A relatively recent technology which involves the digital storage of a manuscript for easy printing as demand dictates. It has been useful for both first time self-publishers and long-time authors who wish to reissue old out of print books at a low price to a niche market. The publishers provide the cover, the ISBN number, and market it to prominent online sites and target groups. When someone orders the book, a copy is digitally printed, bound, and shipped within two days.

Authors or poets who have been relegated to "publisher is out of stock" status, can, upon regaining the rights to their work, sell to fans who have been looking for it for years. New authors can have the opportunity to print something that publishers will not risk. Because print on demand has a low overhead cost for both publisher and writer, it has democratized publishing.

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