Figuring out the best and most economical way to print your children's book can be tricky. There are many options and they all have different benefits. In this post I will discuss the different options and when I think they are suitable.
The first point I would like to make is that printing has a few set rules that can help you.
1. The larger the quantity of books you order at a time the less they will cost per book. If you order 100 books you will pay a lot more per book than if you order 1000. The set up involved with printing books is fairly extensive and does not change with the quantity. It takes a printer the same amount of effort to print 100 books as it does 1000 the only difference is material costs like ink and paper and a slight time difference.
2. The more you pay for printing the better quality you should receive. This is not always true however if you are thinking your printing bill is ridiculously cheap there is probably a reason. There are many ways printers can bring down the cost of printing to save customers money. A lot of the time this involves taking shortcuts that sacrifice quality.
There are three common options for printing your book.
Print on Demand
There is now a lot of self publishing companies’ online offering print on demand services. This means you don’t have to pay anything up front. As people order your book the printer prints a copy and sends it to the customer. The cost of the print comes out of the price the customer pays for the book and you get the difference as your profit minus a small publishing fee. This is a great for beginners just trying to get their book out there. However the printing price per book is a lot higher than other printing methods so if you want to sell more than a few thousand at a time this is not a very good option.
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Gang Run Printing
Gang run printing is when a printer prints multiple print jobs in the same run. This means the set up cost of the job is split between the jobs therefore bringing down the cost of set up for each customer. The set up process involves setting up the colour plates correctly and adjusting them to suit the job. This means that if your job is being printed with multiple other jobs the colour set up will be to suit all of the jobs not just yours. This can mean slight variations in colour when printing the same job in six months time with the same printer. Most of them do not guarantee colour matching. This is not necessarily important for children's books as no customer will be comparing them side by side.
The last option is high quality printing where your job is being printing in its own run and colour matched to your specifications. This is obviously going to produce the best overall result however it comes with a cost. As your job will be printed by its self you will be paying for the whole set up cost. This will make your per book price quite high. This is a good option is you are printing a large run of more than 1000 or are trying to get something very specialised and specific with the printing and finishing.