Print on demand an unqualified success

Of course. There are hundreds of thousands of people who know this already. But it doesn’t appear to be common knowledge in my peer group that print-on-demand is a perfectly viable way of creating something that looks, and feels, to all intents and purposes, like a book.

When I tested out lulu.com a few weeks ago, I had the advantage of owning a pre-formatted set of PDFs – the print-ready files for Separated Out. Lulu is a US-based service, so I uploaded the files, hit the big print button in the sky, and waited a month before the Amazon-like package dropped through the letterbox. Lulu’s version was printed on cheaper paper (which I had selected), and the cover was very slightly out of kilter. However it was a book, to all intents and purposes.

I don’t underestimate the skill required in layout, font selection and so on, as well as editing – this is not the end of the publishing industry. Given such services however, quite why we still have the term ‘out of print’ is beyond me. As well as, “Not available in this country.”

Final note: I asked friends what UK-based services might exist and I was recommended to two: Blurb.com and AuthorsOnline. I also found PrintOnDemand Worldwide.

Print on demand an unqualified success

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