Book Printing Companies

Written by Christopher Ransom
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Today's Book Printing Companies

The explosion of media and technology today has created a wealth of options for anyone researching book printing companies. Like any other industry where there are a lot of players, there are going to be some bad apples among the crop. When selecting a book printing company, the ultimate manufacturer of your book, it is important to look at the methods, materials, and costs associated with their service. As with any service-oriented company, a good book printer's first priority should be you, the customer. Before you get into decisions such as cost and number of books, take a closer look at the company's history and don't be afraid to ask these book printing companies for samples of their work and references. After all, this is an investment in your book's future and possibly your own.

Once you have reached a comfortable understanding of your book printer's reputation, you are ready to take a closer look at the company's offerings. The basic offerings you will consider are the equipment and technology used to print your book, the suite of services offered to meet your needs, and the costs associated with your desired return. It's very important to understand each of these pieces on their own terms. Comparing apples to apples will help you make an informed decision that remains in harmony with your expectations. For instance, a price quote of $5,000.00 from one printer might seem high until you consider the quality of binding used, the number of copies included in the price, and the delivery time.

Make a List of Your Priorities to Discuss with Book Printing Companies

Before you run out and compare apples to oranges, make a list of your priorities. What do you need from your press run vs. what you would like to get out of your press run? You might not care what type of ink is used to print your book, but you probably care whether it is a soft cover or hard cover, large or small. Do you need 2,000 copies of your book by next Thursday, no matter what quality of the paper may be? Or is your first priority to have a book that will endure for generations, even if it means you can only afford an initial run of 500 copies? Book printing companies will be happy to discuss packages that create the most value for your print run dollar.

Here's a partial list of factors to consider before you talk to book printing companies. Try listing them out in order of importance and then deicide what's negotiable and what isn't.

      Cover art (do you have something in hand or do you need help creating a cover?)
      Format and binding type (mass-market or trade paperback, hardcover, or spiral bound?)
      Delivery date-how soon do you need to the books, and do you need a delivery date guarantee?
      Consultation--do you need someone you can talk to at every stage of the creative and printing process, or are you content to fill out and order form and let the printer to do the rest? How many copies do you need right away? Buying in bulk is cheaper on a per copy basis, but print-on-demand services offer a way to save money even if you're selling a few books a month.

Other factors to consider before placing an order:

      Does the printer offer proof copies prior to printing?
      Are there any hidden administrative fees? How will you be submitting the book to the printer?
      Does the printer work with popular computer formats, such as Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF?
      Do you need someone to store and distribute your book after printing is done?
      What are the shipping charges associated with your book?
      Does the printer offer any sort of marketing services to help your book find its audience, or will you be relying on your own strategies to build word of mouth?

Answering as many of these questions before you ask for a price quote will help you plan your book's printing process and keep your expectations in line with your book printer's.

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