Book Printing

by Janica Smith on November 23, 2012

As we move closer to the time that the book will be ready to go to print there are several things to take into account in choosing a printer for the book.  There are a few different approaches to printing when an author self publishes and each come with their own set of pros and cons.

One choice would be to have the book printed with an offset press printer.  Until only a few years ago, this was one of the only options available.  This method often results in the lowest cost per book but requires a minimum quantity which makes this route less attractive.  A traditional offset print run is usually 500 – 1000 books or more.  This requires that you have a place to store the books and can result in tripping over cartons of books in your living room.  If you print more books than you are able to sell, any savings on per book cost can quickly evaporate.

Another approach, and one that most self-publishing authors choose, is digital printing.  This process actually prints and binds one book at a time.  While the cost per book is usually a little bit higher the ability to print on demand means that you are not paying to print a book until you have actually sold it removing the risk of overprinting and under selling.  While there are several companies that offer this technology, there are two companies that offer an added benefit.  Both CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) and Lightning Source (owned by Ingram) are print-on-demand printers and also give you distribution to  Lightning Source will also distribute the book through Ingram to all online booksellers and will be available for any bookseller to order through the Ingram catalog.

The print-on-demand printers have revolutionized publishing and are largely responsible for the increase in self-publishing.  In future blog postings, I’ll talk about setting up an account as a publisher with Lightning Source and CreateSpace.



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