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Technology has revolutionised the way books can now be printed. Large off-set printers meant that thousands of copies of a book had to be printed to be economically viable. Large commercial digital printers are expensive to run but now technology has developed to the point that small scale equipment is available.

Print-on-Demand (POD) enables a single copy of a book to be printed! POD technology is what we commonly call digital printing. It doesn’t use plates the way offset does but instead uses options such as toner (like in laser printers) or larger printers that do use liquid ink.

POD shines when lower quantities are needed. It offers an alternative way to bypass the time, investment, and risk associated with managing inventory, letting you go from creating to selling custom products at a fraction of the cost.

Pros of offset printing

Offset printing technology uses plates, usually made from aluminium, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber “blanket”, and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper.

Because offset presses run so efficiently once they are set up, offset printing is the best choice when larger quantities are needed, and provides accurate colour reproduction, and crisp, clean professional looking printing.

What are the advantages of offset printing for an author?

  1. Large quantities can be printed cost-effectively.
  2. The more you print, the cheaper the price per piece (i.e better economies of scale).
  3. A large variety of paper types with custom finishes is available.
  4. Special custom inks such as metallic and pantone colours are available.
  5. Highest possible printing quality, with greater detail and colour fidelity.

Pros of Print-On-Demand

CLC Kenya has a POD facility which enables us to respond quickly to local demands. This has made it possible for Kenyan authors to have their books published and printed in a way that would have been unthinkable previously. All that is required is a digital copy of the book and our POD facility can produce the book for you in a couple of days.

What are the advantages of Print-on-Demand for an author?

  1. Low capital investment in printing quality books
  2. Quick production time
  3. Competitive pricing
  4. Ability to print as many (or few) copies as you need
  5. Re-print as and when required
  6. Warehousing cost savings
  7. Inexpensive especially for black and white text-only books.
  8. Variable data capabilities and file upgrades as and when needed.
  9. With continued improvement in technology, quality is becoming better and acceptable for more uses.

What option is best for you?

Offset and digital options are both useful printing methods. Each has particular benefits depending on your project’s requirements.

When you need larger runs of a project, into thousands, or are using a specific, brand-centric pantone colour, offset printing is the best way to go. You can also use a much wider variety of custom papers and specialty inks, such as metallic or fluorescent inks in the offset process.

If a small run of 2-200 or 300 is needed then POD is your solution. The best part is that as an author, your needs can be met with either of these choices, and the high-level of quality means you get a printed product that will make you look great!

Printed by CLC Kenya Print-On-Demand

POD Benefits for overseas publishers?

Print-on-Demand has the potential to revolutionize the availability of overseas books in Africa. Normally, material imported from America, Europe, Asia and other countries can take weeks or months to arrive in Kenya. POD technology makes those same books available in a matter of hours and has been beneficial to publishers abroad to reach African market.

Publishing and printing are developing rapidly. Do you want to be part of this change?

POD Final Product Specs & Options

Paper Type – Cover Stock

Paper Thickness – 250gsm (grams per square metre)

Paper Type – Copy paper white

Paper Thickness – 80gsm (grams per square metre)

Self Cover – no lamination (especially for school books where students have to write their names on the cover)

Glossy – produces a shiny, glass-like appearance that enhances the color and vibrancy of the ink on a page.

Matte – produces a very low gloss-coated elegant and sophisticated finish that has a “velvety” texture that softens the contrast of darker colors so that they don’t stand out quite as much.

Perfect Binding – The pages and cover are glued together at the spine with a strong yet flexible hot melt glue.

Saddle Stitch Binding – Folded sheets are gathered together and folded on at the middle and then stapled through the fold line with wire staples.

Here are a few tips to save your money, time, and files:
  • With digital printing, quantity does not matter.
  • Print only what you need per time.
  • You can revise your book and send new files every time.
  • Design your book with accurate measurements of your desired book size as the printer prints on a 100% scale.
  • Use colour only when necessary as it attracts an extra charge.
  • A5 size is an advantageous size on Print-On-Demand as it has no paper wastage (ie A6 and B6 book sizes are smaller than A5 size but will attract the same printing cost as A5).
  • For training manuals and workbooks, A4 is an advantageous size as it has no paper wastage (ie B5 book sizes are smaller than A4 but will attract the same printing cost as A4).
  • Book files should be sent on PDF format as two files (one, inside text file and two, the cover spread with the back cover on the left, spine at the center, and the front cover on the right).
  • Send files only via email to ensure safety, security, and confidentiality.
  • Send payments only to the CLC Kenya payments platforms (Mpesa Buy Goods & Services. Direct Bank Deposit/Transfer/Debit and for those abroad, via the bank details of our Head Offices in the USA and UK).
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