Print on Demand – Book Publishing in Kenya

Q. Should I Use Print on Demand for Book Publishing in Kenya?

Answer: Yes. It is a reasonable and affordable way to print your books on a budget.

Here is a scenario. If you have tried to publish a book in Kenya, chances are you have approached a large printing press and they have quoted for you a minimum of 100 books. (500 copies in our case). The price of this entire job comes to around Kshs. 100,000 or more depending on the size of the book, color requirements, etc. If you do not have this amount, you will feel instantly discouraged and think, “Ah, publishing in Kenya is very expensive!

The most interesting truth about the printing press’s quote is, that it is cheaper to print a large number of books with them. It also guarantees the availability of the book.

However, Smaller Printing Press shops offering Print-on-Demand are the best for authors who are growing, starting out, and hoping to get out there in the market. They need an affordable starting-out option that will not make publishing seem impossible and obliterate the savings account amounts.

What is Print on Demand?.

Print on demand in book publishing is the production of a small number of books as requested by the publisher, author, or customers.  The printing happens at a fixed cost per copy each time regardless of the size of the order that is, 1-5 books or 50 books. It allows the author to keep up the availability of their book for their customers, and have a dependable printing source who will always make the books as needed at the same price.

The author’s biggest challenge is finding a Print-on-Demand company that will keep the fixed cost per copy reasonably intact. There might be fluctuations as per current inflation challenges in Kenya, but there should be no life-changing increases.

For example, a book first printed at 180/- per copy cannot suddenly change to 350/- per copy the next time it is needed for print.  Such a change would increase the retail price and the author might have a hard time finding customers with a new price to match the new printing cost. The author might not be able to afford this change of printing cost either.  It is important to find a Print-on-Demand shop that will work with you and keep prices reasonably intact for your book.

Kenya has gone through a very large shift in terms of offering Print-on-Demand Services. There are more Print-on-Demand printers, alongside the Offset Printing shops.

So, if you’re on the verge of finding a printer and your budget is not at the 500 copies level, find a Print-on-Demand shop. I will shamelessly plug Publish4All Kenya here.  They have been quite reasonable to us and always fulfill our orders without issue. They are the best printers we have dealt with so far.

An author hoping to put out books can easily find a printer who is willing to print out 5-10 copies of a book at a reasonable price. The author can then sell the books and return to print another set. The more the book’s demand grows, the more you can print. In time, you can work up to getting the 500 copies, of which you’ll find an offset printer to keep you stocked at mass-printing levels.

For entrepreneurs in Kenya, the Print-on-Demand industry has a clear existing gap waiting for you to fill it.  Affordable printing prices are attractive to budding authors. The existence of these services at reasonable costs and offering quality end-products will also encourage more people to print their books.

Are you interested in printing a book, You can email Publish4All Kenya for a quotation. – p4akenya@gmail.com

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