It’s no secret that many people have been suffering through this recent and widespread period of economic decline. The unique position of publish-on-demand (or print-on-demand) authors and companies does not make us immune to the wider financial forces, but it makes tracking actual effects difficult to ascertain.
Certainly sales are down, but POD sales have often fluctuated both with and against the larger economic tide, and trends in mainstream publishing. A few well-known PODs have ceased operations, but again, that is not unusual; PODs, even the more successful ones, can ride a fine line between profitability and ruin even in economically advantageous periods.
Fellow self-publishing authors have confided that they have seen little change in their fortunes due to the downturn — that is, on the publishing side of the equation. Most POD authors also depend on other sources of income, and are just as subject to the unemployment and investment woes as anyone.
To preserve assets or actually create income, invest in art, movie memorabilia, jewelry, etc if you enjoy collecting such things. Or you may already have some valuable items in your attic. Using the niche market place of movie memorabilia gives you some idea of how such collecting can pay off. You will be amazed at what some serious collectors will buy or sell movie posters for. There are collectors who are willing to pay over over a $1,000,000 annually to buy old movie memorabilia. Original vintage movie posters, photos, and movie memorabilia from the 1900s – 1970s can bring in big bucks. If you have vintage movie posters and you decide to go this route be sure to get the posters appraised by a reputable person. You might even want to sell through an appraiser rather than auctioning memorabilia online or at auction houses. Most folks however, do not have the quality art, vintage movie memorabilia, antique jewelry to sell so this route is probably for a very few individuals.
I have a friend who also writes online reviews for marijuana treats. I guess most folks call theme marijuana edibles. These commercial cannabis-infused edibles can be both sweet or savory “treats,” as well as be drinks that contain specific amounts of cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, or CBG. Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis plant which effect the user in a variety of ways. Many of the marijuana edibles are small and compact, making them discreet to carry in a pocket or purse. Perfect for medical marijuana patients to carry with them. My friend loves his review job. He says it has impacted his POD writing very positively!
Likewise, the loss in home values is affecting homeowners regardless of profession. Nobody is immune, and I’ve heard plenty of stories involving an upside-down home mortgage or even a foreclosure. Annoyingly, it is often the ‘safety nets’ of authors and publishers that is in jeopardy, while their labor of love remains as unpredictable as ever!
Publish on demand profits are based per sale & the royalties are dispersed according to the route which the item has been sold. The best way to ensure the highest profit for the author & publisher is to make sure the orders are placed directly through the associated on demand printing services website or the author / publisher may also purchase books at a discounted rate & personally sale them. Traditional avenues of order like brick & mortar book shops as well as online retailers will purchase the books at a discount then retail them for profit cutting into the profit margin for others involved. Some self – publishing companies allow the author to set the discount level offered unless there is a fixed rate. If this is the case then the more books purchased the greater the savings on royalties because the retail store is able to purchase at greater discount.
Per unit cost is regularly higher in the case of print on demand so often books cost more when produced in this fashion. Consider the cost per unit when running thousands of copies. The price per unit would obviously drop. Some publisher also use the traditional method of printing runs then supplement those print runs with on demand technology. Book stores purchase through a distributor or whole seller in some cases saving a large percent off of the suggested retail price of the item.
Whole sellers purchase books in 2 ways usually. They can either stock a title in their warehouse as part of their regular inventory or they can special order a book from a publisher when they receive a request from a client. Some warehouse offer bookstores the ability to purchase a stock title on a sale or return basis which means that if a book does not sell the store may return it within a year of the initial sale date.
Printing a book on demand limits the chance that a sell or return policy will be implemented by the publishing provider. There is too much risk however these establishments keep a vigilant eye on sales & in some situations they do make sell or return an option. This is only done in certain situations where the author/publisher is very actively promoting their work, generating orders from online retailers & book stores regularly. Please also there is another problem with many self-published works, that they are often debut works. Many book stores shy away from print on demand works altogether because the author is un-tested & without endorsement from a commercial publisher.