How to Find Reliable Publishers for Your Print On Demand Business?

After two years of pandemic stress and virtual social life, reading has become an escape to another reality as well as a "social vaccination" from all restrictions. Thus, about 35% of people worldwide have read more books than usual, which has become a new starting point for entrepreneurs in raising conversions, sellings, and also beginning new partnerships. 

The coronavirus outbreak saw a surge in sales for eCommerce stores, with about 1.51 billion visits of users searching for new products. Interestingly, the printed versions generate more income than their electronic versions - the total profit in 2019 made up $14.8 billion, of which hardback and paperback accounted for 37.5% and 32.6%, respectively. 

Knowing the freshest statistics, you can navigate the market better because trendy new books affect demand and increase sales. POD is the most economical model for publishing:as the products don’t linger on warehouse shelves, you won’t lose profit by printing more copies.On the contrary, you’ll receive even more royalties!

The Multi-Programming Solutions editorial office figured out how to find the best publisher for literature on demand.

Table of contents

Who are publishers?

Publishing companies vs. self publishers

Publishers and POD business

Finding a reliable publisher: Reviews, rating

Free self publishing: Poetry and fiction.


When people think about publishing, they usually imagine a person studying the manuscript and writing marginal notes for the author. That's partly true but the process of getting a finished book usually takes most of the year and includes behind-the-scenes work of dozens of experts, from print technologists to marketers, who are equally crucial to the book’s success. “Publishing is a team effort,” says Joel Richardson, Michael Joseph’s publisher. If the book didn’t get a great cover, it might never finds its readers, but that’s only half the battle. Therefore, the term publisher mainly describes a company or individual that publishes one or more types of content. Sometimes it means an affiliate marketer. 

Here's a quick overview of the publisher types and what you can expect while contracting them. 

Electronic publishing 

There are no standard conventions for ebook publishing, where digital versions of authored books are distributed through proprietary ereader designs, like POD Amazon Kindle, Sony, etc. Electronic publications are currently protected by copyright. 

Mass-market publishers 

Similar contracts are concluded here, as in the first type, but copyright can be assigned to the publisher or provided for joint ownership. Most of these books are stored in bookstores and receive reviews in mass media. 

Book packagers 

Their job is to find concepts and ideas sold to mainstream markets, where writers and illustrators refine them. Contracts range from an advance offer to royalties and flat fees. Multiple parties can share copyright ownership.

Small presses 

Some publishers create small quantities of literature for young readers and often contract upfront with a flat fee or pay royalties. Books are reviewed by the media and distributed through the mailing list.

Educational publishers 

Such print on demand publishers create all kinds of materials intended for use by educational institutions. Contracts may include an advance payment against a fee or a flat fee. Distribution of products is carried out through teachers.

Subsidy publishers

Often known as vanity publishers, subsidy publishers create a book if the author pays for all or part of the print run cost (prices range from $1,000 to $18,000). The fee makes up 3-40% of each copy sold. Here, the volume of marketing isn’t as good as that of traditional publishers, and the media rarely reviews such books.

We'll talk more about print on demand self publishing companies and traditional trade publishers in more detail below.  

Self publishing 

Print on demand self publishing is free for distribution and is produced to share a personal experience with those close to you. The author controls the entire production process of such literature. Moreover, it’s occasionally reviewed by the media. Therefore, customers most often choose the local print service.


  • full ownership of rights and royalties;
  • fast time to market;
  • control over production and distribution;
  • possibility to create niche literature;
  • high-profit potential.


  • the book should be good in all aspects;
  • a long time to learn the entire printing process;
  • if you decide to work with experts, note that the cost of print on demand publishing will be considerable.

Traditional trade publishers 

These publishers acquire, edit, produce, and publish books. The sale is made by wholesalers to bookstores, libraries, and schools, as well as specialized media (Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly). Of course, that’s not print on demand no fee publishers: they contract with the author offering an advance against the fee. At the same time, the authors own the copyright, and their names are highlighted in the book.


  • a cash advance;
  • high potential for peer review;
  • expert teamwork;
  • verification and control of distribution;
  • increased chances of being placed in bookstores.


  • hard to make a deal;
  • literature is slowly entering the market;
  • no copyright reserved;
  • no way to manage the content of the work.

Evaluate the pros and cons of such publications, considering your chances of getting a contract with traditional publishers. It’s worth choosing self publishing in 97% of cases since only 1% of authors can hit the jackpot.

The main benefit of print on demand publishing is that there are no limitations: no set minimum runs, no prices, no editors who decide how viable a product is. You follow your own rules. When choosing publishers, it’s essential to understand in what genres they specialize. Among below listed print on demand services for publishers and authors you can find the most reliable ones:

This list of print on demand publishers has a good reputation for producing quality products. 

The Watchdog Desk at the Alliance of Independent Authors monitors the rating of print on demand publishers. Alerts and reviews of print on demand publishers will help you decide on the choice of a partner and correctly assess the level of their services. Still, live communication with them can also reveal the shortcomings of future cooperation. For example, if your partner doesn’t keep you informed of all stages of work or respond to inquiries, it’s worth contacting lawyers. Please, note that thoroughness of print on demand publishers' reviews analysis depends on several factors, such as contract terms and customer satisfaction.

Therefore, pay attention to whether the selected company is subject to lawsuits or criminal investigations. When signing a contract with an online print on demand publisher, analyze the “vague language” so that later your rights are not grabbed. The Multi-Programming Solutions team advises you to consider the rating of companies with which you’d cooperate. 

publishers pod

There’s an entirely free option for independent writers to gain publicity: use highly specialized online services such as All Poetry. Poets also have a variant of the chapbook - a small collection of poems up to 40 pages in size and 8.5 x 11 inches. It's not worth the sources of most print on demand poetry publishers who only work with significant figures. Therefore, the best way out is to find a local contractor. The average cost of making a chapbook is between $2 and $4, and the market value is $5-7. We recommend charging $8-10 for a targeted audience. That way, your printing costs can be covered. 

Print on demand magazine publishing works on the same principle. Such literature is often used as corporate literature.

Back when the new-fangled Kindle was flying off the cyber shelves and Amazon had no imprints of its own, indie authors were Amazon's darlings. Today, self publishing means starting a business. You can't just cross your fingers; pray for a rave review in The New York Times. Prospered self publishers are the ones who provide a lot of inventory, cater to an existing market, and know how to utilize Facebook and other social media to reach their audience effectively.

Working with the right team to publish books is also critical. Are you thinking of adding bestsellers to your assortment? If so, you need to be sure that your publisher will print them accurately. This article discussed how to find reliable publishers, save copyrights for a book, and launch a successful book selling business.

October 7, 2021
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