Not As Dire As It Sounds
This is probably the thing you’ve been most worried about. Who is going to be the most affordable? Who is going to have the best quality? Who is going to pay out the most royalties? Who is going to have the quickest turnaround times?
Choosing the right printing service that works for you is important, but don’t lose sleep over it. The technology and resources have exponentially improved from even a decade ago so there are plenty of good options. Besides, the differences between them all are so minute, that it really comes down to convenience and a few cents here and there.
Learn The Lingo
Before we go farther, there are some terms you will have to familiarize yourself with. If you know these already, feel free to skip ahead!
POD – Print On Demand (Printers print after a book has been purchased. They do not keep an inventory.)
KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon’s POD service.)
Expanded Distribution – If enabled, this means your book is available in a catalog that all bookstores/libraries/retailers have the option to purchase from.
Retailer Discount – When enabling Expanded Distribution, it is standard to offer retailers a heft discount. The average (they say) is 55%. This cuts into your profits but will also give your book more exposure.
Ingram / Ingram Spark / Ingram Content Group – The most popular expanded distribution retailer
Lulu / Blurb / BookBaby – Other POD service