There are two innovative ways for self-publishes author to print a book: the POD or print-on demand, also called short run book printing; and there is traditional publishing, which prints books in bulk.
POD, or short run printing, allows you to print only the amount of books you want or need. You can publisher your book based on consumer demands, or on what you expect to be able to use and sell. Printing in bulk means that publishers will print books based on the given quantity they require to print in order to make money.
Short run books are more expensive per book. But cost less overall than published on printing in bulk because you can print anywhere from 11-5000. However, even though bulk books cost less per book, you end up owning more than 5000 books all at once. This means that the actual book printing costs more upfront and you may have storage issues.
Additionally, often publishers will not give royalties on printed books until those books are sold. With short run printing, as a new writer you can print what you need without a large upfront cost and without the hassle of storage.
Authors who choose to self-publish can use these short run books as advanced copies, as copies for reviewers, or for book fairs and signings. As sales or demand increase, they can return to the publisher for more books as needed, never printing more than they can handle or sell.
For more information on short run book printing, contact The Country Press.