DriveThruRPG and the DMs Guild are to change the printer technology used for print-on-demand books. The essential move is due to their partner, Lightning Source, scrapping old but expensive printers.
The new printers could decrease the cost of “premium color” print-on-demand books by as much as 6%.
However, while the new printing machines bring improvements to efficiency and production costs, they might also lose out somewhat in terms of print quality. OneBookShelf is monitoring the output of the replacement service. Geek Native understands the company has also scheduled a review of printer partners.
OneBookShelf’s Scott Holden, director of marketing and publisher relations, told me;
Our motivation is always to mitigate changes from the printer so that they will have minimal impact on publishers’ titles and sales. Ideally, most publishers will barely notice a change except to find that their print color books become slightly cheaper to produce.”
But if the quality of printing drops significantly for only a slight improvement in price, then we may have to consider more significant changes, up to and including moving our printing services to a new provider if necessary.”
Geek Native did ask around publishers for a quote but, in the time available, none seem overly concerned. The truth is that for most books a 6% change is pennies of profit.
I have absolutely no idea what volume of books they [OneBookShelf] send through LS but it has to be a lot. If a normal person wants to set up a POD title on LS, they charge you $49 just for set up, per title. Then you have to still order your proof on top of that.
I find for my titles I get between 1% and 3% of customers pay for the physical book. That could be because mine are pretty small. I use the 6×9 format, and typically a book is 30-40 pages. You can get two pages on a sheet of US Letter or A4, and printing double sided, you get away with just 10 pieces of paper. Of course that is not as nice as a physical book, but it may well be more functional if you want to flip between tables on different pages.
Picture credit: Print is Alive by Bank Phrom.
What do you think? Measured observations are welcome and you can leave them in the comment section below.