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What's the difference between POD & Print Run?

Let’s talk all things printing today! In the publishing world, there are two common types of printing you may have heard about.

“POD (Print on Demand)” and “Print Run”

"Print on Demand" and "Print Run" are both terms associated with printing and publishing, but they refer to different approaches and processes. Here's the difference between the two:

Print on Demand (POD):

  • Print on Demand is a modern printing method that allows for the production of individual copies of a book, document, or other printed materials as they are ordered, rather than printing a large batch all at once. In POD, digital printing technology is often used to produce small quantities, even just one copy, of a publication. This approach eliminates the need for large upfront print runs and excess inventory storage.

Advantages of POD include:

  • Cost: With POD, there's no need to invest in a large quantity of copies upfront, reducing the risk of unsold inventory and associated costs.

  • Flexibility: Books or materials can be printed in response to real-time demand, allowing for quicker updates or changes.

  • Low Barrier to Entry: Authors and small publishers can easily get their works printed without the need for significant capital investment.

Disadvantages of POD include:

  • Higher Cost per Unit: Printing individual copies can be more expensive per unit compared to large print runs.

  • Limited Customization: Customization options (paper quality, cover type, etc.) might be more limited compared to traditional printing.

Print Run:

  • A print run refers to the process of printing a predetermined quantity of copies of a book, magazine, brochure, or any other printed material all at once. This traditional approach involves using offset printing presses, which can be more cost-effective for large quantities due to economies of scale. The printed copies are then stored and distributed as needed.

Advantages of a print run include:

  • Economies of Scale: Printing a large quantity at once can lead to lower cost per unit.

  • High Quality: Offset printing is often associated with higher print quality compared to digital printing, especially for color accuracy and intricate designs.

Disadvantages of a print run include:

  • High Initial Investment: The cost of setting up and running offset printing presses can be significant, making it less accessible for individuals or small publishers.

  • Inventory Management: There's a risk of producing more copies than are actually sold, leading to storage costs and potential waste.

In summary, the main difference between Print on Demand and a Print Run lies in the production approach. Print on Demand focuses on producing copies as they are ordered, reducing upfront costs and inventory, while a Print Run involves printing a larger batch all at once, which can be more cost effective for larger quantities but comes with the challenge of managing inventory and potential waste.

Meraki currently offers Printing on Demand. Because we work with first-time authors looking to ease their books onto the market with lower costs and a lower barrier to entry, we favor this approach! Maybe in the future, as we expand, we will offer both options.

What questions do you have about Print Runs or Printing on Demand? Do you have any experience with either?

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