Physical Book Formats: Print On Demand (POD) vs. Returnable Inventory

FastPencil sells non-returnable, POD (printed on demand) books. When a book is ordered, it is printed and shipped to the buyer. Using this method, the author/publisher does not have to pay for or store a large inventory of books. (Author Pricing, Bulk Orders, Wholesale Discounts)


  • Paperback books are typically printed and bound within 7-10 business days.
  • Hardcover books usually take 10-15 business days to print and bind.
  • Typical shipping partners are Federal Express, UPS and the USPS.

Alternatively, for returnable inventory sales, an order for a bulk buy (2,000+) and warehousing and fulfillment costs could be paid for by the author/publisher. However, this could result in unsold inventory, insurance fees, returned books that are lost or damaged and numerous other risks. The industry is moving away from this resource-heavy model and toward a greener, more earth-friendly process. 


Check out more information about our global, resource-saving Green Initiatives.

Related article: All About Print Book Types / Trim Sizes / Page Count / B&W and Premium Color  


For our Return Policy, please visit the site's Terms of Service page. 



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