Print on Demand (POD) paperbacks are printed and shipped to the reader when they are ordered. They are not printed ahead of time and stored in inventory. There is no expensive for you to self-publish a POD paperback. In fact, there are hidden advantages. Plus, it’s easy to self-publish an Amazon POD paperback after publishing your Kindle e-book using the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web-based interface.
This post is all about self-publishing Amazon POD paperbacks, including the why, how and advantages.
How POD Paperbacks Work
Before POD paperbacks, authors would have to go to a “vanity press” to have hundreds of their books printed in paperback format and then store those paperbacks in their garage so they could take books to weekend craft fairs to sell them. Those days are over with the advent of POD paperbacks.
Today, POD paperbacks are printed as ordered and delivered to the reader via regular mail. Readers order POD paperbacks online along side e-books and bestsellers rather than at art fairs. Companies like Amazon and Lulu offer POD paperback printing and delivery services for a hefty fee, but there’s a special reason to use Amazon POD paperback services over Lulu.
Bostering Kindle E-book Sales
The mere existence of a POD paperback version of your book lends credibility and importance to your Amazon Kindle e-book version. Note that Amazon includes a paperback offer on your Amazon Kindle e-book product page.
Let’s face it, you won’t be selling many POD paperback copies of your book. My analysis shows that Amazon POD paperback sales represent less than 4% of my total Amazon book revenue.
But by providing a POD paperback option on Amazon, you’ll bolster your Kindle e-book sales in two ways:
- Having a paperback option makes your book look more important (official).
- Your more expensive POD paperback price will be crossed out on your Amazon Kindle e-book product page, emphasizing the discount to the lower Kindle e-book price.
There’s one other important reason to publish an Amazon POD paperback.
Self-publishing a POD Paperback
Publishing an Amazon POD paperback is easy using KDP, especially if you do it immediately after publishing your Amazon Kindle e-book using KDP. KDP will reuse most of the information you provide during the Kindle e-book publishing process, so all you have to do is re-upload your manuscript and cover and you’ve published your POD paperback.
With POD paperback publication being so easy, you may as well do it.
Pricing Your Amazon POD Paperback
I recommend you price your POD paperback using one of two pricing strategies:
- Price your POD paperback as low as possible (e.g. $5.99 to $7.99) in the hope you’ll sell a few copies.
- Price your POD paperback as high as possible (e.g. $9.99 to $15.99) to show what a deal your e-book is.
Don’t forget using a POD paperback as a sales tool. It looks good being able to hand a potential client a copy of your Amazon bestselling book.
I’ll see you in the classroom,