When it comes to printing your book, it can be a minefield to know which printer to use. Insert ‘printing’ in your search engine and you get thousands of results.
So, which one is right for you? Well, that depends on certain requirements – and I list a few options below, so that you can make an informed decision.
First, you need to ask yourself these questions;
- Do you have a budget?
- What are you wanting to use your book for? (for example, are you printing just a few books for family and friends, or are you using it as a lead generation tool – which ever it is, this will make a difference in your choice.)
- Do you want to sell your book on Amazon, or in book shops?
- Are you wanting to be in charge of who you sell it to? (i.e. do you need to know who’s buying your book?)
Once you have answered the above questions, you will be much clearer on which option you can use.
Let me outline the 3 most common options:
- Traditional printers
- POD – or print on demand
- Vanity publisher, like Lulu or create space
1. Traditional printers
This is by far my most preferred choice. You get a higher quality production, at a cheaper unit price – there are hundreds of printers available and it can seem daunting on who to use. I would recommend you go with one that offers a printed poof of your book (this is a printed version of your book, which can be changed BEFORE it goes to print) and that are happy to talk to you on the phone. They will expect you to have a PDF ready file – but some printers will convert your word document for you. However, if you’ve only got a word document – and you haven’t had it looked at by a book designer, then I suggest you get some advice. I’ve seen some people stumble at this last hurdle, spending time and money to write the book, and then have it look amateurish when it’s printed. Don’t expect the printer to make any comments on this either. If you send them a file to print, they generally print it, with no feedback. So, always do your research and check to see what they think.
However, to get the most out of traditional printers you really need to be printing more than 250 books. (I have had clients print less than this, but it does get more expensive, the smaller amount you go, and sometimes it’s because of this, that you might find POD a better choice.)
Good for: Books that are going to be sold as a lead generation tool. If you’re wanting to sell your books in book shops, or on Amazon (they look better!)
Bad for: Low budget, or only requiring 50 copies.
2. POD – or Print on demand
POD printers have had a bad rap – as just a few years ago, they were considered cheap – and not great quality. Plus, they are relatively expensive per unit – compared to traditional printers. However, they have become a lot more quality conscious, and if you just need 20 books done, then this is by far the best option. However, if you want to sell in book shops, then POD is not an option! Book shops won’t sell books if they are printed ‘on demand’ – as they can’t keep stock of books that are only printed ‘on demand’. Now, certain websites like Amazon, have their own ‘POD’ services – but be careful what you’re signing up for.