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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: POD quality  (Read 1694 times)
a302b
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Posts: 3


« on: August 23, 2006, 06:30:19 PM »

Hello, I have heard many different things about the quality of POD (Print on Demand), and I was wondering what experience you guys have had. I am loking for something that is well made, looks nice, and lasts without falling apart, like a well-published "normal" book.

In your experience, both publishing or buying POD books, which have been the best quality? Are any up to this standard? Which POD companies should one avoid?

Thanks for your help!
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 06:49:29 PM »

From my experience buying many POD books, the quality is pretty much the same as any paperback book. There may be some slight differences from printer to printer, but I can't comment on those.

For a round up of POD printers, you can check this old thread. It's out of date by now, I'm sure, but there's probably some good info in there -- positive and negative experiences, etc.
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a302b
Registree

Posts: 3


« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 07:29:00 PM »

Thanks for the link to the thread. It was good to get an overview. Does anyone have any other experiences with POD quality? Also, what about turn-around time? Are there any companies that will reliably ship single book POD orders in less than five days?

The reason I ask is because it would be great to be able to ship a book directly from the printer to the customer without a long turn-around time. Any thoughts?
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JakeVanDam
Member

Posts: 38


« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 08:02:18 PM »

You're looking for true POD, then. Some POD printers or services use POD technology, but actually do very small print runs instead of printing the books as they're ordered.

Lulu (lulu.com) does true POD and also takes care of the ordering and ships straight to the customer. Rapid POD (rapidpod.com) will also do single unit orders, but I don't know what their turn around time is like and they only do the printing. Avalon Inovations also appears to do single units, but don't hold me to it. I don't know about turn around, but their prices are reasonable and they have some sort of deal with Key 20, who do game sales, distribution, and fulfillment.

A lot of the RPG-focused printers use POD technology to print in small quantities. Theres no shrotage of places willing to print twenty copies or fewer at a go, though. RPG Mall (rpgmall.com) does printing, sales, wharehousing, and shipping, has low prices, and their minimum print run is only ten, but I don't know about turn around time for printing or customer orders.

It all really depends on what your exact needs are. If you're dead set on having the printer ship to your customer and only paying for books as they're ordered (which means less risk and less work for you, but also a higher per unit cost), Lulu's a known reliable company. Different companys can provide a lot of different benefits, though, so I'd reccomend shopping around once you know what your exact printing needs are.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2006, 03:02:21 AM »

Hello,

These more recent threads may be helpful as well.

Printer recommendations?
POD vs. distributors

As far as finding a printer goes, I recently needed a new printer very quickly, and found two good local companies simply by Googling "print on demand Chicago," which turned up this awesome page:
Ind-e-pubs POD list compiled by GLB E-Books. If you use the advice found in the above two threads (e.g. calling to speak with them directly, bidding, et cetera), then a list like this one can be useful to you.

The companies I investigated, by phone, were Publishers Graphics and Total Printing Systems, and although I used the former, both were extremely good, fast, and affordable. However, I was looking for short-run printing, not true print-on-demand, so you should conduct your own investigation.

Best, Ron
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Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2006, 05:14:53 AM »

Thanks for the link to the thread. It was good to get an overview. Does anyone have any other experiences with POD quality? Also, what about turn-around time? Are there any companies that will reliably ship single book POD orders in less than five days?

I haven't quite figured out where the line is on mentioning my day job on the Forge, so I won't overly sell you here, but I work for Lulu.com, and our books are shipped within 3-5 days of ordering, and if you want to know more, you should come check out the site and ask questions on our forums.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
btrc
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Posts: 310


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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2006, 10:23:34 AM »

Let me throw in a recommendation for Lulu. The covers are good, solid and glossy, the bindings secure, and the blacks are black. However, I do have a question for Clinton: When is Lulu going to get lpi on their greyscale that is as good as I can get on my $300 home laser printer? That's my only real beef with Lulu at the moment, the inability to print decent greyscales. I understand needing to keep the lpi low enough to avoid banding on gradients, but for solid greys (like blocks of text), I'd love to be able to specify the maximum lpi possible, which if you manually tweak a Docutech, can be fine enough that you can hardly resolve the actual dots.

Greg Porter
BTRC
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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Posts: 1144

the glyphpress


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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2006, 02:25:55 PM »

I've been happy with RPI with some exceptions. The Mountain Witch, Kwaidan, and Shock: are all printed there. Ask for Larry if you decide to go with them.

They're quite flexible; you can ask them for kooky stuff and they'll find a way. Strange sizes, odd stock, whatever. It's not proper POD; you can't order them one at a time, really, but you can can order them 50 at a time. It's obviously cheaper with greater volume.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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