Commercial print on demand (POD) is a system that allows publishers to print books on an as-needed basis, as opposed to having to order a large print run upfront. Essentially, it allows a publisher to offer their books in print format without having to worry about large upfront costs or unsold inventory.
In the Ashford POD model, we store a digital copy of each book in our digital asset management system When a customer orders a copy of the book, the file is sent to a digital press, where we print and bind the book, and ship it directly to the customer.
This system is particularly advantageous for publishers because it eliminates the need to order large print runs of a book, which can be costly and often leads to unsold inventory. Instead, publishers can order small runs, or even just individual copies, as they are needed, which reduces waste and frees up funds for other aspects of the publishing process, such as marketing and editing.
Furthermore, print on demand allows publishers to offer a wider range of books to customers, as it eliminates the need to prioritise books based on their perceived commercial appeal. It also allows for customisations or limited edition printings, which can be a selling point for collectors and enthusiasts.