Why Self-Publishing and POD Publishers are Good for the Environment

POD publishers self-publishing Earth day is tomorrow, Saturday, April 22nd, and it has us thinking about how everything we do affects the environment – for better or for worse. There’s no doubt that each and every one of us can do our part to better the earth we live on. This is definitely true for writers. At DiggyPOD, the way we help is by cutting down on paper waste – by printing exactly the number of books you need. Self-publishing and POD publishers (print on demand) can help the environment by avoiding mass production.

What are POD publishers?

POD publishing does exactly what it sounds like: it prints when an order is placed! It allows for smaller quantities of books than offset printers. Offset presses are used by large book printers and require expensive plates, chemicals, ink, and highly skilled operators to run them. There is a lot of set-up costs with offset printers. With all of these costs, you typically have to print anywhere from 3000 to 5000 books to get the cost per book down to make a profit. Not to mention that you also have to sell all of those books or you will take a loss. If those books don’t sell, then of all that paper used just goes to waste.

How POD publishers and self-publishing can cut paper waste

POD publishing companies print exactly what you need. There are no minimum requirements to meet, no specific number of books to print to make a profit. This significantly reduces the number of books printed that will be wasted. A digital press operator can run multiple machines at the same time, saving on labor cost. This technology uses a toner or liquid ink to print with, so there is very little waste, and it is much better for the environment.

Simply put: POD publishers are a more sustainable approach to publishing. Not only that, however; they also help the writer.

POD publishers are cost efficient for the author

POD publishers aren’t just good for the environment – they’re also beneficial for the author. If you choose to self-publish with a POD publisher, you’ll be able to print exactly the amount of books you need. Using a book manufacturer that specializes in print on demand, publishers can get books produced in short runs and save money for a number of vital reasons:

  • Control inventory cost. Printing in large quantities can be very costly which is why it helps with budgeting with short run order sizes.
  • Fill orders for backlist titles — In case of extra demand from a book signing or a surge in online orders sporadically, it makes sense to have a small quantity of prints stored safely to meet demand when least expected.
  • Test marketability with advance reader copies. First editions are often utilized in a smaller run to see if the book has teeth and is readily consumed.
  • Get your book to market much faster. Producing a book through a company that does not use print on demand technology, can take anywhere from four to six weeks.

It’s entirely up to you – that’s what self-publishing is all about.

Watch out for vanity presses

Stay alert to who is publishing your book. A POD publisher, like DiggyPOD, will never ask you to sign a contract. Contracts can lock you into agreements that may not benefit you at all. POD publishers should be all about ease and efficiency. There won’t be any pressure from the company, nor will there be any contract locking you into a specific number. The entire process shouldn’t be too stressful or complex. It should be about one thing: printing your book.

Celebrate Earth Day by doing your part for the environment and for yourself. Self-publishing a book is a good way to do both.

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