Is Print on Demand Publishing, Self Publishing?

Is Print on Demand Publishing, Self Publishing?

You’ll often hear the term ‘POD publishing,’ and it stands for ‘Print On Demand,’ and sometime people use if for ‘Publish on Demand.’

POD is the technology that most vanity publishers’ utilise (as can you). POD is simply a printing technology available to all publishers (including self publishers/DIY publishers); instead of having to manufacture hundreds or thousands of books at any one time, POD allows you to affordably produce single books (or more) to order. You purchase the books at COST. Most vanity presses do rely on POD printers for production but they charge the book back to you at hugely inflated prices.


How POD Works (simplified)

  1. A digital file of the book is stored on computer.
  2. The book title is added to various distribution channel and online bookstore catalogues.
  3. A customer orders the book from:
    • An online store such as Amazon, Baker and Taylor, Book Depository etc.
    • From a ‘real’ bookstore via phone or visitation.
    • From a publisher or author website.
  4. The customer pays for book with:
    • Credit card
    • PayPal
    • Cash or check (at real store only)
    • Some other method
  5. The order is entered into the electronic POD system.
  6. The book file is downloaded to a POD press from data storage.
  7. The POD press automatically prints and binds the book as part of a single integrated process.
  8. The book is shipped:
    • Direct to customer.
    • To bookstore for pick up at the store.
    • To an online store’s shipping department for reshipping to the customer.


With 39 000 outlets your book can have worldwide reach and frequency overnight. Leaving you with the task of marketing and promoting your book. Lower costs and lower risks.

The alternative (and to some it is a perfectly valid option) is to bulk print /offset print your book; store your books at your premises and seek a distributor to assist you to get the books out to the marketplace. It is still your responsibility to market and promote your book. Higher costs and higher risks.

So, why does Pickawoowoo help authors to Self Publish via POD?

We hear this question a lot. The answer is simple. We want authors to benefit from the sale of their work, which can´t happen when vanity or self publishers make money on every side of a transaction. We provide a service for the costs associated with creating your book and making it available in the marketplace –link you up to reputable POD companies and only provide you with what you need – we guide you throughout the process.

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