Talk:Print on demand

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References to POD services and companies[edit]

I am against commercials in Wikipedia, but I believe this article should have a link to, which is presently, I believe, the only major print-on-demand service provider to the publishing industry. Lots of small presses and university presses use their services. If they were one among many POD providers to the publishing industry I would be against including them, but at the moment I think they are the only one or at least so far ahead of the pack that they deserve mention. I will wait a while for comment and then add a link if there is no response. Rlitwin 21:51, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

There is already a red-link, but no article. Feel free to create an article if you want. Mermaid from the Baltic Sea 21:24, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I believe I put in that link after waiting for comment. It was quite a while ago; I don't remember what was happening that made me feel I needed to write the above. Rlitwin 21:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Yesterday I added an external link to the blog for TSTC Publishing. We are the publishing office at our college Texas State Technical College. This link does neither goes to the official TSTC Publishing site nor are we trolling for work (as perhaps, a link to Lightning Source, as discussed above, could be perceived as being). That is, we do not do print on demand work for outside parties; print on demand through our own print shop is the production model we're using to publish our own books; our authors are the faculty at our school; our customers are primarily our own school's bookstores. Instead, for anyone interested in about how the practical nuts & bolts asptects of how POD works (or even publishing in general) in practice we see our blog as being a resource for that. Anyway, I got a post at our blog from Bill Ramon saying we should removed this link; I will take it down for the moment but I would appreciate some additional input/reads. Longly 12:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

My view is that it's too small to be encyclopedic. There isn't room for everything that is like that. Rlitwin 21:11, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

No, Lightning Source isn't unique, in the UK I think they might be #2, but last time I saw a market share chart, #1 was definitely someone else. I haven't seen statistics for how the US market is divided up. ErkDemon 00:36, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay, having gone into this some more, it seems that there are quite a few print-on demand service providers to the publishing industry: someone out there is buying those Xerox and IBM presses, after all. Where LS probably are unusual (and perhaps even unique) is in their level of integration re: the supply chain and invoicing. This probably makes them a good outlet for self-publishing novelists, but not such a good option for established publishers with specialist needs who want different grades and weights of paper for different books (hi-white for specialist textbooks, standard for novels, heavier paper for coffee-table books, thinner paper for high page counts, high-volumetric for very low page counts, and so on), or that require specialist pre-flight work or assembly, such as colour inserts in a B&W book. LS seem to offer precisely one type of white paper for a b&w book, and that's it.
LS are very well set up as a general-purpose "one-size-fits-all" solution, particularly for publishing newbies producing simple text-and-lineart books ... other POD printers tend to handle the more specialised or demanding "niche" POD jobs for established publishers with more demanding requirements. So LS are "ahead" in some respects but "behind" in others. Whether what they have to offer is wonderful or awful really depends on what your requirements are. ErkDemon 01:42, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I would agree. There are plenty of print on demand services and all someone needs to do is use Google (or any other search engine) to find them. If someone wants to look look for Vanity presses or Author mills, there are plenty of online services like Writers Beware. Piercetp (talk) 17:37, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I've added a note (not a link though) to The Game Crafter, which provides Print on Demand for card games and board games, which I list under "Niche publications", but the listing keeps being deleted. I feel that that company does a great service to small inventors, and fit in well in the article on Print on Demand. Can someone justify for me why mention of that company (not a link) is inappropriate? User:Downtown_dan_seattle (talk) 6:40, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Victor Celorio[edit]

User BadBull keeps adding links to Victor Celorio and his invention of the Book On Demand machine to several print and book related articles. I have searched the web and found only few (and promotional sounding) accounts of Celorio and his machine. In any way, it appears that Celorio is not inventor of this technique. I'm adding the {{POV-section}} template here. → Aethralis 23:48, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Please tell me another machine that produces books under the demand which means ,if I need one book I'll be able to find it. I kees linking Victor Celorio because the article needs and I try it , not spaming, only doit to use victor Celorio as a link. All I write it's true and important to the subject on my think. BadBull 00:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the Book On Demand machine is not really notable enough for this article, especially when added in a way that resembles either advertising or how-to sections or both. Mermaid from the Baltic Sea 21:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

When I search for Victor Celorio in Google, I get thousands of hits. Take a look. In many important sites and in survey after survey he is considered as one of the 10 most important Mexican American inventors. And he has received patents for his invention around the world, so there is no doubt that HE IS the inventor of the machine. Playa27 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:01, 10 January 2010 (UTC).

We don't need thousands of hits, just one or two reliable sources would be sufficient. Please post at least one here. Johnuniq (talk) 06:55, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Here are a few from reliable sources:

  1. ^ Electronic bookstore vending machine - Patent 6012890 at
  2. ^ Electronic bookstore vending machine - Patent 6213703 at
  3. ^ Lerner Michael, “New technology prints books while you wait”,[4] Forbes Magazine, 06.04.99
  4. ^ U.S. Debut for In-Store, On-Demand Machines - 5/17/2004 - Publishers Weekly at

Playa27 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:09, 11 January 2010 (UTC).

Extent of use in traditional publishing[edit]

The article presently says this: "Many of the smallest small presses, often called micro-presses because they have inconsequential profits,[1] have become heavily reliant on POD technology and ebooks. This is either because they serve such a small market that print runs would be unprofitable or because they are too small to absorb much financial risk. There is also a gray area where it can be difficult to distinguish between the smallest micro-presses and those self-publishing POD service providers who do not charge their authors in order to publish."

I would like to claim that this vastly underestimates the extent of the use of print-on-demand within the traditional publishing industry. In consulting with the head of a publishing company that does close to 300 titles a year I learned that they and pretty much all of their competitors are using Lightning Source to print all of their paperbacks. These are publishers that focus on the academic market, where to be successful a book needs to sell 500 copies. These are not micropresses but well-known, well-respected presses that, as I said, do hundreds of titles per year.

So, I think this section needs to be changed to take the emphasis off of micropresses. I think that the statement about a gray area between "the smallest micropresses and those self-publishing POD service providers..." is especially misleading and irrelevant given the fact that POD is used so extensively by small and medium sized presses that are not micropresses.

I will wait for discussion before making the change. Rlitwin 23:07, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Only a third of that section is about micro-presses. I don't think there is undue emphasis. However, there are a lot of myths about POD technology being used for nearly all books. If you want to add information like that, be careful to source it properly or it will most likely be deleted. Mermaid from the Baltic Sea 22:14, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
On second thought, I think you are mostly right. However, in my view the last sentence of that paragraph is dubious enough that I will delete it rather than just asking for a source. It is presently unsourced, and I think dubious, but that's just half the problem. The other part of the problem is that it colors the whole section about the use of print-on-demand by traditional publishers, in a misleading way. I think this would be the case even if there were a source for it; it is misleading in the context of section. If there is a gray area between micropresses and no-fee POD services, I doubt that it is sizeable enough to be notable. So I'm deleting that sentence until there is a source that not only establishes that this gray area exists but that it is notable. Rlitwin 21:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

external links to third-party POD review sites[edit]

Links to POD review sites should be included in the links as a matter of completeness. I don't understand the arbitrary, child-like behavior of wiki "editors"--do you know anything about the POD world? Listing POD review sites is about being thorough with regard to an emerging publishing phenomenon.

Before the arbitrary edits, I have looked up POD on wiki and found the POD world review site in the links section, a site that I bookmarked because I found it interesting. Now subsequent readers of the article won't know about it. It's a shame. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:14, 10 April 2007 (UTC).

Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files. Jefferson Anderson 17:16, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Then why have any links at all? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:24, 10 April 2007‎

Some links are useful. Blogs in particular are explicitly excluded by Wikipedia's external linking policy, unless "written by a recognized authority". The place to discuss policy is not here, but on Wikipedia talk:External links. You may want to create an account before engaging in discussions. Anonymous IP address editors are frequently not taken seriously. Jefferson Anderson 17:32, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I strongly suggest that links to a couple sites that offer unbiased reviews of POD sites backed up by quantitative data would contribute significantly to the value of this article. The precedent has been set by articles like digital camera, or film. This type of comparison is very relevant to the topic, but beyond the scope of an encyclopedia article, therefore, if sites exist that are up to the standards, we should include them here for users' reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:57, 27 November 2007‎

external links[edit]

Are necessary to provide important information regarding the article content. The bottom line is that you don't know what is important in the POD area, hence your edits. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC).

They are not important to an encyclopedia article. Try DMOZ. Jefferson Anderson 17:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
They are. As outlined here: Wikipedia:External_links -- (talk) 21:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

New "Digital press" Wikipedia category[edit]

I've started a category for pages relevant to "new technology" commercial/industrial printing - major suppliers, hardware, workflow, formats, standards, that sort of thing. Almost anything relevant to POD probably counts. There did seem to be a reasonable number of relevant pages out there, but I thought that they they were too difficult to find without a specific category (quite a few of them were already listed under the "printing" category). Hope this helps, ErkDemon 22:48, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Let's Not Assume the Reader lives in the same country.[edit]

"Replica Books is the POD arm of the other leading wholesaler, Baker & Taylor, strong in library and academic markets, as well as bookstores in the northeast." Northeast? Northeast of what? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 03:24, 15 July 2007‎

Clarified northeast as Northeastern United States Crskees 21:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Link between Cygnus and Self Publishing and Vanity Presses?[edit]

I cannot find a verifiable between Cygnus and self-publishing and vanity presses. Can anyone provide a citation source for "This is why POD is often associated with self-publishing and vanity presses"? Crskees 21:16, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

There is also debate about whether print on demand is an actual "business model" or a "publishing model" or "printing model." Many different kinds of business with various business models employ print on demand technology, to produce materials on demand. In these cases a POD printing model fits within the larger business model. Comments or suggestions? Crskees 21:49, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Errors and Omissions in PoD Entry[edit]

The "PoD" entry ALREADY quotes (verbatim) from my book with Poynter. I tried to add the missing citation but it was deleted. This confuses me because a separate citation to an article I wrote for BookTech Magazine has been included for some time, without problems. I don't understand why there would be a difference between including an attribution to a book, versus an attribution to a magazine.

Next I tried to add some important distinctions between the printing method and the business model (both of which are essential to a full understanding of POD) and they were also deleted.

Finally I tried to correct the first sentence that currently reads "Print on demand with digital technology is used as a way of printing items for a fixed cost per copy, irrespective of the size of the order." This is no longer accurate, but my correction was removed.

Unfortunately, my work schedule does not leave enough time for extensive paperwork, appeals, forms, debate with moderators, etc. Jointly, Poynter and I travel more than 5,000 miles per week on average, doing workshops and seminars.

So I will close by repeating that the sections on POD and Self-Publishing appear dated to me, and somewhat narrow in their view. I'm generally considered an "expert" on these subjects and willing to update them if there is a hassle-free way to do so. And I will follow objective standards used by most journalists. My goal isn't just self-promotion; it's getting more current, authoritative information to authors and publishers... which is just as important as selling books.

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to others if appropriate. Otherwise, I'll simply wish you happy holidays, and best wishes for improvement in 2008.

Warm regards, Dan


—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

The problem with talking about POD as a business model in the same article that talks about the technology is that it is common for traditional publishers, especially university presses, to use POD technology. They are using POD technology but are not using a new business model. In my view, for the article that describes POD technology to mix that description with a discussion of a business model that has nothing to do many of the publishers using POD technology them is confusing and perhaps even misleading. I would have no objection to an article titled POD (business model), which Poynter would be the right person to write, unquestionably. That would be a relief to the many traditional publishers using POD technology who do not want to be put in the same category as the new types of ventures that POD technology has made possible. Both articles could start with a See reference to the other article. That would be good. Rlitwin (talk) 14:51, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Use of the words "Traditional Publishing"[edit]

Several of the external references mentions "traditional publishing" as a meaningless term used by author mills in an attempt at distinguishing themselves from Print On Demand print shops. Its pervasive use here, especially to someone who has just read the external links, gives the whole entry a feel that it's biased in favor of these vanity presses. Should something be done about this? HenrikOlsen 10:56, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

On the term "copy"[edit]

Is the term "copy" still appropriate to describe products since it is possible to generate/update/modify the document to be printed. Contrary to printing technologies such as offset printing, POD doesn't use a matrix, and therefor I think the term copy is misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Propose removing paragraphs about POD as a business model[edit]

I believe that the passages in this article that discuss POD in terms of new business models that it has helped move forward are misleading and should be removed. Print on Demand is a printing model, and I think this article should be clearer about that. We can have a couple of sentences talking about how it has enabled author services publishing, with a link to another article (i.e. author mills. One thing I generally like about Wikipedia is the way I can usually rely on articles to clarify matters like this where there are popular misconceptions. Rlitwin (talk) 12:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


I would like to know why you keep on erasing a link to the InstaBook page, which is a US Manufacturing company referenced in at least 2 of the most important printing encyclopedias, such as the The Handbook of Digital Publishing” of the Rochester Institute of Technology; it holds some crucial patents in the process known as Book on Demand, and has been reviewed by dozens of articles in the most important and relevant media, including the Seybold Report, The New York Times, Forbes, etc. Historically, it was the first company in the world to place print on demand equipment in bookstores, both here in the US and in other countries. Several companies that are mentioned in this article have licensed InstaBook's technology. So...what is going on? Why do you erase that link? Llambert (talk) 14:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I guess everone has a Link to one or two Print on Demand Company - i would like to link on this site to illustrate - Print on Demand. Guess its hopeless, to get yours or my Link in the Main article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Agree with Rlitwin[edit]

I agree with Rlitwin and all other editors that have written that there are a lot of problems with this article. First of all it is full of opinions not based on fact. It doesn't have any references that support the statements made. Some editors show their bias and arbitrarily erase entries that disagree with the tendency of the article. The article mentions twice a company that one of the editors seems to favor and that no reputable media has ever mentioned, while ignoring others that have provided verifiable references and credentials. It has been said by other editors that the business model depicted in this article is misplaced since Print on Demand couldn't have been possible without the development of the proper technology, but this article ignores all factual evidence and is full of opinions and manipulated references and links.

I think this article needs a complete rewrite since it doesn't meet the Wikipedia standards in terms of being verifiable, neutral and true.Llambert (talk) 14:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for agreeing with me, but may I suggest that patents relating to print on demand technology are not for the concept of print on demand itself, which is too obvious to be patentable. Therefore, I think a debate about priority is irrelevant here. I think there isn't much place in the article for a detailed history of the technology. The concept of print on demand is a natural development of digital printing. I think we should avoid talking about inventors who have patents on this or that aspect of pod technology. Rlitwin (talk) 18:20, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestion but I am afraid I don't understand the logic. I have been a professor of art history for many years and I am used to dealing with historical facts, not opinions.
Unless you pressume to know better than the US Government, patents are one of the most reliable sources there are because of the tremendous vetting process they go through. As you say, a concept cannot be patented. The fact that Victor Celorio or INSTABOOK received a half a dozen patents for his invention not only in the US, but around the world, prove that he invented a technological “device, system and method”, and not a concept.
The fact that it was the first technological device of its kind to be installed at bookstores around the world, is verified by the most reliable sources in the printing business of the US, and Canada. It is those magazines and newspapers that say it, not I. I am just writing the historical facts. My articles meets all the academic requirements and all the Wikipedia requirements about reliable sources.
I was not trying to start a debate about priority.
My question here was in regards to why the link to INSTABOOK, the technology in question, was erased by Ckatz, who seems to have a personal problem with me since he goes around tagging my articles and erasing my entries without any explanation at all. I've written to him directly and he deleted my entry from his talk page even though it is forbidden by Wikipedia. I received no response. I've posted the question here and the answer was the same: nothing.
In regards to this article, -and this is the part where I agreed with you unless you changed your mind about what you wrote- Print On Demand is a printing process, and not a business model. Therefore the article should be dealing with the facts about the technology that made it possible, meaning the digital printing presses and all the rest of the technological process that provide its foundation, including INSTABOOK, and not with what Piercetp called the "Vanity Presses" or “authors mills”.
So I don't understand your suggestion, which is what precisely? That we should not trust the USPTO as a reputable source? Or that I should not write about the historical facts? Or that I should not ask about why a link I provided was erased? Llambert (talk) 11:30, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Articles avoid using primary sources because they can be used to synthesize points-of-view that are not necessarily in accord with reliable sources. Please stop commenting about other editors and just stick to briefly saying what change you want to make and why. Johnuniq (talk) 02:56, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Interesting comment. According to the definition of Wikipedia itself, “Primary sources are very close to an event...”
I don't think that definition applies to a patent.
However, if your position is that a patent is a Primary Source, then I should point out to you that in Wikipedia the policy is that “Primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source can be used only to make descriptive statements that can be verified by any educated person without specialist knowledge.”
Which is exactly the way I've used the patent reference in my entries. I've just stated the fact and I did not make any interpretation of it. The statements and interpretations come from reliable sources (Secondary such as in The Seybold Report, which is the leading magazine of the printing industry, or Forbes, or The New York Times, and Tertiary such as The Handbook of Digital Publishing encyclopedia) .
The tremendous lack of reliable sources in this POD article is one of my points precisely. This article is entirely based on the personal opinions of the authors and not on reliable sources of ANY type (secondary or tertiary). For example, I am the one who provided the sole reliable source to this article (The Handbook of Digital Publishing).
As for the rest of your comment, I think that all entries about a “business model” or “publishing model” and any entries of companies that sell their services as print on demand should be send to a separate article of their own. It could be called Author Mills as proposed by Piercetp and by Rlitwin (unless he changed his mind).
That article then could truly describe the activities of those companies with all the pros and cons posed by such enterprises, as described by reliable sources. For example, several of the companies mentioned here have been accused in the US and in Canada of being nothing more than Vanity presses designed to exploit authors. You can Google Trafford, for instance. So their entries here gives them a legitimacy that they don't have otherwise.

Also, following Wikipedia guidelines, in December 2009 I did ask very briefly, politely and clearly why were my entries in this article erased,along with the InstaBook link I provided.
I am still waiting for a response... Llambert (talk) 21:28, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

What machines are they using?[edit]

What machines are they using? --Pizzamancer (talk) 13:46, 29 January 2012 (UTC)


I think a portion of this article should mention that Print on Demand technology is currently being used/abused by a significant number of bogus publishers to commit fraud and deception on the public. The way this confidence trick is played on the unwary goes like this: A student of a particular topic may innocently trawl any online book dealer's website and come across a book which appears to be on the topic of interest. The book is duly ordered in the belief that you are buying a book. Well your are not buying a book. What you have bought is a bound selection of random and usually totally unrelated Wikipedia pages with only the cover actually relating to the topic of interest. I got ripped-off in one of these scams and complained to Amazon and Abebooks both of which showed no interest whatsoever in the fact that their websites were being used for this con. As long as these book selling websites make money there is no interest whatsoever in the fact that they have participated in fraud. I also complained to Wikipedia who were sympathetic and said they were aware of the problem and had their lawyers pursue these crooks. Unfortunately Wikpedia told me that it is their policy to allow Wikipedia content to be used for commecial purposes and no matter how fraudulent these POD books are they technically constitute legitimate commercial business practice. These crooked publishers abusing POD technology exploit a loophole in the law that states that as long as somewhere on the cover it states the content has been compiled from Wikipedia then it is legal. It may be legal but it is still an act of deception. The information on the cover claiming the content has been compiled from Wikipedia is extremly easy to overlook. It is deliberately so. Forgive the non encyclopedic long-winded explanation but I wanted to explain why I believe that the increasing abuse of POD technology needs a mention in the main article. In good faith. AM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

No Critiques for this Print-on-Demand Entry at Wikipedia?[edit]

Somebody seems to be pretty interested here in promoting this Print-on-Demand thing. I admit it is a solution for those who look for old or out of print stuff, or want to publish their own thing, but you gotta admit, too, the many problems it has raised. My main complain about it? The atrocious quality of the books they spawn from these machines: it's awful. I know they've been improving over the years, but you know it will never be as with an original edition (i.e., a good edition). You might try to argue that the times we live in set the pace for this kind of thing (bla, bla, bla), but that doesn't mean they are not second-rate, cheap, inferior... Unwishful Thinker (talk) 23:28, 18 August 2015 (UTC)