Last week the self-publishing community was abuzz with breaking news: Ingram Content Group announced a new, significantly cheaper Print-On-Demand service.
This new option reduces the cost of printing a full-color graphic novel by more than 60%.
They named this new service ‘Standard Color Printing’ as opposed to their already offered ‘Premium Color Printing.’ Ingram will continue to facilitate their POD services through their subsidiary, Lightning Source.
About a year ago, I wrote a Paper Wings article on picking the right Print-On-Demand Publisher for you. Among the choices I reviewed was Lightning Source. I wrote:
Is Lightning Source right for me? If the exposure and availability that listing on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Nobel appeals to you, and if you have a significant international readership, then YES! Lightning Source is for you. The profit shares aren’t as high but that might be offset if your book gets into the hands of more people.
But this new option is a game changer. You can find a side by side comparison of the difference between Standard and Premium here.
Let me break it down:
- Choosing Standard offers more print size options.
- Saddle-stitch printing is not available in Standard (traditional ‘floppy’ comic books).
- The only paper stock choice is 50# instead of 70#.
My opinion is that more sizes is a good thing and the difference between 50# paper stock and #70 is negligible.
Of course, the biggest deal is pricing. In my previous post I reviewed a hypothetical book, ordering 100 copies of a full color, 132 page 6″ X 9″ books. We found that with Lightning Sources’s Premium Printing, this would cost you $9 a book, not counting set-up fees, shipping or purchasing an ISBN number. This estimate also didn’t count any discounts for ordering books in larger quantities, which starts at 50 books.
But with the new Standard service, that the same book is now only $4.20.
That is less than half the price.
It’s understandable that this has created a lot of excitement in the self-publishing community. The only thing we don’t know for sure is how this new Standard service actually looks. Different paper stock produces different results, and because this has just been announced, no one outside of Lightning Source has actually seen the side-by-side comparison.
I would personally like to see samples before committing, but the new pricing makes this a very tempting option. It certainly makes now, more than ever, an exciting time to pursue self-publishing.
Alan Evans is the creator of the #1 wrestling webcomic Rival Angels, and has been self-publishing for five years.