Book Marketing

How To Sell Print-On-Demand Books [Complete Guide]

Want to sell print books, but not sure if they're worth the investment?

Feel iffy about the logistics?

Good news: print-on-demand technology saves you money and headaches by providing a simple way to print and ship a book. Here’s everything you need to know.


Your Guide To Print-On-Demand Distribution

Whether you’re wondering about how to print a book or how to tap into thousands of print stores, this guide covers it all. Join the bandwagon with print-on-demand and see how indies made 85% more royalties in 2020.

1. What is print-on-demand?

Print-on-demand (POD) solves the challenges in traditional print publishing, a game changer for independent authors and publishers. Usually, you’d need print books in stock to offer them to potential buyers. With POD, you no longer have to print a ton of books in advance.

Now, you can list your book online and have it printed and shipped only when an order occurs. Print-on-demand companies handle most of the process for you, getting rid of the hassle with logistics. It’s become a sustainable and cost-effective method for indies, making print accessible for everyone.


💡PublishDrive Handles Print-on-Demand Smoothly


PublishDrive is an all-in-one self-publishing platform with a network of thousands of print channels.

With one account you can boost and optimize your business with the friendliest tools.

Handle your printing and shipping needs in one place!

Order print book copies with ease with PublishDrive's platform

Try us FREE for 14-Days


2. How to Prepare Print-Ready Files

Before contacting print-on-demand companies for distribution, make sure your book files are ready to go. There are two main (PDF) files to have ready:

1) Your book cover 

2) The interior or body content

  • Your first PDF should include a front cover, back cover, spine, and bleed area
  • The main manuscript of your book should follow print formatting guidelines

Print-on-demand books can be paperback or hardback. However, paperback is the most common format with a trim size of 6x9 inches. At the most basic level, you can take care of your manuscript formatting in a Word or Google document. You can also create professional page layouts with programs like InDesign or Vellum.

Be sure to follow these main requirements:

  • Use CMYK or RGB color spaces
  • Save black and white images as gray-scale or single-color black
  • Use 300 DPI image resolution (minimum)
  • Page size should fit the trim size you set in the metadata
  • Add 0.125" (3 mm) bleed to all sides
  • Fonts must be embedded in the PDF files
  • Exclude crop or trim marks from the final interior
  • Margins should be a minimum of 0.5” (13mm) from the final trim size
  • All page numbers should be in logical order, even numbers on the left and odd numbers on the right

For more details, check this out.


We're Proud Of Our Writers! 

PublishDrive writers increased digital book sales by 69%, distributing to thousands of stores worldwide.

PublishDrive writers increased digital book sales by 69%

Try Us Free for 14-Days!


3. How Much It Costs to Print a Book

When you sell your books through a retail channel, you’ll come across book printing costs and book printing services tied to retail margins. Do note that retail prices have a minimum or base price to cover print and distribution fees. Profit margins differ based on the number of pages and color types. 

When ordering personal copies (like sending the book directly to readers), you’d have to manage the shipping and taxation costs. When it comes to print manufacturing costs, you’d have to cover them. When it comes to distribution, that’s usually deducted from your royalty earnings (which varies store by store). 

Here’s an example of print costs:

Selling price: $20

Distribution cost: 50%

Manufacturing cost: $6 (based on the number of pages, colors or black and white, and trim size)

Author’s compensation: = 20 * 50% - $6 = $4


Fun fact: With us, you get better profit margins by keeping 100% royalties.

PublishDrive supports you with print-on-demand products across markets and channels! 

PublishDrive supports you with print-on-demand products across markets and channels

Try it out for Free Today


4. The Best Print-on-Demand Companies

Amazon is an essential marketplace to sell online. As one of the world’s largest online retailers, ‘Books’ is its 5th bestselling category. With over 200 million people visiting Amazon every day, you can see how it captures 50% of PublishDrive’s book sales.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) integrates print-on-demand with its brick and mortar stores in 13 countries. Especially in the United States, print is not going away any time soon. In 2020, the print market saw a 5.5% growth rate as reported by Nielson. “This would be the first time the annual print volume has topped 200 million books sold since 2012...”


Curious as to what stores we get you into? Have a look for yourself!

Amazon logo
Overdrive logo
Audible logo
Google Play logo
Rakuten Kobo logo

Our 400+ International Stores


Ingram is another major POD company to know about. They are a gigantic book distribution company specializing in print, selling in over 39,000 online stores. These stores include Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, and numerous libraries.

PublishDrive gives you access to both Amazon and Ingram. Beyond that, we help you sell in markets like China. That’s literally millions of potential readers. For example, we have giant retailers like JD, who isresponsible for 30% of the Chinese market.

Dangdang is another prominent bookseller in China with 30 million monthly visitors to its e-store. In Q3 of 2020, Dangdang experienced the highest growth rate by 2,700%

In 2020, publishing authors sold 85% more books (print, audio, and ebook) via PublishDrive.

PublishDrive chart showing store growth between Q3 2020 and Q3 2019

We Share all the Global Book Market Insights in Our Free Tearly Report

Just enter your details, and we'll email you our findings.

PublishDrive global book market white paper free download

How To Publish and Promote in No Time

PublishDrive indies save an average of 23+ hours per title per month on distribution, marketing, and administrative tasks. Truly the only platform you need.

Have Multiple Accounts for Multiple Stores?

Our platform syncs your books across various stores and gets them in one place, under one account. 

After you sign up, you won't need to move things around at all! 

Sit back and let us take care of your multiple revenue streams. Receive regular financial reports and get paid on time.

PublishDrive syncs your books across stores and gets them under one account 


Tired of Messy Spreadsheets?


Understand what’s happening with your sales performance to make the best decisions in your business.

See real-time sales, keep tabs on reviews and rankings, and generate reports across book channels and markets.

PublishDrive allows you to do all that with one account!

PublishDrive dashboard to track book sales and marketing performance

Need Help Marketing Your Book?


Use our promotional tools to getting featured in stores, to optimize your Amazon ads, and much more.

Just set your budget, choose your stores and let our software do the rest!

Plus, we don’t take any commission (unlike other companies). That means you keep 100% of the royalties you make.

PublishDrive book promotion options


How Does Book Distribution Work?


Publish wide and earn, it's really that simple!

Upload your book file(s) to PublishDrive.

1. Set up your metatdata

2. Switch on the stores you’d like to sell to

3. Submit your bookfor a quick review.

Once approved, we immediately send your book to bookstores.

Author monthly royalty earning with PublishDrive


The Coolest Part?

For as low as $9.99 a month, publish your ebooks, audiobooks or print-on-demand catalog to thousands global of stores.

PublishDrive globe logo

Try Us Out for Free Today

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