Thanks to rapid technical advances in the world of printing, it is now possible to print a book on demand at a lower cost. Indeed, this digital printing process allows smaller publishers and even individuals to publish a book. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?

On Demand Printing: An Economical And Environmentally Friendly Solution

Unsurprisingly, many individuals favor on demand printing as part of the self-publishing of their work. This has numerous benefits, as there is no need to spend thousands and hundreds of dollars to finalize a publication project.

Printing a book can be expensive, the price per copy varies according to the quality of the paper but also the colors and of course the number of pages. Until now, with the offset printing system, the rates, although decreasing, remained very high for individuals and required them to print a large number of works (at least 800 works). Beyond the amount to be paid, it also posed problems of storage, distribution.

Publishers are no exception to this. They also see on demand printing as a relevant solution for saving money and especially discovering new talent. Many independent publishers no longer dare to take risks in publishing.

With little to no means of promotion and often too ambitious print runs, many books that are published end up being wasted. On demand printing allows aspiring new writers to "test" books in bookstores before embarking on a massive printing campaign of at least 2,000 copies. Less costly, this solution allows more authors to be identified, and that is without taking unreasonable risks.

For publishers and published authors, on demand printing has another advantage. No more stock shortages, refusal to re-engage, and reprint. Thanks to this new solution, we can say goodbye to unavailable books and incomplete catalogs.

Finally, in these times when our planet is constantly being bullied, a little less waste is much appreciated. On demand printing is a future-proof solution since it allows for the printing to be done in a conscious, environmental friendly way.

What are the Downsides Of On Demand Printing?

In the face of all these advantages, on demand printing holds some disadvantages too.

No printing technique is perfect. It goes without saying that the cost of the book per unit is higher than in offset printing where rates are decreasing depending on the circulation.

Digital printing is not necessarily the best solution for very precise color works. It is better to opt for offset printing and especially to print a test copy in order to have a rendering as close as possible to the desired result.

Finally, the printing of individual books can be a problem at the distribution level, since distributors generally require a minimum stock to register the book as a base. But this problem can quickly be overcome. For example, it is enough to print a small stock. Ten copies may suffice.

All in all, on demand printing has a few minor flaws. But given its many advantages, it would be foolish to deprive oneself of them.