It seems like the past week around here has seen Palladium mentioned a bit more than a normal week, but this is a topic that might interest some of the independent and small press RPG folks out there. I found this while browsing Kevin Siembieda's "Murmurs from the Megaverse", detailing the comparison between a "book printer" and "print on demand services". Here's an excerpt:
Did you know that a “book printer” can do print runs of 1,500 copies for the same amount of money as 500 P.O.D. books?
I have found the answer to that question is usually an excited, no.
I recently talked with an author who was looking to print 1500-2000 copies of a new book. The author was confident he could sell that many in six months to a year, but lamented to me that his Print On Demand quote was $7.78 per book – $3,890 for 500 copies. Making the large press run an unaffordable $11,670.00.
The person sounded crestfallen, until I said, “Um, you know a book printer – or at least, Palladium’s printer – could print that book for you for around $2.25 a piece.”
I was wrong about that. It turns out Palladium's printer, McNaughton & Gunn could print 1,500 copies for under two dollars each!
In fact, the actual quote for a . . .
- 192 page book
- 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches trimmed book
- Perfect bound
- Softcover book; four color front and back laminated cover
- Black & white interior pages
- 60# white paper stock
- Plus proofs of the cover and interior pages for approval
. . . turned out to be $1.77 per copy!
The total amount was less than it cost to print 500 P.O.D. books even when $700 was added to ship the books to his out of state location. It was a gigantic savings. This person freaked out with joy.
Depending on the P.O.D. company, that savings might only be half of what they charge, but that savings is still incredibly HUGE and you get 3x the number of books.
Cheap printing – modest press runs
What surprised me is that most small press and self-published authors I have been talking with do NOT seem to know about Book Printers who use web presses. P.O.D. printing over the last 10 years has become so omnipresent that many people today, don’t even know there are alternative and cheaper printing that provide large press runs and superior quality.
I had similar discussions with a couple other people who had been printing through Print on Demand (P.O.D.) companies. They also freaked out to learn they could do a modest press run of 1,500 copies for the same price (or close to it) as a measly 500 P.O.D. copies.
In each and every case, these were very smart people who knew nothing about web-printers, and assumed (incorrectly) that the big book printers required massive print runs of 6,000 copies or more. It ain’t so.
...the article goes on from there (you can read the entire thing here), but I found it interesting. I've been around long enough to know that posting anything from Kevin S. online is akin to drawing a circle on my stomach, dousing it with lighter fluid, and holding a sign saying "ignite here", but I wanted some feedback from some of the small-press folks that read this site. Is this something you've looked at, or are you ok with your current P.O.D. options? What are your thoughts? Is this something you'd look into in the future?
I firmly believe many of the small-press publishers these days are putting out books not only every bit the equal of those from larger publishers, but with more personal support and less corporate oversight influencing their moves. So it's things like this article I find interesting, and would like to learn a bit more about from their side of the fence.