I am starting my investigations into setting up with Lightning Source LLC. The intention is that they will do all the printing and fulfillment for my supplements.
The exciting part is the future potential. They have a big network, especially for digital formats. What I would like to go is get everything in my solo games store, and my fanzines on every site. The blocking factor is being exclusive to DTRPG. I am not too worried about this at the moment.
I want to get the print versions up and going. Then see where else I can get print versions on sale. That is enough for a start. That can include the Lightning Source outlets, Lulu, possibly Amazon, but not sure about them yet.
My Amazon plans are for joint Kindle/POD or even Kindle + FBA using offset print runs.
Offset is cheaper to get printed, per copy, and higher quality. I could get them printed and delivered directly to Amazon. They then deal with the pick and pack side of it, and the books would appear as Amazon Prime. Kindle Unlimited subscribers would be able to read them for free, but we get paid on a pay per view basis, getting a tiny cut of the readers subscription money.
The downside is that you pay for the entire print run up front. 100 copies would be about £350 once everything is taken into account. That is a big step forward and commitment.
Once I step on the Offset road, then I would be looking for a Distributor to get my supplements into bricks and mortar stores.
That is an entirely different ball game, and a task for another day.
Other ways of getting Print on Demand books on my own site is with Lulu. They offer two ways. The first is in partnership with Shopify. They will then give you a Shopify Plugin for WordPress and that will handing everything from payment processing, to print and delivery. The cost starts at $19.99 a month. My sales at the moment through this site are only $14.72/month.
The second option is a build it yourself route using Lulu’s API, application programming interface. API’s are often easy to work with, but not all of them. The fact that a paid for plugin solution exists implies that this one isn’t going to be easy to use. I do have some coding and programming skills. I *should* be able to do it.
The good thing for those two options is that they are automated.
With Lightning Source, I beleive, that I will have to recieve the order from the customer, then place the order with LS, who then do everything. The customer pays me, I pay LS. This is very much a two step and manual process.
I am hoping I am wrong. I want there to be an automated process for this.
I will wait and see what transpires.