On-demand is a way of doing China Book Printing business not a method of printing. POD means receiving an order (and payment), manufacturing the book and then delivering the book. Most POD books are produced with digital printing but they could be produced with other methods.
Hundreds of years ago, those monks in the abbeys were POD publishers. They received an order, manufactured one book and delivered it. The only difference from today' s POD publishers was that the monks hand-lettered the pages while today most POD books are manufactured on laser printers. POD publishers supply some extra services for their relatively low price. They may take care of the cover, editing, ISBN, Library of Congress number, etc. However, the cover may be pedestrian, the editing may be minimal and the customer service may be close to non-existent. You get what you pay for.
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