Cost of Print-on-Demand: Understanding the Costs and Benefits

Everyone is talking about the cost of print-on-demand (POD) lately. But what is it, and why should you care?

In a nutshell, POD is a printing technology that allows you to print small quantities of books without having to order large quantities upfront. It makes it an excellent option for self-publishers who want to avoid the high costs associated with traditional publishing.

However, there are some downsides to POD that you should be aware of before you make the switch. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the actual cost of print-on-demand and help you decide if it’s right for you.

What Is Print-on-Demand?

Cost of Print-on-Demand

Print-on-demand is a digital technology that allows you to print books in small quantities. It means you don’t have to order large quantities of books upfront, saving you a lot of money.

POD also offers several other benefits, such as:

No Minimum Order Requirements

You can print as few or as many books as possible, making POD an excellent option for self-publishers. You can print as few or as many books as you need, making POD a superb choice for self-publishers.

No Setup Fees

Traditional printing methods require costly setup fees, but POD does not. It makes POD an affordable printing option for self-publishers.

No Inventory Risk

With POD, you only print the books you need when you need them. It eliminates the risk of having unsold inventory, which can be a substantial financial burden for self-publishers.

What Are the Costs of Print-on-Demand?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of POD, let’s look at the costs. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when calculating the cost of POD:

1 – Printing costs

The printing cost is the most significant factor when calculating the POD cost. The cost of printing a book will vary depending on the printer you use, the type of paper, the number of pages, and the quantity you print.

2 – Shipping costs

Shipping costs will also vary depending on the printer you use and the shipping destination. Most POD printers have standard shipping rates, so check with your printer before printing.

3 – Proofreading and editing costs

If you plan to hire a professional proofreader or editor, you must factor those costs into your POD budget.

4 – Book cover design costs

If you plan to hire a professional book cover designer, you must factor that cost into your POD budget.

5 – Marketing costs

Marketing your book is essential for its success but can also be costly. You’ll need to factor in the cost of advertising, hiring a publicist, and other marketing expenses when calculating the cost of POD.

How Much Will It Cost To Start a Print-on-Demand Business?

Cost of Print-on-Demand

There are two approaches you can take once creating a POD store. The first approach is to use a third-party marketplace.

The most significant advantage is that you don’t need any money to get started this way. You can open a store and begin making money without investing anything. It is the available route.

There are several online marketplaces where you can do this. On this are four we strongly recommend.

  • Merch by Amazon
  • Etsy
  • Society6
  • Redbubble

If you don’t have any money to invest, this approach is an excellent way to get started. And once you start making sales, you can reinvest your profits into your company and eventually build your store.

The second approach is to create a POD shop on your website. Although this approach will cost you money, it has numerous benefits over the free method.

Following are just a few of the perks:

  • You have complete control over the customer journey.
  • Decide on how to promote your products.
  • You are not required to follow any rules or regulations.
  • You are not in competition with other sellers.

We advise Shopify to create your shop. With no previous experience, it’s the simplest and fastest way to create a professional-looking online store.

Shopify provides three different plans. A basic plan ($29/month), a basic package ($79/month), also an advanced program ($299/month) are available. As a newbie, a $29 monthly plan will be sufficient to get you started and provide you with all you need.

How Much Does It Cost To Create Print-on-Demand Designs?

Many people are curious about the cost of creating print-on-demand designs. The answer to this question depends on the type of design you need and the designer you hire.

The cost of a simple, one-color design will be much lower than the cost of an intricate, multi-color design. And the price of a design from a novice designer will be lower than the cost of a plan from a seasoned professional.

We recommend getting quotes from several designers to get an idea of how much it will cost to create the type of design you need. Once you know the going rate, you can start budgeting for your project.

You also have two alternatives. You can either create your designs or hire a graphic designer to do so for you. Consider the first option.

Developing Your Designs

The most significant advantage of creating your designs is that you do not need to spend any money. You can turn your creativity into a profitable method.

And by “creativity,” we don’t mean coming up with a completely new design. Why? Because effective sellers have already completed the task.

They’ve figured out which designs sell and which don’t. Your responsibility is to capitalize on this by enhancing an already existing layout.

Hire a Graphic Designer

The option is to hire a graphic designer. We understand that not everyone is a talented artist, and some would prefer to leave the design work to the professionals.

If you decide to take this route, we recommend using one of these two services:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork

Both platforms have an extensive pool of designers, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs and budget.

The average cost of a design on Fiverr is $5. And on Upwork, the average hourly rate for a graphic designer is $21.

The Botton Line

There’s no right or wrong answer regarding how much you should spend on your print-on-demand designs. The key is to find a balance that works for you and your business.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider creating your designs or hiring a novice designer from Fiverr or Upwork. But if you have a little more money, we recommend investing in a professional designer.