Best POD Services For Self-Publishers (Update!)

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With recent technological innovations, self-publishing has never been easier than today.

You can have professionals write your book without wasting time doing it and find the publisher for your needs simply online, comparing different websites.

There are currently many Print On Demand services that do this for you. 

Here are the best book Print On Demand providers we would recommend to choose from:

  • Lulu
  • Lightning Source
  • CreateSpace
  • Blurb

By filling a simple request format online and providing further technical information, within a few weeks your book will be just delivered at home. Simple and immediate.

Terms & Conditions

Make sure you do the right researches before relying on one of these providers.

Moreover, there are a few things to consider before publishing a book.

For non-American citizens, be aware of the tax withholding requirements of the provider and the tax regimes of your country, to define exactly your margin rates.

Furthermore, every published book is associated with an international ID code called ISBN, which is unique. If you want to make some changes you have to register another ISBN code, incurring further expenses.

So, before publishing, check carefully that your book is flawless, as you won’t run into unpleasant and costly troubles. 

Be careful even to those no-frills publishers which may charge you optional services, like cover art, editing, and ISBNs. 


Lulu is a company founded in 2002, specialized in all kinds of books and novels.

Their platform is user-friendly and provides many customization options, from the choice of paper to cover designs and illustrations.

With Lulu, you can also take advantage of their many distribution channels, and have access to a larger customer base, like the Amazon one.

However, they can charge you extra fees for this service, so you may use their channels to build a loyal customer base and then move to a cheaper provider, for the most cost-effective solution.

Lightning Source

Lightning Source is one of the older providers in the group, being founded in 1996.

The company boasts over 30,000 customers, including authors and libraries, and a production at the limits of efficiency that makes you print and ship in less than 48 hours.

Their website shows you transparently all costs and margins related to your book. On average, a 100-page text costs around $10, plus further options paid apart (as text color and cover).

The cover, in particular, can’t be designed by Lightning Source. Therefore, you have to pay a professional to do that, so be aware of this.

However, it’s a good choice, both for novice and expert authors, as it provides great customization options and reliable fulfillment service.


CreateSpace is a company founded in 2000 and bought by Amazon 5 years later.

Therefore, it’s fully integrated with Amazon, and lets you sell easily through their channels. 

CreateSpace makes you customize covers and book layouts to your liking, although, unlike Blurb, you can’t print physical books with a hardcover.

When you sell through Amazon, it will retain a commission for the service. The remained percentage will be your earnings.

You don’t have to pay additional costs to advertise your book as you can exploit the Amazon marketplace to the fullest, with its billions of users every day.


Blurb is a self-publishing service, based in San Francisco, that makes you create illustrated projects with eye-catching graphics, like magazines and photo albums (the flagship products).

Blurb provides the best cover type for your book, or if you want an on-cloud solution, the best e-book templates.

Depending on the chosen features, Blurb will charge you a corresponding fee. On this, you can apply your margin at absolute discretion. 

If you create a book through Blurb, you can sell it through the Amazon marketplace for free. 

This is a great advantage to take into consideration.

Let’s Sum Up!

Being a writer is certainly not easy today.

But what is sure, at the same time, is that there are many solutions to publish your book independently.

It’s everyone’s dream to replicate the success of great authors. These new technologies give the illusion to write easily and for cheap a book.

If you are a beginner perhaps self-publishing is not for you, even if there were successful cases either.

As with everything, there is no exact formula: it’s all upon you, your skills, and your mental approach. 

If you’re a passionate writer, no obstacle will prevent you from writing your dream book.

Are you ready to do it?

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BONUS – What Is Self Publishing?

Self-publishing is a process in which authors are at the same time editors of themselves. 

They take care of all the publishing process, which covers printing, editing, text formatting, and cover design, as well as promotional activities. 

There is no third-party intermediation, and the author is directly involved in each issue in the first person.

Whatever will be your book type, self-publishing provides, all in all, absolute freedom and higher-earning returns. 

Here are the main advantages of this method:

1. Full Control

With self-publishing, you can control your destiny, as you’re the author, the editor, and the main promoter of your book. 

Nobody else can influence your decisions like usually happens in the traditional publishing industry.

Independence is a value and it’s a price you want to pay if you feel competent in what you do and what you wrote.

2. Higher Margins

Typically, traditional publishing gives you from 7 to 25% of royalty fees. Self-publishing, instead, around 70%

Imagine the incredible boost in profits you could make if you decide to become an independent author. 

3. Quick Fulfillment

With self-publishing, the period that separates the ending of the book and its publication is less than a week. There’s no third-party editor who reviews the contents and delays the process.

When you’re ready to print, go, and print your book. 

4. Branding

If you’re the editor and the promoter of yourself, it will be much easier to create a fan base and collect an email list. It’s way more personal than passing through traditional systems that you don’t control and don’t know basically how they work. 

Many authors became successful with self-publishing because they were capable to establish a durable connection with their audience through social media marketing.

On the other hand, it’s important to be aware even of its disadvantages of self-publishing. 

1. Lower Resonance

As you won’t benefit from the influence of a major publisher, the resonance of your book will be way less.

We can’t ignore the adding value these big publishers brought to many authors, which books became bestsellers even because of them. 

Being published by these editors is definitely a boost to your book. This is not possible with self-publishing unless you already own a publishing company.

2. Higher Expenses

 All the expenses related to editing, printing, and marketing are upon you, as it normally happens for traditional publishing. 

So you need to have much money left to sustain the fulfillment and the promotion. 

3. Limited Support

This could be a big problem, as you won’t have any support from others, being the main actor in the process. 

You should be an expert on any matters related to editing, publishing, and promoting your book. 

Traditional publishers usually provide all the support you need, at a cost, of course.

4. Harder Distribution

With self-publishing, you won’t find easily a bookstore for your books. 

Traditional publishers have their network of bookstores that guarantee you the exposure you need. 

You may struggle a lot if you will rely just on yourself, without seeking the help of external publishers.

Print On Demand World Staff

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