Print on Demand (POD) or Manufacture on Demand (MOD) means that an item is printed or created after it is purchased. Small publishers, like the DreamPunk Press Collective, use POD to keep manufacturing and warehousing costs to a minimum. It also keeps production waste to a minimum--a publisher isn't printing 10,000 copies, selling 5,000 of them, and then dumping (hopefully in a recycle bin) the rest.
In the past, DreamPunk Press used POD as a way to produce small runs of books that we then sold, either in-person at events, or online and sent to our customers. That still meant we sometimes had extra copies.
We are slowly moving to straight POD (except in the cases of special book bundles or in-person sales) by connecting our website directly to a company that prints our books and sends them directly to you, our customer.
This means less waste, and hopefully a safer environment for keeping COVID under control. The manufacturer we are using has strict standards in place and less handling by others (like me) means a lesser chance of spreading the disease (fewer hands=fewer germs).
We haven't transitioned all of our books to the POD manufacturer, but aim to do so by the first of the year.