It may seem like any easy task to choose a book printer who can get your lovingly written "baby" off your computer file and into print, but not all book printers are created equal! A book printer is much like anything else in this world – some are experts in their field and some should not even be in the field. It’s wise to sit down and list your needs before you go on the hunt for a publisher – that way you can find the company and printer who is the right fit for you. Picking the wrong publisher can mean frustration and higher costs to you, not to mention the chance of getting a low quality book out of the deal..
If you have never self-published a book before, it can seem like an easy process. You write the book and drop it off at the printer, and -presto!- you are an author. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way! The book (manuscript) needs to be put into an electronic form and it needs to be edited for errors in spelling and grammar. Someone has to do a layout and the cover art. You need to get an ISBN. There is the issue of storage of the printed work and the marketing and distribution of it. It also needs to be promoted unless you want to have 5,000 copies sitting in your garage, not to mention many other factors that go into the creation of a successful self-published book.
Authors who want to self publish their works should consider short run book printers. The beauty of short run book printing is that the author can print just a small number of books and they can be done at a reasonable cost. Reprinting will be easy if you sell out your work because the manuscript is stored digitally. A short runs printing is around 25 to 1,500 copies. You can set a budget that determines the number of books to be printed. You can save money by doing your own editing and short run book printers can get you your books in just days or weeks of your printing order. And even though you think your book is great, short run printing lets you take on minimal risk while you test the market to see if it is as good as you think it is.
So, how do you narrow down the field of book printers?
- Contact several book printers to get ideas of the range of services they offer, their prices, and how well they work with their customers.
- Get references and contacts for authors whose works they have published. They should be happy to have you speak with other clients.
- Follow up on those contacts! Find out the good, bad, and ugly of the book printers you are considering.
- For best comparison, try to talk to the authors who had books of similar length (number of pages), size of print run, and similar pre-print and post-print services.
- Find out the turn-around time for that particular book printer.
- Factor in quality when comparing the prices among the different book printers. You don’t want to save money and end up with poor quality.