Printing your self-published book: Which printer should I choose? (Part 1)

It’s Wednesday! Time to check in with Blitzprint’s amazing Book Manager for Trish Tidbit #2.

I’ve decided on my quantities. Who should I print with?

Blitzprint, of course!

No, I am just kidding. We may be the right fit for you, we may not be. It all depends on what your needs are.

If you are wanting to be able to print one book at a time, then you need to go with a POD (print on demand) printer. I would suggest checking out Lightning Source or CreateSpace. With both of them, you register your book through them, send them VERY specific files and then they list your book online with their various sources.

Really make sure that you research this to be sure that is right for you. For instance, CreateSpace lists you on once you are working with them. That being said, you can achieve the same thing by using Amazon Advantage. Figure out what is right for you.

Also, with POD printers, there is no guarantee on the colors on and in your book. Every time that you print, you can almost guarantee a 5% variance on your colors. It is hardly noticeable at 5% and under, but it is there. At places where they are printing larger runs of your books, they should be watching to ensure that your color doesn’t vary more than 5%. Nobody is doing that for you in the POD scenarios.

Why not?

POD printers can get as many as 700 orders in a day. All of those different orders need to fit into categories so that they can be printed at the same time. That is why there are such strict file restrictions. Your book has to fit certain criteria so it can be placed in a category. This keeps their cost down. It is much cheaper per unit for them to print 700 books than to print 1 book, so the more books they can fit into a category, the better. With all of those different books going through nobody is holding up your book and saying, “Hmmm, I don’t think this color is going to be acceptable to the author.”

What else do we need to know about POD printers?

POD books are printed digitally (something to consider if you prefer traditional printing, with a press and inks).

The turnaround time on POD books will typically be a day or two.

That sounds like a good thing for people in a rush. Is there a downside?

It is great for people in a hurry, but along with that comes the reality that there is no guarantee on your color. It could be way off every time you print.

Last, but not least, with POD printers your cost per unit does not change much with quantity changes. The price will remain constant no matter how many are printed.

Trish Romanchuk is the manager of the book division for Blitzprint Inc. For more information on their book printing products and services, please visit their website, or contact Trish directly at

Stop by next Wednesday when Trish will talk about the pros and cons of short run printers. In the meantime, use the comment section to ask more specific questions about POD printers or any other self-publishing questions you may have.

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