- Detail book concept / vision
- Cost out your printed books
- Find a printing company
- Record book particulars
- Research online printers
- Cost out printed books
- Choose a printer
ABOUT YOUR BOOK
BOOK CONCEPT OR VISION
Before embarking on your book project, it’s helpful to start with some kind of vision of your finished publication. By now, you should have a pretty good idea what type of book you’re writing, how you want it to look and ultimately who you want to market it to.
Some of the things you’ll need to consider:
- Are you designing your own cover?
- Will your book have images?
- Do you require an illustrator?
- Do you need an ISBN?
- How much will your book retail for?
If you establish a lot of the details at the beginning of the publishing process, you will find it easier to make other decisions along the way and be better organised on the whole. So jot down everything you can think of, even if it seems minor at the time. Then elaborate on your bits and pieces once you have a main list of objectives to cover.
I’ll use a quick summary of my printed book details as an example:
- Book Vision Coffee Table Book of Rhyming Verse
- Type of Book Poetry Book
- Genre Humour
- Title Lyrical Latte
- Subtitle very espresso verse
- Market Family, Friends, Local Cafes & Newsagents, Online
- Require ISBN? Yes
- Require Barcode? Yes
- Illustrated? Yes
- Own Illustrations? Yes
- Own Cover Artwork Design? Yes
- Manuscript Edited? Yes
- Approx. Retail Price $14.95
COSTING YOUR BOOKS
Page Count and Bindings
In order to price out your books accurately there are some things you need to think about first.
The style of binding you choose is what affects the base price of your books.
Your book length or page count is what will actually determine your style of binding. Make sure you have some idea of an initial page count in order to select the most suitable binding for the job.
The two most popular types of bindings for printed books are:
- Saddle Stitched
- Perfect Bound
For books Under approx 80 pages Saddles Stitched is recommended as the most economical option.
For books Over approx 80 pages Perfect Bound is the least expensive option.
Usually the minimum page count for Saddle Stitched is around 8 pages and for Perfect Bound around 48 pages. This can vary between printers. Your choice of paper stocks is determined by the binding you choose.
Check your printer’s guidelines.
There are a number of other bindings available but for various reasons (usually cost) they are not as popular:
- Case Bound (Hard Cover)
- Wire Bound (Spiral Bound)
- Board Books
Whilst it is the most durable of all bindings, it is by far the most expensive way to produce a book. Case bound books are usually printed offshore. As the frequently used offset printing method is expensive to set up, minimum quantities often start at around 250 books. Larger quantity orders may drastically reduce the price per book as the initial set up is already done. Look at all quantities when researching prices for that sweet spot and the best savings. Take freight into consideration too. Case Bound books are a lot heavier and more expensive to transport than the other available binding options.
Sourcing out a printing company early on, is a must. Mainly because they will determine important parameters for your book other than the cost. You must not only locate a reliable printer, but one that is compatible with the type of book you want to publish. As mentioned above, printing companies will vary with what they offer. Therefore, you sometimes have to compromise with what you’d like and what’s available at the price you want to pay. In regards to the price of books, in most cases, the more you order, the cheaper they become but you will get to a flat rate at some point. It makes good sense though, to look at a short print run for your maiden voyage. That way, if you find any errors after your book goes to print, you can make the appropriate changes and submit a new proof for your next print order.
I’ll use my book again for examples of the options I went with:
- Size A5
- Orientation Portrait
- Print Colour
- Binding Saddle Stitched
- Page Count 64 pages
- Cover Weight 350gsm
- Cover Lamination Yes
- Lamination Type Gloss
- Paper Type Gloss
- Paper Weight 150gsm
- Quantity Ordered 100
Some of these factors are flexible, but it is wise to spend the time deciding on the vision of your book before commencing. Drawings and simple sketches of ideas won’t hurt either. Although plans can change, this will give you a basic starting guide.
Nothing is set in concrete until you’ve approved your book proof and clicked the Send button.
For information on Printed Books go to:
For information on ISBN go to:
If you decide on an ISBN, it’s recommended you purchase it before starting the book page set up. This way you already have the details to add to your book pages when the time comes. You don’t have to fill in any book particulars until you know them when applying for your ISBN. But it’s important to secure your actual number as soon as possible. Once the number has been officially issued, you can then add this information to your book pages when you’re ready.
If you are using a Barcode as well, this works in conjunction with the ISBN information. When the ISBN is issued, you’ll be emailed a PDF copy of your Barcode which reflects your ISBN number in a scannable form. This is for use on the rear cover.
The book profile details and information can be supplied later, when your book is closer to completion. This information is recorded online. e.g. Title, Subtitle, Author, Synopsis, Author Bio, Page Count, Book Type etc
Once submitted, these will appear in web searches and book title listings. It takes approximately 2-3 months for this information to filter through to the various online platforms.
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