What is print-on-demand, and why is it good for me?
Print-on-demand technology is an affordable option that removes the risks of self publishing by allowing you to print books when you sell them, and to make money on each sale. Print-on-demand erases economies of scale—there is no need to purchase large quantities of books to reduce the per-book price, because the printing cost for one book is the same no matter how many you order.
Print-on-demand uses digital design files. Once your files are uploaded, it’s possible to produce one book at a time, usually upon receipt of an order.
How much do print-on-demand books cost?
Printing costs for books vary, depending on the type of book and the number of pages. For instance, a 250-page black-and-white book, standard size, would cost about $3.85 per copy to print. If the book has a color interior or is hardback, the cost would be significantly higher. Please feel free to call to discuss other pricing.
How do online retailers and bookstores purchase my book?
Most self-publishing authors use a print-on-demand printer, which means your book is only printed if it is sold. Print-on-demand books are usually available for expanded distribution through Ingram Content Group, which makes your book available to online retailers, who usually sell single copies directly to the consumer, and to bookstores, which may either special order for a customer or choose to stock the book. When someone orders a book through an online retailer, or when a bookstore orders a book for a customer or to stock, the book is printed and shipped.
Can I buy books for my own distribution?
Yes, many authors choose to buy books to distribute through their websites, through in-person sales or for other reasons. Authors may order directly through the printer, or through Luminare Press, depending on the type of account that has been set up. Authors pay for shipping from the printer, and for the printing cost of the book.
How are royalties determined?
Every time a book is sold, you are responsible for the cost of printing the book, and, if it is sold through a third party (online retailer, bookstore), the percentage of the retail price the third party charges for the sales fee. You do not pay these charges up-front, though. Your royalty equals the amount that remains after printing the book and the sales fee are deducted from the retail price. Luminare authors retain 100% of the royalty. Sales fees vary depending on the sales channel, but will not be affected if your book is sold at a discounted price. For instance, Amazon may choose to offer your book at a lower price than your cover, or retail cost, but doing so will not affect the amount of royalty you receive from the sale. Likewise, the cost of shipping the book from the seller to the buyer will not affect your royalties.
Can I get a hardcover print-on-demand book, or one with a color interior?
Yes. Luminare offers the option of printing a hardcover version of your book, and it is possible to make both a hardcover and paperback available. Likewise, books with full-color interiors are available through print-on-demand. Call for more details.
What is an ISBN, and do I need one?
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 10-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, meaning each book edition (i.e., hardcover, paperback, second printings) will have a separate ISBN. The ISBN allows for more efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers, and distributors.
The ISBN also identifies the publisher of the book. Luminare Press provides ISBNs for all of our books, but we are happy to work with authors who already have an ISBN, or who want to establish a unique publishing entity.
How important is it to get my book edited?
Producing a polished book requires a professional copy edit and meticulous proofreading before the book is printed. Self-published authors often overlook these crucial steps, but as publishing professionals, we know that no matter how good your grammar skills, you are going to need to have someone else review your work before it is published.
Publishing houses employ an army of copy editors and proofreaders because they understand that no writer has enough distance to proof and correct his or her own work. If you are self publishing, you need to take the same approach. Your book must be free of errors and stylistically in tune with other books on the market in order for it to be competitive.