What Is On-Demand Book Publishing, and When Should We Use It?

Many of us have most likely heard the term “on-demand book publishing.” Few of us, however, understand the process and know when to use it. In the literal sense, on-demand publishing means that nothing is produced until there is an order to fill. This order could be for one book or a million. The content for this book can either be predefined or submitted at the time of the order.

Amazon is one of the largest––if not the largest––on-demand book publishers. When you order a non-mainstream book from Amazon, the order is usually sent directly to a digital press to be printed and shipped to you.

Better than Amazon is Lulu. Lulu.com is a company devoted to online on-demand book publishing. Authors of all levels can sign on to Lulu and upload their books to be ordered in printed or even digital formats. Lulu also goes a step further and offers help with many services that surround successful book publishing that might not be readily available to all authors. These services include pre-publishing, marketing, and ISBN distribution. This is the key factor that has led many upcoming authors to Lulu instead of its competitors.

So, when is the right time to pursue on-demand book publishing? Basically the answer is: anytime you want to publish something that doesn’t have a large initial distribution plan or is not immediately time-sensitive. Or maybe you just want to print your family photo book for the holidays, for that is the fastest-growing segment of on-demand book publishing!

When was the last time you thought about an on-demand book publishing solution?

Author: John Mehl


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