Print-on-Demand: Do you really need a paperback? What’s the best solution if you do?

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Do you really need a paperback?

Although we are a forward-thinking and digital company, we cannot shake our love of real books. However, there are occasions, certain projects and authors for whom only a physical book will do. The most common reasons for needing a paperback are for publicity (e.g. sending review copies out to journalists) or to sell directly (either at events or on an author website).

That said, there are extra costs involved in producing them such as printing, packaging and postage. These costs need to be factored into your book’s price. Although generally cheaper, as eBooks do not have these unit costs to cover, they are often more profitable.

So you know you need books, now what?

Unlike some other self-publishing companies that have evolved from the print world, we strongly discourage authors from investing in large print-runs unless they have a serious plan for how to shift those books. We use print-on-demand technology so that you can always order more of your books with a 10-day turnaround,so there is no need to pile up boxes of books in your spare room. We can arrange print runs from just one copy to thousands. Regardless of the size of the print run, we use some of the best printers in the UK. Find out more about print-on-demand here.

Although there are economies of scale involved in printing, the golden rule is to know what you are going to do with your books when they arrive. Some good questions to ask yourself when deciding on a print run:

  1. How many copies do I need to give away to reviewers/bloggers or for competition prizes?
  2. How many copies do I need to give away to friends and family?
  3. How many copies do I need for sale at upcoming events, e.g. launch parties, book-signings, etc.?
  4. How many copies do I need for direct sales, e.g. on my own website? (Bearing in mind that you can order more with a 10-day turnaround at any time.)

Be realistic about all of the above and your spare room will remain just that… (the people and pets you live with will thank you).


Cameron PRWhile printed books are not absolutely necessary for your publicity strategy, they will undoubtedly help you get more media attention. Some reviewers, journalists and producers require printed books, and even those who do not are more likely to notice a book that lands on their desk than an easily ignored email. But remember, as with everything, there is a cost that needs to be factored against your ambitions and do not forget to factor in the cost of postage and jiffy bags for mailing out printed books to the media.

To find out more about Cameron PR visit

Get a BESPOKE self-publishing PLAN from our co-founder, Ali

"Ali understood the requirements instantly and often knew my vision for the book better than I did myself." 
~ Stephen Saad, non-fiction author

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