With so many choices in printing, choosing the right book printer can seem like an impossible task. Books are very intimate products. Writing is a reflective and thoughtful art and books are consumed alone, just the reader and the book. Physical books are held in the hand, with the reader feeling the paper and seeing the printed page as a part of the artistry. The size of the book and quality of the paper give the reader as many clues about the book as the cover art.
With so much riding on the how the book is printed, it makes sense to do your homework before selecting a printer to bring your book to life. Here are three things you should consider to help you find the right printer for you.
What You Need
First ask yourself some questions about what your goals are for book printing. Are you looking for just a few Advanced Readers Copies (ARCs) or promotional copies? Do you have an established market and distribution channel? Examine your marketing plan and consider past performance if possible to determine how many copies you hope to sell. Your goals and the number of copies you want to print will help define what your project requires from a printer.
Once editing and formatting is completed you will know the size page your book is formatted to and total number of pages. These specs directly affect the printing costs of your book. Being prepared with the information will help you get accurate quotes from the printers you contact.
What Type of Printing is Right
Once the project is defined somewhat, select the printing method that best suits your needs. This is determined more by the number of copies you want than anything else. If you want only a few dozen copies a digital short run might be the style that fits your needs with low initial set up costs and no minimum copies to order.
The drawbacks, however, are a lower quality finished product and no price break for more copies ordered.
A print run of 500 or more, however, can be much more economically attractive if there is a marketing plan that supports good sales numbers on physical copies. Using Web Offset printing has a higher setup cost in preparing the plates for the printing press, but at print runs of as little as 500 copies, the overall cost per book could be lower than any digital option. This allows authors and publishers with enough planning and marketing to support the sales to save tremendously on printing costs and keep more of each book sale in their own pocket.
The Service is In the Details
Just as you want to make sure that your book’s cover is professional and attractive, you want to make sure you have professionals detailing your book. Paper must be trimmed and the pages bound with high quality glue. The cover must be printed on cover stock and glued to the binding. You don’t want to take the chance that your printing will be poorly executed and find yourself stuck with printing that is subpar.