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Today, many firms are creating their docs in Acrobat format and
including it on the distribution CD for their software products. Many
*also* include a printed version of the manual--which most companies
either bury in IT or lose.
If the software is for a large firm, it can be an advantage for them
to be able to order the manuals they need--more so if the POD
publisher is kept updated on the latest versions.
In addition, for companies doing sales in multiple countries,
locally-produced POD manuals may be a cost reduction--since they are
not being imported in the traditional sense. Distribution costs for
the printed manuals may also be lower since shipping is more local.
This may also be a route for a smaller company--perhaps a startup--to
reduce the costs of entry into the market. If, for example, a software
product is purchased online and downloaded, it may be an "added
feature" if the customer can order a printed manual done through a POD
On the other hand, as the business is constituted today the majority
of POD printers are merely extensions of the "vanity presses" that
have existed for years in conventional printing. ..and the vast
majority of books they "publish" rarely see the light of day in any
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