POD (Print on Demand) has made the opportunities for publishing your own artistic expression more accessible. From books to apparel, home decor and signage, the availability and platforms are endless.
That being said, I will focus on the platforms and providers I am more familiar with and share some resources that you can explore to gain a better understanding.
Lulu.com is an online POD book publisher that offers print and e-book publishing:
Lulu has an extensive tutorial library to help you navigate their publishing system and requirements. They also provide templates for you to use to create your desired type and size of publication. Check out the tutorial section of the site here: Guides & Templates | Lulu
One of the best services provided by Lulu.com is their Global Distribution option. After you’ve received and approved your first proof copy, your book can be published to several retail markets including BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon and others.
Lulu.com also offers ways for you to connect your product to your own website or sales channels directly by partnering with various e-commerce providers. I use WooCommerce since it works with WordPress, the platform on which my personal website runs.
TheBookPatch.com also provides POD. I’ve used this service to print very short books that don’t meet Lulu.com’s minimum requirements, and has e-book options, as well.
The beauty of these services is there is little to no risk. Aside from the required proof purchase, which is at cost, not retail, there is no other monetary obligation to use the services provided. Also, there are bulk discount prices for you if you decide to purchase a lot and sell it physically.
Apparel and Decor
I am still relatively new at apparel publishing. There are quite a few websites that offer POD. Some are market based, as in they are the market in themselves, such as RedBubble.com. These types of marketplaces are good, especially if you want to publish different styles of work, or separate brands, without dilution. The downside is that they do not (to my knowledge) allow you to import the items directly into your own website store. You can share the products, though, which link back to their site.
Most recently I have begun a foray into Shopify.com. This is a paid site, however the first three months are only $1.00 per month, and then there is a monthly fee that varies according to the plan you choose.
This service allows you to use your own domain name, mine is AshtahMountain.com and I am using this platform to develop my own brand of clothing, Ashtah Mountain Apparel.
Shopify.com is a marketplace, but the beauty of this service is that it allows you to connect POD providers via an internal app. This gives you the ability to design using providers such as Printify.com, Printful.com, Yoycol.com, Subliminator.com.
There are other marketplaces such as Etsy.com, which has been around for quite some time. I have a shop, but I am still trying to figure this one out. This one is also a paid service, depending on the number of items you list.
A YouTuber and TikTok creator I follow for tips and advice is The PODNinja, aka Joe Robert.
I highly recommend you follow him on TikTok for to the point posts about the Print on Demand market.
I will be posting more content about my POD Journey and developing my own brand. If you’d like to receive updates or have questions, please send me an email.