by Joel Friedlander on The Book Designer site:
Although the vast majority of print books published by indie authors are print on demand paperbacks, there are lots of other kinds of books we can publish.
Sometimes a different format or a book with more features to it can really help you stand out in the crowd and create desire for your book.
Recently I’ve helped produce a number of workbooks for a variety of clients, and I’m working one right now. When authors ask me the best way to produce these books, and if they can be done through the usual print on demand vendors, we often get into a prolonged discussion.
That’s because although print on demand is a terrific innovation that eliminates the financial risk in print book publishing, it has severe limitations, too.
But sometimes the standard print on demand paperback just won’t do.
For instance, suppose you are publishing a workbook. This is a great way to extend a franchise created by an instructional or inspirational book, and allows you to quickly create another book that will please your readers.
But a typical print on demand paperback has a pretty stiff spine, and most of them do not open all the way so they can lay flat on your desk. That’s what you want if you intend that your readers write in them.
Whether you’re teaching a process or preparing people to take a standardized exam, or providing ways for individuals to apply the ideas in a book you’ve published, workbooks are popular with both readers and publishers.
But a book that won’t lay flat when you want to write in it can be a pain.