Someone asked about how to do Print-on-Demand if you're a Jewish author, and this is what I emailed her back. If you're an author with more to add, please feel free to share in the comments field at the bottom.
There are really 2 options to use for POD, in terms of getting your book out to the widest number of channels, and those two are Create Space (Amazon's own company) and Ingram Spark.
There are pros and cons for both. Here's a brief rundown of what they broadly are:
CREATE SPACE IS GOOD FOR:
People on very tight budgets, who want the POD process to be as easy as possible, and who aren't planning to print a lot of their own books for face-to-face sale.
It also helps if you live in the US (or UK) because while Create Space do give a discounted price on the books authors themselves buy, first of all it's not such a big discount, and second of all the postage costs of getting those books shipped to Israel are prohibitive.
The main 'con' of create space is that is stamps the book as 'self-published', and many traditional book buying channels won't touch it with a bargepole. That may be less of an issue anyway in the Jewish book world, but it certainly is the case in the non-Jewish book world.
INGRAM SPARK IS GOOD FOR:
Anyone who's planning to publish a lot of books, who wants their books to be available in the more 'professional' book distribution channels, and who wants to print a number of their own books, to sell face-to-face at events, etc.
I find the pricing is much more flexible, and reasonable, especially for people living in Israel.
The main downs of Ingram spark is:
You have to pay a set-up fee for each book, while Create Space is free (currently $50 a title).
Sometimes, the book shows up on Amazon as 'out of stock, but more coming soon' - especially if you aren't selling a lot via Amazon - while Create Space titles always show up as available.
Whichever option you choose, you will need to get the book properly designed, although again, Create Space makes it much easier, at least in theory, for you to 'design' the interior of your book yourself in Word and then have Create Space turn it into a PDF etc, (although that can sometimes look a little amateurish, depending on how well you do it, and doesn't suit every type of book), while you will have to have a professionally designed PDF done for Ingram Spark.
You can also do your own cover on Create Space for free, but again, it's very hard to avoid the book looking a little amateurish when you do that (unless you're unusually talented at putting covers together.)
So in terms of costs for POD, it stacks up like this:
Create Space - you could potentially do it all for free, but if you want it to look professional expect to pay a minimum of $200-300 for good book design and cover
Ingram Spark - will cost $50 set up fee, plus the $200-300 for good book design and cover.
They are both 'suitable' for Jewish books, inasmuch as you choose if you want the book published or not, but again, I find it's much easier to control what actually shows up on the Amazon website if the title is from Ingram Spark.
With both companies, the books will show up both on the Amazon website and Book Depository.
Rivka Levy's Books: