Self-Publishing – Print on Demand Setup


For Print on Demand setup both Amazon and Ingram require you to register as a publisher, unless you are taking advantage of one of their suitable self-publishing services. They can take care of pretty much everything for you, but if you take the option you will not have as much control. It will also cost you more, and as I said in a previous article you’re kinda taking the ‘self’ out of self-publishing! So, here is what you’re going to need to do for Print on Demand.

Print on Demand Setup – Amazon CreateSpace

Amazon offer a number of services for editing, layout, cover design, Kindle conversion and marketing. Personally, I prefer engaging various specialists myself, such as NoBabble as mentioned. Allowing Amazon to do everything is another option.

You will need the following information to set up for printing via CreateSpace:

  • Title
  • Author Name
  • Language
  • ISBN Number
  • Your print-ready book PDF
  • Size of book (dimensions and page count)
  • Cover image and finish choice

You are then required to approve and accept a digital proof. Be aware that during the process of accepting the digital proof you will be prompted if any text extends beyond the printable area. You will need to correct this or risk cutting off text. Also if any images included in the print are of insufficient quality (all images must be 300dpi minimum). Once you have approved your digital proof, your book is ready to list via the various distribution channels and prepare for sale.

I would heartily recommend ordering a copy for direct delivery first, just to check the quality of the print and to ensure everything is as it should be. My first CreateSpace book looked great in digital proof, but the physical copy saw every bullet point replaced with a ‘[?]’ akin to an html image load failure. Not ideal, and easily remedied with a different bullet. It would have made for a poor experience for the reader had I not checked a physical book. So please check a physical copy. This is your reputation as an author we’re talking about here.

Print on Demand Setup – Ingram

Ingram’s requirements are broadly similar to Amazon’s so I won’t duplicate the above, but there is one key point to note. Their rendering of a digital file can differ from CreateSpace’s. Please do not simply upload the same PDF to Ingram as you’ve just approved with CreateSpace and assume everything will be fine. Make sure to check the digital proof carefully as well as reviewing a physical copy before approving the final version.

Next Up: Self-Publishing – Distribution

In Conclusion

Setting up for Print on Demand is pretty simple, but it is vital you proof your digital copy carefully. It is also highly recommended that you review a printed text before setting up for sale. We have an opinion based on experience but ‘your mileage may vary’, as they say. Let us know how you get on – leave a comment or head for Facebook and Twitter if you prefer, as well as our other social media networks from the links in the menu above. Check back on the self-publishing section to get more insights!