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Just In Time!

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

What to Do When Low on Books

By Michael Heath /

low book inventory solution

Few successful authors have never found themselves low on books. Sometimes they just don’t realize the inventory is dwindling before new selling opportunities arise. However, book printing is a complex process that can take weeks. Authors who need books in a short amount of time have a problem to solve.

Low Book Inventory Solution

Imagine you have a speaking engagement next week where you can sell your book in the back of the room. Today you realize that only a dozen books remain. There is no way that will be enough. What do you do? Come up with an excuse when you sell out? Running out of books early can be embarrassing while allowing potential sales to walk out the door. There is a solution. SelfpublishingUS calls it Book Vending Machine or simply BVM. Manuscript files are put into print-on-demand machinery that can make one book at a time. Since it is an all-in-one process, the books are produced quickly so that authors can get books in about a week.

Top-notch Book Quality

Many authors come to us because we are one of the very few self-publishing companies that prints on big book presses, both digital and offset, just like the major publishers do. The advantage to this is that our book quality is top-notch and the more an author has us print, the cheaper the cost per book. This is great for serious authors who order higher quantities of books while reaping greater profits.

When printing on a big book press, some things bear consideration. There are set-up costs associated with doing a print job on that type of machinery (digital or offset). Those costs need to be spread out, so it only makes sense to print at least one hundred books or more. Printing that way also takes time. A print proof needs to be created, sent, and approved. It will take seven to ten days before the author receives it. The order then needs to move through the production queue, as there are always jobs ahead of it. Sometimes materials must be purchased, and the manufacturing goes through a few stages including printing, lamination, and binding. Authors should expect at least thirty days for a job to print.

Faster Turnaround Times for Books

Can an author who is short on books get more in a week? Well, the answer is no and yes. As described before, printing on those big digital and offset presses takes time. However, using the BVM system allows for books printed in low quantities with a quick turnaround. There is no print proof here, so it is only for those who have printed paperbacks with us and need no changes to their approved files.

Sound too good to be true? Not really, but there are some things to consider. The books look good, but not quite as good as books printed using the slower, more deliberate production process. Print-on-demand printing is a little like printing on a glorified copier. The first book and the one-hundredth book all cost the same. There are no discounts for printing a lot of books.

Small Batches, Short Waits

SelfpublishingUS offers this fast service in batches of twenty-five for authors who need their books … just in time. Go to the BVM page to see if your book is there. If you do not see it, let us know and we will enter it into this very convenient system.

To see books available on the BVM system, go to:

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