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5 Tips for Using an On Demand Printing Service

If you’re an author seeking to print your own book or a business looking for one to print your own product literature, then it’s well worth looking for an online on-demand printer. These services include printing product literature, calendars, books and brochures. You are provided with many automated tools to upload, publish and manage your project on an administration interface.

Since the whole business of printing your own written material can be complex, the following 5 tips will help you to publish your stuff.

1: Research your readership.

The first step to printing is actually writing; and if you’re going to spend time writing, you should start by researching—because there’s nothing more disconcerting (and distressing) than to write a book or produce a white paper that no one finds interesting.

You can prevent this worst case scenario from ever happening by finding out what people want to read before you write a single word.

So, before thinking about publishing using print media, do some research. Ask your intended audience about what they would like to read. You can do this informally, easily, and without spending a cent by using social media. In fact, you’ll probably get more genuine responses from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter than by hiring a survey company to do the work for you.

2. Check out the support system.

Before choosing a printing service, check out their support system. Usually, you will find customer service contact information under the Contact Us tab on the navigation bar. Test the customer support by using the telephone number, the e-mail system, or the live help instant messenger system. Ask a general question and see the response that you get. If the support quality is poor, look for another service.

Poor quality can be measured in two ways. One, it takes a long time for anyone to call or email you back. Two, the customer service representative is either not courteous or not fully aware of how to help you. If you get poor support, consider it a warning sign. Often a company simply outsources its customer service work to large call centres and the representative does not work directly for the company and does not know how to solve printing problems.

Here’s why this is important: if you’re in the middle of your printing project and get stuck due to a technical glitch or because you’re not sure how to use the service, then you have no one to help you out.

3. Read the FAQ page of the website.

Once you’ve decided on your best online print service, familiarise yourself with the FAQ page. This, after all, is where you will find the best answers to common problems users face. It is also where you will find out if you want to go ahead with print publishing.

4. Take advantage of the trial offer.

Assuming that the customer service is excellent and that you feel confident about your ability to do a print project, then sign up for a trial offer to get a good feel for how all the bells and whistles on the user’s administration interface is user-friendly. Run a dummy project through the system to see how it works.

5. Understand the entire printing process.

Now that you are familiar with what print demand is all about and how to organise a project and use the service to roll one out, you’ll need to learn the following things:
  • How to price your book
  • How to number your pages
  • How much your printing costs will be
  • How to choose the best book size and binding style. (Do you want a coil-bound hardcover, a saddle-stitched book or a perfect-bound paperback?)
  • How to choose the best page layouts. (Do you want cropping, gutters or margins?)

Before beginning your project, discover what your audience wants to read and where you should go to get your on demand printing done. Once you’ve found a website you like, check out the service by researching the customer support and the FAQ pages. After this, use the trial service to understand the printing process. Finally, once you’ve decided to go ahead, learn the many things you’ll need to understand to create a beautifully printed book.