Print On Demand (POD) and bulk printing: Considerations regarding cost
Creatures in the Kitchen is "print-on-demand". When you order one copy, one is then printed and sent. Creatures and Creatures Journey Through Life were both printed in bulk by standard print presses. Bulk printing (typically in multiples of a thousand) is less expensive especially when you increase the size of any single print run. With that lower cost, you can consider involving Distributors and Book Stores for wholesale and retail sales.
Printing a single book at a time (like POD) increases the cost per book by a minimum of 200%. To keep the cost of POD down, it is often not made available to Distributors or Bookstores (who would add 40 to 55% to the cost of the book). Instead, POD books are often made available only by the service which provides the POD.
POD typically offers fewer printing and bindings options. Creatures in the Kitchen was offered by the printer in a minimum number of trim sizes, binder board thickness, binding and paper color & weight options. For example, Creatures in the Kitchen uses glued binding while the other two books come with sewn binding, in addition to other options like heavier binder board cover, foil cover imprint and special coating for the hard cover.
The POD company establishes a Manufacturing Cost (basically what it costs them to print one book). To that price, the company adds their profit percentage (perhaps 20%). Then you add TWPublishing's advertising/mailing and overhead costs (15% is low). No Distributor or Book Store pricing is added. In the end, after you sell a few thousand books, you make a few dollars per book. As, usual, shipping and handling are extra.
Particular care was given to the construction of the book Creatures. Given the unbridled enthusiasm of children, a number of details received our attention to address both durability and asthetics. This page elaborates on one of the other web pages which gives a brief description of Creatures.
For the hardcase cover, we used 128 pt. binders board, instead of the more common 88 pt. or 98 pt.. Text pages use 100 lb. Matte stock and are printed in 4 color process. The cover is 80 lb. C1S Litho, printed in 4 color process with Gloss Lamination. Endsheets are 80 lb. material reinforced using concealed cotton drill. The book is Singer Side Sewn. The headbands increase durability, add a touch of color and are generally a pleasant, subtle detail.
The gold foil design and lettering on the cover and spine were just too nice to pass up. The cover and the beginning of each chapter are original art work done in oil. The originals are 16" x 20", as are the accompanying color wash pen and ink drawings. Chapter initials are originals based on, and in the style of, ornamental alphabets and initials, primarily from the 8th through 15th centuries. The original, historical works provided exquisite ornamentation, originally reproduced by rubricators in incunabula over the centuries, using styles developed by the Romans, monastic scribes and later, in the gothic tradition.
The original 30 second CREATURES t.v. video was over 56Mb compressed. The full version at lower quality video and audio resulted in an 4.9Mb file. This and other audio/video files are available on our multimedia page.
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