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Two different companies, two different proofs

Thought I would take pictures and show the differences in the companies, for anyone thinking of doing POD (Print on Demand), if they use Amazon for print books (they implement the company that CreateSpace used to use from what I’ve read – if they’ve updated that, lemme know), or Draft2Digital.

I haven’t used Draft2Digital before, despite being a part of their beta because it took much longer to get the author proofs, or the email that said the proof was ready to send away for. Since it’s still in beta, I imagine that is a lot of it. So I just stuck with Amazon’s. The one thing that always bothered me though with Amazon, was the giant strip across the cover saying “Not for Resale.”

I imagine some don’t mind it, but I can’t get a good idea of the cover from a customer’s POV if I have a banner across the book. I preferred the way CreateSpace dealt with that. They put a page in the back that stated it was a proof. Ya know – giant letters saying PROOF.

Personally I do like to give away proofs a lot of the time if I end up with more than one copy (I tell the people straight out, there may be slightly off bits on this paperback) so that’s another factor of my preferring it not state that it’s a proof on the cover. Just ugly. That’s just me though.

So here are the photos, and differences. I do have to admit, I really like the draft2digital version. The paper is thinner and lighter, which gives it the feel of being more like a real traditional paperback, versus POD. Also the color of paper fits that description.

Note- please remember that these are my opinions alone, I can guarantee there are plenty who will disagree with at least one thing I state, or more. I’m doing this for those, like me, who sometimes search the net for images of what I’m getting into.

Amazon’s proof
d2d proof

Amazon’s proof. The colors are much brighter on the cover, but as you see the banner across the cover makes it a bit difficult for covers. Not all covers are so simplified so this banner can cover images and words. Feel of the cover (mine are glossy) is a bit rougher, not as smooth as d2d.

Draft2Digital’s proof. Darker colors, no banner across the front. Almost like the colors have an opaque layer over them. Not a major one, an I rather enjoy the look in person. Camera doesn’t show it as well. Also the shine is a bit more muted, but I am in favor of that. The feel of it is more “normal” new paperback, not POD. If that makes sense. Smoother feel.

Direct side-by-side comparison – Amazon on left. d2d is on right.
Amazon is on the left, d2d is on the right.

With this comparison (Amazon on left), you can tell the color differences. Because the d2d proof (right) has thinner paper, it made the book thinner overall. I changed nothing in either of them. Font is the same, text is the same, font size is the same. The only change is the paper thickness, which altered the size of the book. Amazon’s is 3/4″ thick. d2d is 5/8″ thick.

Amazon’s right, d2d left.

Back view, just for reference. ‘Scuse me little hands showing through the shine of the covers. Can see the difference in the colors by looking at the white on the font. (Bar code is showing my room light I think so not a good reference point.) As you can tell, the font is easier to see on the right side (Amazon), versus the d2d (left). It’s just a hint of an almost yellow tinted overlay, but that is caused I think, from the colors being a bit darker overall too. Personally I think it’s barely noticeable. Doesn’t mean I won’t point it out here. I doubt the average person/reader would even notice it. Give it a few years and it’s gonna get that aged looked anyway.

Amazon’s bottom, d2d is top.

The thickness is really noticeable here. Also, the glue is thicker on the Amazon version along the side border (bottom) versus the draft2digital (top). Both have been opened so don’t go by the fact that they aren’t both straight. They were both straight and crisp before I touched them.

d2d proof

So now here, you can see that the font shows through from the other side much more on the d2d proof. Personally I like that. Gives it the feel of a traditionally published paperback, versus POD. Shows the paper is a bit thinner, and the color of the paper is more of a recycled paper tint, versus cream like Amazon.

Amazon proof

The font on the Amazon version however, like with the cover, is crisper and cleaner. Again, I personally like that. Most traditional paperbacks aren’t “crisp” and “clean.” So I like the look. I do still like this Amazon version too though. The paper has more of a cream tint. You’ll see the difference in the next picture.

Amazon’s bottom, d2d is top.

This view really shows the difference in color. Amazon’s on the bottom is more of a cream as you’d expect, despite them both being “cream” paper.

Personally, I have no real favorite between the two. I like both for different reasons. IF I had to choose a favorite, I’d probably lean toward the d2d version (unless I am worried about cost), but as Amazon improves their paperback system (POD), and d2d as well, that might change. Keep in mind that if you order ONE proof through d2d however? It’s more expensive. The shipping alone will add some bucks.

The cost for the Amazon for me (just under 300 page book and it’s the 8×5 size as all my books are) was just about $10, whereas the d2d was about $15. Same everything, just that the people who do the d2d proofs add a small somethingorother fee to it. Small scale production? I believe that’s the term. It’s because I’m only buying one book. So keep that in mind as well. Those costs again, are for ONE proof sent to me. And for a book that is about 300 pages, 8″x5″. The costs vary based on size of book, pages, what kind you’re getting, but I thought I’d include that for an average to think about.

If you have any question, lemme know. 🙂 I think both companies are great. Their customer service is always very helpful so either works well, depending on which you can afford, or wanna use. I’ve yet to have any major issues with either company.

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