Don’t lesser copies imply a higher cost per book?

POD implies a higher cost per book, but to appreciate POD, a little knowledge of the economics behind it might help.

Imagine you have written a book and have decided to take the self-publishing route i.e. you have decided to publish the book yourself. You get your book edited, lay out your text, design your cover and approach the printers. You see a market for only 100 copies (for argument’s sake) but your printer says you must print a minimum of a thousand copies (they too can’t help it as small quanities are expensive for them too). The cost of each copy is small, say Rs. 40 per book, but having to print a thousand copies means you have to invest a total of Rs. 40,000/- upfront. You are not sure if all the copies will sell but that is a gamble you are forced to take.

Or imagine you choose to work with us at CinnamonTeal Publishing. Your book is made available for sale on a few online bookstores. When a book is sold on these platforms, the book is printed and dispatched to the buyer using the POD option. Because the buyer has already paid for the book, you, the author, do not have to spend on its printing. In this case, the same book that cost Rs. 40 when printed in bulk might cost around Rs. 120/- when just one copy is printed (using POD technology), but because 1000 copies have not been printed, the author has to spend lesser (Rs. 120 instead of Rs. 40,000/-) and not have to worry about shipping and storage costs, or about whether or not the remaining copies will get sold. Similarly, if you wish to have a few copies of your book for yourself, you do the same – order only as many as required. So if you need just 20 copies, assuming the same cost per unit, you pay only Rs. 2400/-.