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Should You Choose Offset Printing?



So, you've got your children’s book ready for printing. Now, how do you go about it? You might have heard there are two main options: print on demand or offset printing.

Understanding the best choice for you is crucial because you need to consider factors like cost and inventory management.

 

Print on Demand vs Offset Printing

 

With print on demand, your books are printed as they are ordered, which reduces upfront costs and the need for storage space. However, the cost per unit is higher, and you have less control over the printing quality and paper choices.

 

On the other hand, offset printing involves printing in bulk, which lowers the cost per unit. You have more control over the printing process and can choose from a wider range of paper options. However, you need to store the printed books, which can be costly and requires space.

 

In this week’s issue, we’ll focus on offset printing.

 

Here is how it works:

 

Step 1: Finding a Printer

 

Choosing the right printer is crucial. If you end up with a bad printer, it could lead to a pile of unsellable books.


For example, I recently heard a story in a Facebook group where someone received their books in terrible condition and, to make matters worse, the printer was allegedly blackmailing her for a positive review.

 

When selecting a printer, look for ones that specialize in offset printing for books. Obtain quotes from multiple printers to compare costs and services. Avoid automatically choosing the cheapest option, as it could result in poor quality and mishandling of your books. Pay careful attention to their reviews.

 

Once you have a list of potential printers, request sample prints to assess print quality and paper options.

 

Step 2: Printing and Shipping

 

Once you're satisfied with the samples and have chosen a printer, place your order.


Be clear about the number of copies, paper quality, binding type, and other specifications.

 

Decide where you will store the printed books. You can either store them at your home, a storage facility, or consider fulfillment services.

 

Step 3: Selling on Amazon

 

When selling on Amazon, you have two options:

 

Option 1: Selling through Amazon Advantage

 

This option allows you to sell books directly to Amazon. You list your products, and Amazon purchases them from you at a wholesale price.

 

Option 2: Selling through an Amazon Seller account

 

With an Amazon Seller account, you can sell books (or any other products) directly to customers on Amazon.


You'll need to choose between the Individual Plan (pay-per-sale) or the Professional Plan (monthly subscription) based on your selling needs.

 

Next, you'll need to consider how your books will be delivered to customers (or what’s called fulfillment).

 

You have two options for fulfillment:

 

Fulfillment Option 1: Third-Party Fulfillment Service (FBM)

 

Here, you use a third-party service for storage, packaging, and shipping, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.


While convenient, it comes at a cost, with fees higher than DIY. You'll have less control over book handling and need clear communication with the provider.

 

Fulfillment Option 2: Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)

 

Amazon handles storage, packaging, and shipping, making your books eligible for Amazon Prime. This offers increased visibility and access to international markets.


However, FBA fees can be high, and you'll have limited control over how your books are managed once they are in Amazon's centers.

 

Step 4: Monitoring Sales and Managing Inventory

 

In this step, it's crucial to regularly check your Amazon Seller account to monitor sales and review customer feedback.


Keeping an eye on your inventory levels is also essential; reorder prints in advance to avoid running out of stock.


Utilize Amazon’s reporting tools to analyze your sales data, which will help you make informed decisions regarding pricing, marketing strategies, and inventory management.

 

With these steps completed, your book is now live for sale!

 

I guess that’s it for today. See you next week!

 

Cheers,

Alex.

 

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