Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

print on demand publishersDid you just promise yourself you’d write a book? Many of us make resolutions 5 Online Tools To Help You Keep Your New Year Resolutions 5 Online Tools To Help You Keep Your New Year Resolutions Read More at this time of the year to finally start writing a novel or a picture book for children. If you’re one of the many, you’re probably not expecting a book deal. Rather, you’re just looking to get it written and put it out there for those who are interested in reading it.

If this kind of self publishing is for you, then a print-on-demand publisher is exactly what you’re looking for. You don’t need to spend much (or any) money upfront – all you really do is publicise your book and the buyers can get one made when they want it. Meanwhile, you could be making a small amount or a large amount in passive income and it hasn’t cost you much except your time spent writing. Sounds good?

Choosing your print-on-demand (POD) book publisher is another thing entirely. In the end, it comes down to your needs and your particular book. For instance, some publishers are better at printing novels or photography books than others. Some will give you better royalties, while others will do a better job of helping you with promotion. To help you choose, here’s a list of four of the best online print-on-demand book publishers and a few of their key features.

1. Blurb

Blurb is well known for its full colour photography-based books, however it also offers a couple of black and white text novel options. You can either use their online software to prepare a book or you can upload a pre-prepared PDF. Whichever option you choose, there’s no upfront costs.

When you sell the book, Blurb takes a small fee. Plus, you can set your own prices and thereby choose your own profit margin. Blurb offers payments through PayPal.

print on demand

Ads by Google

2. Lulu

Lulu is one of the larger publishers and will happily cater for many types of books. You can easily publish a novel, a cookbook, or simply create a photo book for your family. They have the ability to publish and sell eBooks on your behalf and claim to have the largest distribution channels of all online publishers. Useful free services include consultations, while paid services offered include cover design, ISBN purchasing and distribution. If you choose to sell in the Lulu Marketplace without an ISBN, your upfront costs are negligible.

You can also set your profits by choosing your own royalties and Lulu makes its money by taking a small cut from your sales. Lulu pays royalties via Paypal or cheque. Read more about publishing with Lulu here.

print on demand publishers

3. Wordclay

Wordclay offers a basic DIY publishing service which is free for publishers. If you wish to pay a modest fee, services such as editing, ISBNs and distribution are available to you as well.

Again, you can choose your own royalty and Wordclay takes a cut from your sales. Wordclay sends US cheques.

print on demand

4. CreateSpace (aka Booksurge)

CreateSpace offers a DIY “no fees upfront” royalty-based publishing option to complement their regular publishing offers. They are actually part of the Amazon group of companies, so there’s no extra fees involved to distribute your book through Amazon. ISBNs can be obtained for free via CreateSpace.

CreateSpace also claim to offer the best royalties in the business “” plus they allow you to choose your own royalty. Royalties can be paid by US cheque or to a US bank account.

print on demand publishers

Words of Advice

When choosing your publisher, make sure you research well and ensure it’s a good fit for you before you commit your time and money or sign any agreements. Companies such as these do have the occasional unhappy customer but it’s not the norm. Here’s a few important things to look out for:

  • For non-US citizens, remember that different companies have different tax witholding requirements and that the cheque fees and your ability to deposit US cheques may de-value your earnings somewhat.
  • Having your book formally listed with an ISBN will often require you to ensure the quality of your book. This may require you to purchase a copy of your book each and every time you make a change (this can include price or directory changes). If you sign up for an ISBN, read the fine print, be prepared to purchase if required and don’t make changes to your book after this unless it’s very important.
  • No-frills DIY publishers will endeavour to make money from added extras such as cover art, editing and ISBNs. If you want to use these services, ensure you compare the prices between publishers and the cost of doing it yourself.

More about Self-Publishing and Writing

You might also like these articles on publishing and creating books:

If you’ve written your own book and have self-published, let us know about your experiences with the publishers. Who did you choose and why? Were there any unforeseen problems? Were you happy with the book quality? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Jesse
    November 20, 2016 at 8:56 am

    So I've been working on a book for a while now, and before I do any marketing or any promotions, i just want to order a simple hard copy of it and go through it as a rough draft, every publisher seems to want to own your book and blah blah blah i have done everything myself i just need someone to print me a copy and then forget about it for now. does anybody have any suggestions please help!

    • Ellis Matthews
      November 23, 2016 at 8:13 am

      No love for IngramSpark? At the moment I'm reviewing self-publishing options (that's how I found this article), and so far I have to say IngramSpark seems like the best option. It's getting the most favorable reviews and seems to have the most advantageous platform for authors.

      Am I missing something? I know this article was written before IngramSpark came out, but still no mention in the comments?

      By the way, I'm publishing a graphic novel, not prose, so maybe my priorities are a little different.

  2. Nidhi Arora
    August 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Can anyone suggest any publisher who can help with publishing children novelty books - flap and textures? Should I go the DIY route or pursue traditional publishers?

    My first book, so lots of basic questions.

    Thanks
    NA

  3. Ben
    August 5, 2016 at 6:58 am

    I printed 1000 copies of my 270 pages A5 size book in Thailand and, after shipping, the cost was $3.00 a copy so I wanted to sell it for $5. Bookshops told me nobody would respect it at that price and sold a few copies for $30. Some bookshops said they didn't know what had happened to copies they had held and I got nothing. Seventy copies were sent for review but I got only one - German from Hamburg University. I then updated it and put in online for free and had 20,000 downloads. Then I found a POD outfit in the USA was selling it for $16 but since I am not in the USA I can do nothing about it. I am in the top 1% of monthly downloads on academia.edu. My scribd downloads are over 35,000 but no publisher bothers to answer. Publishing is in a mess!

    • Lisa
      November 2, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      What are you doing about POD selling in USA and are you receiving any royalties?

  4. Dave Hess
    July 6, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Am publishing second book with Lulu. Pretty much happy with them, just be sure your edit is good, changes are pricey.

  5. Christy Robinson
    June 12, 2016 at 5:14 am

    I've used CreateSpace for my last four books (two biographical novels, two nonfiction). I liked the DIY because I'm an experienced magazine and book editor with design skills, and it saved me thousands in setup and design fees.

    But the two novels are sequential, and though they have five-star reviews, the second volume, which is better in every way, gets far less sales. It's hard to get one reviewed, and reviewers don't take two at a time. I can't enter one of them in a competition.

    So I've decided to edit them into one volume, one cover. CreateSpace won't let me recall the two separate books and put them into one. So though I hate to leave because they've been good to me otherwise, this "policy" seems made-up and I'm steamed.

    I'm not interested in the agent-big publisher route because they'd force changes to the story, and I want to retain control of my rights. I just don't know how to get around CreateSpace.

    • Keith Tyler
      June 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you for posting this review/comment, Christy Robinson, as it is helpful in my decision-making on my selection of print-on-demand publishing options.

    • Mary Bain
      October 15, 2016 at 1:11 am

      You shouldn't have any problems cancelling the two volumes. If you have the original word processing files, simply combine them into one book, and give it a unique name. You can put a title page showing both books and starting page numbers, then a title page for each book on the starting page of each book. (For example: Your main title page could be on page 5, while the title page for the first book might be on page 7, and the second on page 185.) You'll have to change the title of the book, and create a new cover, which can be very similar to the old one. Unfortunately, a new name for your book would knock out all of the great reviews you've received. I'm not sure you want to do that. You can cancel all future sales of the two original books by going into your member dashboard, clicking on the book you want to "recall," and unclicking all of your distribution channels. This will make your book unavailable for sale, but will allow it to remain with Create Space if you should choose to make the individual books available again sometime in the future. I had two large books that I split, and reorganized into 5 smaller ones, then I cancelled the original books by unclicking all of my channels. It worked beautifully and easily. The only problem is that the book covers don't transfer, so new covers had to be created. It was time-consuming, but really no problem.

  6. Nina
    January 18, 2016 at 5:26 am

    what's the best royalty rates to print an ebook?

  7. Travis
    January 12, 2016 at 3:14 am

    I published my book with Wordclay.
    Wordclay spelled the tittle of my book incorrectly after I paid for distribution.
    I received an email from Wordclay stating the publishing house is closing and the authors suffer the losses.

    • Keith Tyler
      June 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you, Travis, for posting this comment. I am selecting a print-on-demand publisher and your comment weighs heavily in my decision. Thanks.

  8. Dick Webber
    August 5, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    You should include The BookPatch for POD publishing. I began with one of the other POD printers you list, and The BookPatch was light years better, faster and more pleasant.
    Dick Webber
    Oklahoma City

    • Jenn
      September 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Where do they distribute? Will they sell on Amazon? It didn't look like it from my cursory look at their site.

  9. James Boardman
    June 6, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I'm look for a publisher that is morally oriented. I do not want a publisher that also publishes soft or hard pornography. Any ideas?

    • Naked Santa
      May 25, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Interesting. I'm looking for a publisher that only publishes soft and hard pornography.

  10. Joe
    May 8, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I am looking for some one to print my book of short stories
    About 90 pages

  11. Bel
    April 7, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Hi, thank you your article is really helpful. I am looking to create a website where the customer select from a series of different page designs and upload photos to create their own personalised book. It also needs to be hardcover. I would also like to tailor the packaging to be sent in ribbon wrapped hard box to the customer. Is there a company that you would recommend that I could either use to create a website and print books or alternatively just print the books and send them to me to tailor packaging prior to onforwarding to the customer. Any tips would he greatly appreciated , many thanks Bel

    • Yngvil
      December 13, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Hey. Bel
      Just saw this comment - I am looking into doing something similar - What did you find out/end up doing ?

      yngvilvg@gmail.com

    • salim
      May 31, 2016 at 10:42 am

      Hey bel,

      i am doing something similar. With which company did you go?

    • Keith Tyler
      June 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Now THAT sounds completely cool and very state-of-the-art. Please do share any findings!

  12. na
    April 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Here's the corrected version:

    Amazon is Bilderberg. If a person chooses Amazon, they financially aliment Bilderberg's enterprise of genocide.

    Amazon's Create Space is actively quotable as saying that a self-publisher can use their existing ISBN ... simultaneously CS forbids it. A great option for people who are confused.

    As to Kindle, they haven't the faintest as to what "Does Google index words within my book?" might be referring. Perhaps it is because their employees don't know english unlike the self-publishing customers. They refuse - point blank - to pass the question to a native english-speaking manager or executive attending Bilderberg.

    That is the same as Governmentmart. The US has (by design) almost reached Third-World country status. And Kindle is epitomic.

  13. na
    April 4, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Amazon is a Bilderberg. If a person chooses Amazon, they financially aliment Bilderberg's enterprise of genocide.

    Amazon's Create Space is actively quotable as saying that a self-publisher can use their existing ISBN ... simultaneously CS forbids it. A great option for people who are confused.

    As to Kindle, they haven't the faintest as to what "Does Google index words within my book?" might be referring. Perhaps it is because their employees don't know english unlike the self-publishing customers. They refuse - point blank - to pass the question to a native english-speaking manager or executive attending Bilderberg.

    That is the same as Governmentmart. The US has almost (by design) reached Third-World country status. And Kindle is epitomic.

  14. Short Run Books
    February 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Yes, to echo Angela's point, straight POD printers are often marginally cheaper. However, some may be less willing to offer the same level of advice and guidance, as that is not the service which they are charging for.

    Perhaps, if its your first time preparing preparing work for print, then it may well be worth employing a professional book designer, to gain some tips.

    That said if design is not an issue, then printers such as Azimuth Print, and Biddles are worth checking out.

    • Angela Alcorn
      February 24, 2011 at 5:39 am

      Thanks for the tips!

  15. Short Run Books
    February 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Yes, to echo Angela's point, straight POD printers are often marginally cheaper. However, some may be less willing to offer the same level of advice and guidance, as that is not the service which they are charging for.

    Perhaps, if its your first time preparing preparing work for print, then it may well be worth employing a professional book designer, to gain some tips.

    That said if design is not an issue, then printers such as Azimuth Print, and Biddles are worth checking out.

  16. Angela Alcorn
    January 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I think there are a few around, but I haven't properly researched them. From memory (which could be wrong), I think Blurb started as exactly that, but then they realised it would be possible to let people sell their creations via their website for extra sales.

    In reality though, the prices from these POD printer/publishers aren't that different from what a straight POD printer would be. From the printing perspective, it's always going to cost more to print runs of different sizes, shapes and content rather than hundreds of the same book in one go. So, they're going to pass those costs on to you.

  17. Kitkatkaity
    January 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I really wish I could find a POD printer that wouldn't take cuts. You know like basically just a printer, not a publisher or distributor. I'd like to print out copies and them sell them myself. The printer should have a set price for printing the book and it shouldn't matter how much I want to sell te book for because they are just printing it and deserve no profits from the actual sell. Does anyone know of the website to do that?

    • Angela Alcorn
      January 12, 2011 at 7:49 am

      I think there are a few around, but I haven't properly researched them. From memory (which could be wrong), I think Blurb started as exactly that, but then they realised it would be possible to let people sell their creations via their website for extra sales.

      In reality though, the prices from these POD printer/publishers aren't that different from what a straight POD printer would be. From the printing perspective, it's always going to cost more to print runs of different sizes, shapes and content rather than hundreds of the same book in one go. So, they're going to pass those costs on to you.

    • Gee Deezy
      December 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Lulu does just that if you wish.

  18. Bryan "bytehead" Price
    December 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I just need something to kick me in the ass to actually get it written. :/

    • Angela Alcorn
      January 5, 2011 at 4:37 am

      Have you tried Nanowrimo? Could help!

  19. Just Outsourcing
    December 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I'd also add that interested writers should also read forums that discuss these resources. These are of course, forums that these companies host themselves. Read the complaints and observe how the company responds. Should be a tell-all.

    • Angela Alcorn
      January 5, 2011 at 4:38 am

      Nice point! Thanks for sharing.

  20. AMAZING WEBSITES AND PROJECTS
    December 24, 2010 at 12:48 am

    I like very very much this kind of online services!!!

    the free on-demand books services are one of the best innovations born thanks to internet

    I like also services like Scribd, but, unfortunately the Scribd Store still is open only to US users

    • Angela Alcorn
      January 5, 2011 at 4:39 am

      Glad you like it - hope you get some use out of these!

  21. AMAppZON.com or AMAppSTORE.com
    December 24, 2010 at 1:48 am

    I like very very much this kind of online services!!!

    the free on-demand books services are one of the best innovations born thanks to internet

    I like also services like Scribd, but, unfortunately the Scribd Store still is open only to US users

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *