to get it into the right reader’s hands…

    • I’m guessing it wasn’t there when you all commented but, if you scroll to to the top of the page, there is a pulldown menu labeled “How to Promote” which leads to their ways of addressing it.

    • One thing you will find even with traditional publishing is that in the age of social media the publisher actually makes you do most of the work. Why pay an army of marketers to market the 1000’s of books they publish annually when they can focus on their top 3 or 4 authors to earn them millions. In short attending a conference of writers In which there were several well known authors in attendance I was surprised to learn even these well known authors got very little marketing from their own publisher and needed to do the leg work themselves. Some publishers I approach even ask in your query letter submission form What are you going to do to sell your own book. Meaning if we are going to give you an advance, they want to know what YOU are going to do to SELL your own book. So here are my tips. A website with a blog. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and twitter. Have a website so all our outlets are linked to your website. Then promote yourself but try and do it in non overbearing ways. Like dont show up out of the blue and say Buy my book NOW! It’s awesome. Carve out a niche. If your a good writer with a Social Media presence you will be picked up by Traditional publishers at some point. The problem again becomes…even those demand YOU be your best Marketing supervisor.

  3. I have a multi-award book published on Createspace, which I have discovered prevents me from putting it into bookstores, etc. I have been told that if I pay Createspace to remove their ISBN and put my own on, purchased from Bowker, that I can then sell via major book warehouses such as Follett, Baker and Taylor, and Ingram Spark. Now Createspace tells me that it will still have to be printed via Createspace even if I make the ISBN change, so that my book will still not be sold via these book dealers. I want to get out from under the Createspace restrictions, which I was never informed of when I contracted with them. How can I resolve this dilemma? And I can use Bookbaby for my future books…

  4. I have written a book that closely follows a book published by Xlibris, print-on-demand, but has a different message, different title, and different strategy. Can I publish the new book on Bookbaby?

    • Well… that’s called getting a book deal with a publisher. It can be done. We’re here if you opt for the self-publishing route.


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