This is for those planning to self publish

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Post by Guest »

In the midst of a thread where the quality of Amazon Print on Demand (KDP) came up. This is for those planning to self publish. The quality of their books is very different to that of a printers - but of course it is FREE.

Their paper is lower grade (thinner) and the colours less bright. As pointed out this could be construed as quibbling as they pay better royalties than trad publishers, and are certainly more cost effective than hybrid publishers (just don't even go there!!) The quality may be lass important for novels but if you happen to be writing a children's book with beautiful bold colour images, then yes, it will matter - a lot!!

This is not me saying don't self publish, it is me simply pointing out a weak spot. I know a few self published children's authors and they have all done short runs to sell themselves as well as via Amazon and every one is appalled at the difference in quality.

Post by Brent »

I haven’t minded the print quality of my adult SF novel on KDP. One thing that was weird about my first batch (which came from a different country than my subsequent batches) was that the paper had no smell. I’ve been smelling books my whole life, and I love all the variations in book smells. I think this was the first time I ever sniffed a book and it just smelled like absolutely nothing at all. It was pretty disconcerting! :lol:

Post by Gary »

Just now beginning to look into the idea of publishing on Amazon and various places and self-publishing. There's something I do not understand. You said that this Amazon publishing KDP is free as far as the paper for printed books? That sounds very strange in what sense and what into what extent is the publication free? Could you explain this to me or link me to some place where I could read up on it? Thank you

Post by Jan »

I’ve been happy with the quality of KDP printing. It might be the difference between print on demand, which works like a color copier, and a regular printing press, which requires four separate runs for color. I’m not sure.

But as I said above, I’ve always been happy with it. I don’t publish lavish photo books, though, so my demands are not exceptional.

Post by Jan »

The one weakness that I've discovered with having my paperbacks printed by Amazon is to do with the covers - and timing. When I had them produced by a printing house I was advised that the books need to remain in the box for at least a few weeks so that the covers dry out properly. POD books are of course sent out very quickly and look good to start with, but very soon the covers start to lift and curl. It's a shame - but not major.

Post by Joseph »

My experience with printing using Amazon and Ingram Spark is that there is not much difference, and no one has ever complained about the quality of my books, or declined an in-person sale because of quality, and most of my print sales have been at Comic Cons and Horror conventions.

In KDP, you can set up your book for free and buy a proof and have it shipped for less than $10. If you have doubts, get a proof. I have had both paperbacks and case laminate hardcovers printed in Amazon and Ingram Spark. I had hardcovers with dust jackets done in Ingram Spark, as well, which Amazon does not do.

That said, if you self publish, you are responsible for the quality of the book and cover design. The actual printing differences, in my opinion, are not significant enough to make a decision against self-publishing. And, if you really want to, you can have a printer produce your self-published books, which I also did with my comic books and graphic novel. The first printer of my comic book, the printing was so bad, I had to send the whole run back. That was after getting a preliminary run of 25 that were fine. So, you can get lousy books from printers outside of Amazon.

Color printing in Amazon was too expensive for doing my comic books. So, if you are printing in color, you may want to look elsewhere. If you do print your own books, you will need to store them and ship them. You can do this through Amazon, but you have to pay for their warehouse servicing.

I don’t want to argue about the quality of books. But, if somebody selling traditional publishing services tells you the books are far superior, check out the differences in costs and the quality for yourself.

I personally don’t have a choice to publish traditionally, because they are not interested in what I write. I want the full control of my products and don’t trust people who may have a contrary agenda to control my intellectual property. If you are making a fully informed decision, I would say that the quality of print-on-demand books from Amazon, unless you a very particular, should not be a factor.

I reiterate, however, if you self-publish, you have to come up with a professionally designed book cover and book design. That activity is much more involved than most people think. There are many free resources on the internet on how to do it yourself, and many professional designers you can hire. The printer is going to print what you give them to print. The biggest place where self-publishers suffer issues with quality is in what they provide to the printer, not in what the printer produces. And, I personally have not had issues with Amazon, and did have trouble with another printer.

Last bumped by Anonymous on Sun Sep 11, 2022 5:20 pm.
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