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How do I Choose the Best Book Printer?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2016
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Selecting a book printer can be a daunting task for first-time and experienced publishers alike. There are a variety of sizes of books, types of printing, types of binding and printing styles involved, and deciding which options you want will affect how you can choose the best book printer. For any project, it is essential to know what services your book printer provides and what costs are charged.

The most common way to choose a book printer is to find a company that blends quality and cost. The standard way to find out what a printer offers and at what price is to request a quote. This is an estimation, based on your particular project, of the overall cost and time.

There are several factors that you must provide about your book to find a good quote from a printing company. The essentials are how many pages the manuscript is and what size the book will be. Generally, the shorter the manuscript and the more traditional the size of the book, the less expensive each individual book will cost. Printing a book with several hundred pages or a unique size that must be customized for your project will result in a higher cost. Fees for these services vary from printer to printer, so quotes help the decision-making process.

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You also will want to find out more about the printing equipment each company uses and the types of binding that are available. Printing companies also offer a variety of paper, which also can affect the overall cost of a project. From cheap standard paper to thick, recycled stock, your choice will change the way the book looks and feels and the cost of printing it.

You must seek a book printer whose print run ability matches your needs. A long-run printer will print many copies — often thousands — at a time, so the cost per book is lower. A short-run printer is able to create a smaller number of books but often charges a higher per-book fee. Recently, print-on-demand presses have grown in number and allow you to print only a few books at a time to avoid having an overstock of books. You need to find a printer who will print the number of books you need for the right price.

Delivery is an often-overlooked element when searching for a book printer. Some printers will include delivery as part of the quote, but others will add it to the final price. This could add a significant cost, depending on the size of the run. If you choose a local book printer, you can save money by picking up the books yourself.

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irontoenail
Post 4

@umbra21 - Yeah, I have a cheap place that I use to bind copies of my novels for editing purposes and to give out to friends so they can read them and then I have a much nicer and more expensive book printer where I do limited edition copies for sale.

I do want to point out though that if you wrote a novel, getting it printed yourself is not often the best first move in your career.

You're much better off subbing it around to professional publishers first to see if you can sell it to any of them. If a publishing house will take it you will have fewer worries about the business side of things and you'll be able to concentrate on writing.

umbra21
Post 3

@pleonasm - It depends on what you want though. I mean, if you want an art book printer, you should look for the very best, because the kind of people who buy art books will be able to tell if the book itself isn't good quality.

On the other hand, if you just want some copies for friends and family you might be better off just going for the cheaper option. There's no point in spending huge amounts on quality paper and binding if there isn't going to be a corresponding payoff for it.

pleonasm
Post 2

If you are looking to do a print run of your own book in order to sell it, I would suggest doing quite a lot of research before you start. There are a lot of different factors that go into making a good book and not all of them are obvious.

A good place to research is on writer's forums. Often people will be willing to talk about their experiences with different printers and may even be able to give you different details about what you need to bear in mind to ensure success.

Don't just go with the first printer you find online. A lot of them are extremely overpriced and others produce very badly made products. If you want to sell your books and make a profit you need to find the right printer.

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