This post is an excerpt from our Self Publishing Guide for Indian Market. If you have not, you may want to read the following post in this series before starting on this one
- What is publishing?
- What is self-publishing?
- Self Publishing and Print on Demand (are not the same)
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 1: Finalize the Content
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 2: Design the book
In an earlier post on this series we had discussed the printing process and the two options available – bulk printing with offset or one-off/short run printing with Print on Demand.
Your decision needs to be based on three main factors –
- Estimate of the market size. If you are confident that the demand for your book is more than 500 copies, go for offset printing. In the event of a smaller demand, POD is a better option. To put things in perspective, a book selling more than 5000 copies in India is considered a success by traditional publishing houses. Remember to factor in your actual marketing abilities when you are estimating the demand. Most well-known authors have a large specialised promotion and marketing team working behind the scenes. As a self publisher, you will mostly be your own promoter and marketer. Self promotion is something which many of us Indians are not very good at given our upbringing where humility is highly valued. Marketing your book successfully will require a lot of aggressive self promotion,without which book will be read only by your close friends and family. So shake off the humility and get going.
- Genre of the book. In case the book is essentially a photo book or what is called a ‘coffee-table book’, you should go in for offset printing to ensure print clarity of the photographs. For a normal book, POD may be a better option.
- Distribution options. If you see a possibility of getting a distributor, then, to get the prices right bulk printing is more suitable. If you are selling directly, through your own website or through the website of self publishing companies (like Pothi.com) then you are better off with Print on Demand and short run printing. Read more about distribution options in the next post of this series.
One good thing to try could be to print a short run by POD, test market it, probably scout for publishers/distributors by showing it to them and depending on the response, go for bulk printing.