New technology has changed the way an independent author can view having their book printed. In the past book printing had some fixed costs associated with it that were there no matter how many were printed. If these fixed costs were spread out over a big print run they became a less important part of the final cost of each copy of the book. The cost of paper, ink and electricity became the real cost of the books. Unfortunately with a smaller print run the fixed costs could dominate the cost of each copy and make it uneconomic to print.
Today with print on demand technology the cost of smaller print runs isn’t anywhere near as prohibitive as in the past. Instead of looking at a minimum run of 500 or a 1000, we can now look at just 100 or less. There still is a point where more traditional printing methods outperform print on demand in both cost and quality, but just being able to print smaller runs is a great benefit for an author. No longer does he have to commit such a huge amount into printing copies which he is unsure of selling.
Below are some examples of printing costs: