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Print on Demand vs Offset Print

Print-On-Demand. As the term implies, Print-On-Demand or POD is digital printing that only prints books where there is an order/a demand. This means that the number of copies that will be printed depends on how many copies are ordered/needed. 


Offset Printing. Offset printing is for a larger number of books. Most require a minimum of 500. The initial cost is more expensive up front, as the author is paying for this large print, but it lessens the expenses since the price that you are paying is based on the number of copies that you will order. 

There are pros and cons to both methods, each author has specific goals and those goals will determine if POD or Offset (or both) is the best for you. 


Advantages and Disadvantages



  • No up-front costs regardless of the number of copies. 

  • You can update or revise the manuscript as needed.

  • Cheaper and more convenient local and international distribution.

  • No stock storage is needed.


  • It is not ideal for a large volume of copies, as it will cost more.

  • The cost of each copy is relatively higher


Offset Printing


  • It is more cost-effective for a higher volume of copies since the more copies you order, the lower the price.

  • It offers a variety of custom sizes and colors

  • It offers high-quality images due to the printing process. 


  • An up-front fee is required.

  • It has a longer turnaround (can be months for overseas) since the minimum number of copies is so much higher.

  • Updating or revising is often impossible or expensive.

  • Storage needed for large orders

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