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Printing on demand set to aid new authors, publishers

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The Times of India | Rachel Chitra | TNN | March 9, 2016 |

CHENNAI: Banking on an unknown author with talent has always been a risk that publishers are forced to take. But with a fresh crop of print-on-demand printers like Pothi.com, CinnamonTeal Publishing, Exeter Premedia Services, Partridge India, new authors are finding it easy to get their work on Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, etc.  Print-on-demand on average sells less than 200-100 copies and mostly the buyers are the author’s friends, family and local retailers. But it’s still big business and is projected to grow by more than 40%, says a senior office-bearer with the All India Federation of Master Printers. “We have seen a plethora of startups in this space. And it’s a very encouraging trend which works very well for both the end consumer and online retailers, who don’t have the hassle of keeping a physical inventory for books,” he adds. This self-publishing option, according to industry players, is very popular with new authors and academics as its difficult for them to convince traditional publishers to publish their work. “Our business model isn’t about one or two authors selling hundreds of books. It’s about hundreds of authors selling maybe a 100 books each. We are currently focused on non-fiction and we are seeing great demand. We provide the back-end support to authors for the pagination, designing, editing – just about everything that a regular publisher does. But the difference is we publish only on demand – after the online purchase,” says Ravi Venkataramani, CEO, Exeter Premedia Services.

Print on demand also helps online retailers solve the problem of space constraints. “What many people don’t realise is that when they click “buy” on Amazon or Flipkart – the online retailer does not have a physical copy of the book. They don’t have warehouses or a stockpile. They pass on the order to us and we print and publish the book. So we publish only after the sale, making for more effective market dynamics,” adds Venkataramani. Academics are also finding print-on-demand highly feasible as they are able to take their work to an international audience without investing heavily. “I have published two works one is “Classroom Management And Quality Control,” and “Parnassus – Focus on Women’s Issues” using the print-on-demand option offered by Lambert Publishing. And there’s been international recognition of my work and I’ve also been awarded a UGC grant after its publication. It gives greater visibility to academicians and there’s a royalty on sale of each book that the printer awards – it’s very transparent,” says Jayasudha Thiagarajan, research officer TANSCHE and associate professor of English, Bharathi Women’s College, Chennai.  It also gives the authors greater control in terms of cover design and quality control. At Pothi.com, which has helped publish more than 6,000 books, the offer is that people can choose to publish anywhere from one copy to 10,000. With no minimum order quantity, Pothi.com says that it is “putting power back into the hands of authors.”  On-demand-printers also have a wide spectrum of layouts, fonts, pagination options, graphic design elements that are readily available to customers for a nominal fee. “We are publishing books at a fraction of the cost that an author would incur – if he wanted to go publish on his own. We cover everything – the editing, design, printing, publication, distribution. And the end result is highly professional,” say staff at Bhavish Graphics.- Courtesy


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