ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

POD Printers: Lightning Source vs. Textstream

Updated on October 7, 2010

Choosing the Right POD Printer

Print-on-demand or POD technology is changing the publishing world. As more publishers look to POD as a way to reduce overhead and fill niche markets, two companies, Baker and Taylor's Textstream and Ingram's Lightning Source are positioned to be the major players in this emerging business. While Textstream and Lightning Source offer a similar end product–they print books–they are very different companies.

Lightning Source has invested huge amounts of money into their POD business and the investment shows. They have a web interface that is user-friendly and informative. All instructions are easy to read, easy to find, and have the backing of ample customer support staff. That is not say that they will walk an inexperienced publisher through every step, but they will answer questions related to their business promptly.

Textstream, on the other hand, has a tangle of instructive documents that are not entirely clear. They have no web interface for publishers, relying on a simple FTP site to upload books and email to add metadata. Their staff seems to be an army of one, and their response time reflects that they are understaffed, overwhelmed.

Why would anyone use Textstream, then? They offer two advantages. One, they have lower prices. On almost all print options, they beat Lightning Source both in base cost and per page. Also, they offer paper qualities and sizes not offered by Lightning Source.

Finally, Lightning Source adds a control page to the end of books. This page is a check on their systems and contains a bar code. If you do not want to appear to be a POD publisher, but still use POD technology, you won't be able to hide the Lightning Source control page.

In short, if you want the best price and have lots of time and patience, you might choose Textstream. But if speed and facility are your top priorities, Lightning Source cannot be beat. Now, we wait and see if Textstream improves their services.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    celticmelody 

    7 years ago from Chicago IL

    Thanks for the clarification, Aaron! I have your Aiming at Amazon and Perfect Pages.

  • Woodson profile imageAUTHOR

    Woodson 

    8 years ago from Minnesota

    Great point. Thanks for the addition. I'll add a link to your book.

  • profile image

    Aaron Shepard 

    8 years ago

    I'm afraid this article misses the most important distinction between the two companies: distribution. Lightning Source's books are automatically carried by Amazon, BN.com, and just about every other online bookseller. TextStream's are not. With TextStream, you have to handle all that yourself.

    For a full discussion of Lightning Source, you might want to see the book I've written about working with that company, "POD for Profit."

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)