Once upon a time when the only option to traditional publishing was Vanity Press, printing your own run of books was very costly…and risky. These day, however, a POD (Publish On Demand) indie author’s capital expenditures are relatively very small. Basically, you only pay for those books you send to yourself for promotions, reviews, book signings, and direct sales out of the trunk of your car. Even though you are allegedly getting them at “cost,” your POD provider most certainly is still making a profit on the transaction. It’s a win-win.

Unfortunately, there may come a time (especially if you experience a modest amount of success) when getting books from your provider becomes limiting. Getting them at “cost” still cuts deeply into your profits, especially when you include shipping and handling. Also, your POD provider may have a limit on how many can be sent to you at any given time. You run into the situation of sweating it every time a book signing or convention looms, not sure if you will have enough books on hand for the event. That is the moment it would be handy to have several boxes in the garage. That is the moment you may decided to print in bulk.

Printing in bulk reduces your per unit cost significantly and ensures a ready supply for when that radio station or A&E newspaper requests a copy for review. It gives you peace of mind.

There are many, many printers out there who would be happy to accommodate you. You can either research them one by one on the web, ask for quotes, or you can use a service like that provided by Printellectual.com of The Jenkins Group (though there are others out there). They submit your information to participating printers, you receive quotes from many of them, and you pick the best deal that suits you. I ended up using Total Printing Solutions and had a pain free experience. I knocked off $2.50 per book, saving me a huge sum of money I otherwise would have spent over the course of the year by ordering 10 books here or 20 books there from my POD provider.

You may be doing just fine with zero or next to zero printing costs from your POD provider. Your book may be selling fantastically with on-line orders. But for those of us who need to get the word out through book signings, reviews, conventions and other real-world events that require hard copies on hand, you may consider ordering in bulk from a printer.