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POD for Profit: More on the NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Books with Print on Demand by Lightning Source

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CreateSpace uses it. Lulu.com uses it. So do AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Xlibris, and almost every other self publishing company in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

What is it? Lightning Source, the printer and distributor at the heart of the "print on demand" industry. For the work those companies can't handle themselves, it's Lightning they most often depend on.

So, why pay a middleman? In this follow-up to his groundbreaking book "Aiming at Amazon," Aaron Shepard explores how to double your profit by working directly with Lightning. If you're serious about making money with POD publishing, this book can show you the way.


Aaron Shepard is a foremost proponent of the new business of profitable self publishing through print on demand, which he has practiced and helped develop since 1998. Unlike most authorities on self publishing, he makes the bulk of his living from his self-published books -- not from consulting, speaking, freelance writing, or selling publishing services. In a parallel life, Aaron is an award-winning children's author with numerous books from publishers large and small.


"Aaron Shepard is the undisputed expert at earning profit from POD. Here are the step-by-step instructions for setting up your own publishing operation and optimizing the financial benefits. Following his steps, you will earn two or three times as much per book." -- Bruce Batchelor, author, "Book Marketing DeMystified," and founder and former CEO, Trafford Publishing

"A graduate course and definitive guide for advanced POD publishing." -- Morris Rosenthal, author, "Print-on-Demand Book Publishing"

"A tremendous amount of information that will benefit an author who self publishes not only through Lightning Source but by any other method." -- Kevin Sivils, author, "Self-Publishing with Amazon's CreateSpace"

"Remarkably thorough and readable." -- Jonathan LeBlanc Roberts, Breton Bay Publishing

"Invaluable advice for any small press or independent publishing firm." -- Max Scratchmann, Poison Pixie Publishing

"Could not be more timely or helpful. What a wealth of information . . . and not just what to do, but HOW." -- Malcolm Dell, Elbow Grease Publishing

"Aaron Shepard is exceptional in his ability to keep up with the ever-changing minutiae of the world of self publishing via POD. I wouldn't want to publish without this book within reach." -- John Culleton, Wexford Press

"Don't go into publishing without it." -- Grace Bridges, Splashdown Books

"Another gold mine of information from Aaron Shepard. Absolutely required reading for any self publisher." -- Christy Pinheiro, author, "The Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit!"

"Lots of valuable, easy-to-understand information. I will recommend this highly to my self-publishing clients as a reference for their many questions. Even after more than a decade in the business, I learned a few things from this book." -- Jamie Saloff, Saloff Enterprises

"Indispensable if you are considering printing your book POD. Covers every aspect of the process in depth." -- Norma Lehmeier Hartie, Lingham Press

288 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2010

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About the author

Aaron Shepard

89 books42 followers
Aaron Shepard is the author of many books, stories, and scripts for young people, as well as professional books and resources for writers and educators. He has also worked professionally in both storytelling and reader's theater, as a performer, director, and teacher trainer. Aaron's lively and meticulous retellings of folktales and other traditional literature have found homes with more than a dozen children's book publishers, large and small, and with the world's top children's literary magazines, winning him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society. His extensive Web site, visited by thousands of teachers and librarians each week, is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater, while his stories and scripts have been featured in textbooks from publishers worldwide, including Scholastic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, SRA, The College Board, Pearson Education, National Geographic, Oxford University Press, Barron's, Hodder Education, and McGraw-Hill.

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Karl.
Author 2 books13 followers
November 1, 2013
Even with all of the changes in the industry, still a valuable book.
After reading “Aiming at Amazon”, I purchased this book to give me some more insights into the POD world and while some of the information has become outdated -primarily related to Lightning (without the “e” as Aaron says) and their relationship with Amazon - I still gained a great deal of knowledge that I have not found elsewhere.

One quick example: I knew that the printer needs a blank page at the end of the book to enable them to print their information, but until I read Aaron’s book I had no idea if I should include that blank page in my manuscript, or leave it out.

How much is that information worth in time and potential cost? I have no idea how to quantify it; however, I would suggest that even just one piece of information like this was worth far more to me than the cost of the book itself. I believe that when it comes to information we can get great value in books written by experts in their field; we get the benefit of their knowledge without all of the gray/missing hair and without having to search far-and-wide.

In addition, Aaron has provided updates to his website that alerts readers of new developments and he has produced several Kindle books to address other specific needs for writers.

If you are looking at POD, this is still worth the read and then visit Aaron’s website to get the “new” stuff as well.
48 reviews
April 4, 2010
I have been in the publishing business for years and I've read a lot of books on it. As far as self-publishing, Aaron Shepard is the guy to go to for POD information.

You won't get hardcore marketing stuff here, but you will get little gems of information which will make your marketing that much more powerful. Good info on the behind-the-scenes stuff of book information databases, major book stores, distribution companies, and more.

If you need technical information on how to set up a book for print, you'll get that too.

If you are a DIY person, this is a good book to have. Even if you're somebody who outsources the little details of book publishing to others, the information here will help you to better understand the system you are working with.
Profile Image for Ann Addley.
Author 2 books10 followers
July 17, 2014
This book was not what I expected. Instead of featuring a range of POD options it focused solely on lightning. However it was a very comprehensive guide to Lightning, going through steep by step the process, pros and cons of POD. Very informative.
Profile Image for Kyra E..
Author 19 books11 followers
July 18, 2010
Used this to publish my own book, "This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers' Bible Quilt and Other Pieces.". Will follow the steps for my next book! Thanks, Aaron.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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