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3 Things to Consider When Shopping For a Book Printing Company

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.

What is Your Book Printing Company Doing for You?

When you take your book to print, you want to make sure that you are getting a professional team that understands your vision and is able to make it a reality. Your book is a product that is very dear to you, and one that you hope to sell to critical acclaim.

In order to do that successfully, you need a fantastic finished product at a price point that will give you the highest profit margin possible. Offset Web Press commercial printing is going to deliver the highest quality trade paperbacks with perfect binding at the lowest cost per unit possible when printing bulk orders.

Types of Printing

Offset Web is the fastest way to complete larger print run orders of 500 units or more.  This printing method uses paper on rolls and inked plates to create the printed sheets. The paper is trimmed and bound in the finishing process. The speed and quality of four color heat-set printing makes this method ideal for creating trade paperbacks with the highest production quality.

Digital short-run printing may be an attractive option for small orders of less than 100 books such as producing galleys and ARCs, but in the long run is a more costly printing method. Running a digital printer requires the same energy usage and overhead cost for one copy or two dozen so there is no way to reduce production costs.

In offset printing, on the other hand, the initial costs is in setting up the plates. Once the printing is running, it is relatively inexpensive to keep the press running and turning out copies. By printing larger quantities at once, set up costs are averaged out per book. This allows the small publishing house to distribute their own print editions with a very attractive profit margin.

Binding and Cover

The perfect binding method used for most trade paperbacks is made when groups of pages, called signatures are glued to the cardstock cover with a flexible adhesive. Perfect bindings are inexpensive and durable, but still create a high quality appearance even for books with a high page count.

The type of stock you choose depends on what you want in a finished product. Coated stock will be glossier and allow for much sharper images because the coating keeps the ink from seeping into the paper.

Uncoated cover stock has a softer, matte finish and will have a fuzzier quality to the design as the ink absorbs into the paper. Both styles of cover stock make excellent covers depending on what you want the finished book to look like, but coating will add some weight to the cover which will effect binding and the printing process.

Get expert help to make these decisions. A knowledgeable team of professionals can guide you to the right options for your project to make sure the final product is the most attractive book with the best possible cost per unit.

Choosing the Right Book Printer in the Northwest

For small publishing houses and even independent authors that want complete control over their book distribution, choosing the right printer to deliver the best value on printing is an important choice. While short run digital printing on demand has enjoyed recent popularity, offset web printing cannot be beat for price and quality.

What is Web Offset Printing?

Web offset printing runs paper through a printing press on rollers and inked plates are used to make impressions on each side. Pages are then cut and bound with paperback Perfect Bindings. While the initial set up to create the plates can add to the printing costs, when running even a modest print run of 500 that cost is still only a small bump in cost per unit.

The ability to print quickly and in large numbers with superior quality printing and bindings, strongly outweighs the startup cost. The paper quality is typically better than digital and produces a better quality finished book.

Advantages Over Short Run

Short Run digital press uses expensive digital equipment with no advantages in the long run to print more books– the overhead costs of the printing remain the same if you print one book or 10,000. There is no price break for printing more copies. This means a fixed profit margin.

With offset printing on the other hand, all the set up costs are in the set-up. After that, it is easy and inexpensive to keep the presses rolling. The more copies you print at once, the cheaper they are per copy as the initial cost gets averaged out. With an established readership or strong marketing prospects, printing in bulk can add thousands to the bottom line.

Time Value of Money

Another factor that helps offset printing keep its price edge over short run printing is the lead time. Because you can expect delivery in six to eight weeks, printers are able to maintain a schedule of jobs and keep the presses running constantly. This helps keep all expenses low. By planning ahead and ordering your printing with enough lead time, you are able to get a discount that isn’t available with digital printing.

Planning is Key

The publishing house or independent author that has a strong marketing and distribution plan is going to come out ahead with web offset printing. With reasonable expectations for sales, and a small upfront investment, the book seller has a higher profit margin by printing in bulk.

Going Local

Using a printer that is located regionally will also keep freight and shipping charges down to a minimum, especially for regional interest books. Keeping your printing local is good for the environment and the economy, but it also means hometown service. In the Northwest, that printer is Century Publishing. The local leader in the Seattle/Spokane area for web-offset printing is committed to spectacular service.

What You Should Look For in a Commercial Printing Company

When it’s time for your business to move out of the neighborhood print shop and upgrade to commercial printing, the choices can be daunting. Finding the right commercial printing company will make or break your project. Choosing the wrong company to work with can set you back in time and money and still produce amateur results for your marketing efforts.

The right printer, on the other hand, can take ownership of your project from start to finish and walk you through the process to superior results. But, how do you find the right printer among so many that want your business?

It’s all about the process

Find a printer that can tell you all about their printing process. You want to work with a team that can explain what to expect and that educates their customers about how commercial printing can work for them. Any printing company that can’t clearly inform you about the printing process should be considered suspect.

Project Ownership

A stellar commercial printer takes ownership of projects from start to finish. The more work that is done in house, rather than being shipped out to a third party vendor, the more ownership the print house will have over the project and the less problems you are likely to have with miscommunications.

Workflow Management

Your printer should have clear specifications for files that are easy to follow and understand. Managing the printing process needs to be as simple as possible. The more that can be handled online, the better, including the proof process.

The Right Details

Bringing your printing project to life doesn’t begin or stop with the printing alone. As much as clients need front end support, the details before delivery are just as important. Finishing your project requires binding, folding, trimming and possibly even bulk mailing services. The more that these services are handled by your printer, the more control they have over it.

Superior Service

From start to finish, working with real professionals, like the experts at Century Publishing, is a whole different experience. The team at Century is committed to making sure you love working with them. They handle every detail of your project and do the heavy lifting for you. Your project from beginning to end will be in the hands of a team you can trust to deliver above the bar, exceptional service. Contact your professional commercial printing team at Century Publishing, they can’t wait to hear from you.

3 Questions to Ask to Find the Right Printer for Your Project

There are many commercial printing companies vying for your business. Deciding which printer to go with can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be armed with a bit of knowledge to help you weigh your options.


One of the first things to consider when contacting commercial printers is if they listen to you. The right business is one that gets your ideas and listens to understand your vision. If a printer seems too busy to give you their full attention when they are trying to win your business, will they change once the order has been placed? Choose the professional team that works start to finish to make your vision a reality.


Understanding just a little about commercial printing will help you determine is a printer is capable of delivering what you need. There are two main types of commercial printing you are likely to run into.

  • Web Offset Press

Web offset press uses paper fed on continuous rolls and then the pages are cut and trimmed in the finishing process. Most often this web press is heat-set which means that the ink is dried quickly using heat during the printing process. Because the ink dries so quickly it is possible to print much faster and use high gloss papers with crisp clear images.

The advantages of Heat-set Web Press is the speed and high quality images, but the set up costs for a print run are higher. If running a large print job, this set up cost averages to very little per unit but for smaller print runs it can add quite a bit to the bottom line.

  • Sheet-fed Press

Sheet-fed printing is a good alternative to heat-set for smaller print jobs. With this option paper is fed one precut sheet at a time. This method is slower and the ink requires time to dry, but it still allows the use of the high-gloss papers. The image quality is comparable to heat-set but the set up costs is typically lower making it a good option for smaller print runs.

If you require more than a couple thousand imprints (or copies) you want to ask your printing team about heat-set printing and make sure they are qualified. If you want only a couple thousand or less, sheet-fed printing might be the option you want to explore.


Finally, ask about the finishing details. Do you need Perfect Binding of the kind that is used for magazines and paperback books or will you need saddle stitching or plastic bindings? If your print shop can’t deliver that final detail with the same professionalism, you need a new printer. Also decide how you want your printed product delivered. If you have a mailing list of qualified leads, it is not necessary to have your printing shipped to you when your commercial printer offers bulk mail service as well. Let professionals package and ship your final print product to your recipients.

Answer these three areas for yourself when you start talking to printers, and narrow the field quickly to only the most professional and capable commercial printers.

Finding the Right Printing Service for your Company

There are three things that should determine what kind of printing service you need for your project: The size of the print run, the detail and quality of the images desired, and the finishing details such as binding and fulfillment. When you weigh your options against what you are looking for, finding the right printer should be much easier.

What’s In a Print

Consider your expected distribution and what the final product should look like, how it should feel in the hand. Real-estate brochures want sharp beautiful photographs, trade publications attract the respect of the industry with professional finishing, and the small publishing house can add physical distribution channels; all with the help of the right printing company and professional team.

With the help of an all-digital interface for uploading files and proof acceptance, your team at Century Publishing makes printing decisions easy.

Types of Printing

The type of printing your project should use is largely determined by the number of printed copies you are receiving. For a larger run, say over 10,000 imprints or copies, the preferred choice is web off-set printing with an entire roll of paper fed through the press at a time. Heat-set web press, in which the ink is dried using heat, is ideal for high volume print runs. The use of UV coatings and high gloss paper allows superior image quality.

Because the ink is dried during the printing process, this is also a much faster production turnaround for high volume from start to finish.

Cold-set web press is a similar process, but because the ink is not force dried, and instead allowed to air dry and absorb into the paper, it does not allow the use of high gloss papers. Correspondingly, this print style has a lower image quality. Set up costs is typically lower making it more attractive for limited print runs, but may not work well when high resolution images are desired.

For smaller print runs, when only a thousand or so imprints are desired, but image quality must remain high, a more attractive option is sheet feed printing. Using this method, the paper is cut to size beforehand and fed into the press one sheet at a time. This allows the use of high gloss paper and coatings unlike cold-set. This method loses some time on the printing and drying but makes up for it with its higher image quality.

Century Publishing is an industry leader in the North West with four color heat-set web printing technology and six color sheet feed capabilities. Let their team of experts help plan the right print run for your next project.

Finishing Options

Everything from trim and coating to the stitching and binding, requires the same attention to detail. The in-house finishing department at Century Publishing fulfills every order with exceptional service. Bulk mailing service helps speed delivery to just where the finished product is needed. For truly stunning magazine printing, the professionals at Century Publishing are the leaders in printing companies in Spokane.

Magazine Printing Can Transform Your Catalogue

As your business grows and matures, it’s time for your catalogue to mature, as well. Magazine printing with full color images and perfect binding is the next step for when your catalogue needs a makeover.

Update your Catalogue

Transform your dated catalogue with the use of high gloss papers. Glossy color copies grabs a reader’s attention. The image quality with high gloss paper is much better than uncoated. Magazine printing will make the images in your catalogue come to life and truly grab your customer’s attention.

The sharp image quality of high tech magazine printing and professional binding say quality to your customers. The quality of your catalogue speaks to the quality your business puts into its products. Your audience will equate your products with the high quality perceived in your marketing material. The psychology behind the materials that go into a catalogue is no accident, the high quality design and production sets great catalogues in a category of their own.

Sell the Lifestyle

Catalogue design is an art form that seeks to sell a lifestyle, a feeling, an image. A catalogue should reinforce that brand image. Get professional images and highlight the products and how they are part of the lifestyle that the brand is selling. Craft a story around that lifestyle that fits in the messaging of the brand.

Design your catalogue around your most important products and be sure to give them more space. Another design tip is to put images of important products near the edges of the pages to attract more attention. Designing in blocks of 16 pages is advantageous when using heat-set web printing. Don’t forget to leave room for a content page, company information and ordering instructions. If you find you have open pages, fill that with the story of your brand that will highlight that lifestyle you are selling.

Marketing Power Tools

The catalogue is an important marketing tool for any business that sells multiple products. It allows customers that may have never set foot in your store to browse your wares to shop and order your merchandise. Creating a catalogue of your products in a very attractive magazine format that speaks of high quality production will set your brand’s tone even from a distance. A skilled printer can make your designs stand out with a product catalogue that gets you noticed and ship direct to your mailing list with digital work-load management and expert help throughout the printing and fulfillment process.

Power of the Printer

Selecting the right printer to partner with will make all the difference in the end result. Having the technical capabilities is only the first concern. The team of experts that handles your project from start to finish providing detailed advice and personally tackling any problems that might come up is the kind of service that will make you love where you print.

Knockout Brochures with Commercial Printing

Designing the perfect brochure for your enterprise is a huge marketing asset. Using a professional commercial printer will ensure your perfect design is brought to life and doesn’t turn into a liability.

When designing a brochure take account the amount of information you need to convey and remember that short and simple is always preferable. Also consider limitations or costs in postage and shipping on the marketing budget before printing your creative design.

Paper Size

Most brochures are created from some folding arrangement of a single sheet of paper. There are several standard paper sizes commonly used: basic letter (8.5”x11”) and legal (8.5”x 14”) as well as tabloid sizes (11”x 17” and 11”x 25.5”). These common paper sizes are used by any commercial printer and will offer reliable output. Heavy bond, glossy papers create a dramatic effect in stunning quality.


Images grab a reader’s attention right away, but use only the highest resolution images and highest quality graphics for print production. Assemble your content early in the process as it will help guide your overall design choices.

When it comes to text, concentrate on grabby headlines and keep the writing clean and simple. Don’t be afraid of white space, it is visually appealing to break up text into smaller blocks and avoid overloading the eye.

Finish and Fold

When designing for print, the designer takes into account the folding style of the brochure. When the page is printed, content is placed so that when folded, the content is visible in the correct panel. There are several folding styles that are common a basic bi-fold will mean the page is folded in two like a booklet and creates 4 panels where printing will show. The classic trifold has six panels with the front slightly larger and the back panels folded to the inside. These simple designs are universally recognized. Work with your printer to get the exact specifications for your design template and printable area.

Some other folds that are familiar industry standards include the accordion or z-fold- similar to the trifold but with the back panel folded out instead of in, the double parallel and the gate fold. Imagine your ideal customer finding your brochure and how it should make an impression. The dedicated team at Century Publishing can help you decide what the best finished design will be.

Don’t forget delivery

The brochure of your dreams rolls off the press, it’s beautifully folded and ready to go. Choose a team that will get it out the door for you. From poly bagging and bulk mail service to batch drop shipping, you want a team that will make getting your brochures straight to the people waiting for them as easy as the printing process in the right hands.

Your Print Team

The experts at your printing company should feel like partners in your project. The right team to work with is the one that makes the process seamless and easy while producing amazing results for you.

How to Shop for Printing Services

With so many printing services to choose from, finding the right printer to handle your project can seem like a daunting task. Understanding the products available and your own needs can make you a more knowledgeable shopper when the time comes to order printing for your business.

Know where the printing gets done

Does your printing service do its printing in house or are they using a third party printer themselves? This can be vitally important when issues arise, and with more middlemen in the equation problems are easy to come by.

A well outfitted commercial printer will have heat-set web printing capabilities and or six color sheet-feed printing. Heat-set web printing is ideal for larger print runs. Paper is fed through the printer on rolls and the ink is heat dried during the process. This makes large prints runs faster, and uses the high gloss paper that delivers crisp intense images. Sheet-fed printing is slower, paper is cut into sheets beforehand and the ink must be allowed to dry, but for smaller print runs it works very well. It allows for the use of high gloss papers but with set up requirements more reasonable for smaller print runs.

What kind of printing you need

The style of printing your job requires depends largely on how many copies or imprints you are ordering. Large print runs need the speed of web press and the ink drying feature of heat-set printing. Because the ink is dried during the printing process, it allows the printer to use glossy papers and capture crisp sharp images without sacrificing for drying time.

The drawback of web-offset printing like heat-set is more intensive set up that may add to the cost of smaller print runs. In this case, sheet feed printing is a good option (shop printing services). In sheet feed printing, paper trimmed into sheets is fed through the printer. This method takes less set up which helps keep costs lower, and allows for high gloss papers and crisp images but drying may add to the processing time. Overall, the savings is worth it on a smaller print run.

Finish it Right

Trim and binding are the next essential piece of the puzzle. When this is done in-house, and with the oversight of professionals that know your needs, you can expect better quality control. Look for ownership of the project from start to finish under the same roof. Magazine style perfect binding and UV coatings add special touches to your project.

Mailings and Fulfillment

Once your project is complete, you need to get it in the right hands. A full service commercial printer can offer a range of fulfillment options for direct mailing lists and drop shipping. The professionals on your team at the commercial printers can advise you on delivery options and costs.

Finding the right printer for your next project doesn’t have to be confusing. Understanding what you need will go a long way to making the right choice for your business.

How Real Estate Agents Use Magazine Printing to Stand Out

Today’s real estate market is a tight place where any edge can be the difference to closing a sale or not. Many prestigious brokers are looking for new ways to give themselves that edge. One marketing avenue that can make a real-estate office stand out is publishing a magazine. Making your agency into a well-known brand in your local market means not only having your name seen but establishing your agency as the experts.

Go for the local angle

Leaders and experts in the market are immersed in the local flavor. Demonstrate this in a local interest, limited distribution magazine. This can be a great way to highlight popular neighborhoods and nearby attractions. You can showcase the talented agents that make your agency unique and offer informative and entertaining seasonal articles for homeowners and prospective buyers. This sort of high standard production will set any real-estate brokerage head and shoulders above competitors. This publication offers value to the reader with insider tips about local neighborhoods and hot trends while putting the agency front and center.

In any market hot neighborhoods can be hotter, and great but overlooked areas can be reinvigorated with a well-placed article in a glossy branded magazine print. Place these articles next to nearby listings compete with high quality images and floor plans and pique interest further. Updated quarterly, this can be a powerful tool for opening up new markets and building a buzz for the real-estate office that can demonstrate they know the area.

Meet and greet

Real-estate is a people oriented field. Let potential house sellers and house hunters know the people to work with by introducing your top agents in a commercially printed high fashion magazine. Your talented agents have the connections and the dedication to take your business to the top. Give them the recognition they deserve and the publicity boost between the pages of your agency’s magazine.

Fads and trends

Fill the pages with decorating tips and household hacks for moving and more. Some of the articles can be placed as marketing for vendors and services in the local area creating stronger business ties with the local community while potentially defraying some of the costs. These local businesses that cater to a similar clientele can be invaluable as a point of distribution as well.

A seasonal or quarterly publication schedule will capture new trends and keep listings and content fresh and build a reputable reach with your marketing efforts. The key to making a real-estate magazine work as part of your agency’s marketing strategy is in the printing. The right printing services team can make sure that your final product is the eye catching high quality magazine that gets noticed.

Get the printing right

Find a commercial printer that can handle small or large magazine print runs with professional finishing and attention to detail to deliver a superior magazine. The prestige of marketing with a branded magazine publication will reap high rewards.