• Cost out your printed books
  • Order and pay for your printed books
  • Take delivery of your printed books


  • Cost out your printed books
  • Select a printing company
  • Request a sample if required
  • Download template information
  • Meet printing requirements
  • Order and pay for books
  • Submit final pdf proof to printer
  • Approve printer’s proof


Getting an idea of your printed book cost prior to starting your project not only makes good sense, but it is mandatory. You’ll need to assess your book’s viability before you commit your valuable time and effort and of course, your cash. Plus, there will be printing requirements that you’ll need to understand and accommodate if you do decide to publish DIY style. These can differ, depending on the company you use to print your books.

So, your printer becomes paramount in the planning of your book. Knowing their printing criteria from day one, is the way to go. Otherwise it’s a lot of work later in the process that you’ll have to do, or pay someone else to. You must find the compromise between the book you want to publish and the type of book you are actually able to get printed.


The two most popular types of bindings for printed books are:

  • Saddle Stitched
  • Perfect Bound

There are other types of books with a number of different bindings available but for various reasons (usually cost) they are not as popular:

  • Case Bound (Hard Cover)
  • Wire Bound (Spiral Bound)
  • Board Books

Saddle Stitched

For books Under approx 80 pages Saddles Stitched is the most economical style of binding. It is ideal for short length publications or chap books.

Perfect Bound

For books Over approx 80 pages Perfect Bound would be the least expensive option. It is perfect for longer books and novels. A minimum page count of around 48 pages is required and that may vary between printers. Other variables might include maximum page count plus selections of paper stocks and weights.

Choices in paper stocks and associated weights are usually based on the available bindings. These can differ slightly with printing companies and their suppliers. It just depends on what they offer. Another factor to consider is whether you are dealing with a commercial printer that prints everything from business cards to flyers, posters and more…or a book printer/publisher who specialises only in the printing of books. The latter usually has a lot more scope with your size selection or special requests for custom sizes.

Check your printer’s guidelines.

Case Bound (Hard Cover)

Case Bound, or more commonly referred to as Hard Cover is definitely the goods, but not as popular due to cost. This type of book often comes with the option of a Dust Cover or Dust Jacket.

Click here for further information on Dust Jackets

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 for this reason. Also, the frequently used offset printing method is expensive to set up, so 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 a sweet spot or the best savings. Take freight into consideration too. Case Bound books are a lot heavier and more costly to transport than the other available binding options.

Off shore printers may also offer Wire Bound Books and Board Books

Click here for further information on Dust Jackets


Be sure to check what type of format your printer will accept. These days many printing and book publishing companies use PDF format and specify your files be sent ONLY that way. One of the main reasons PDF format is required is due to the various Copywright Laws regarding Fonts.  Under some circumstances they may accept a document file for the text and separate image files and then they will do the converting of your PDFs their end. Remember, there may be an additional charge for this so if you can do it yourself, don’t pay for additional set up.

In short, PDF (Portable Digital Format) is an acceptable format to use for publishing print books. This is because the fonts are embedded in the files when saved which means they become part of the artwork. As they are no longer deemed a font, there is no issue with copyright.

When utilising the services of a commercial printer, you’ll probably find that PDF is the favoured format for the printing of books and magazines. Additionally you may be required to submit the files as a one up or combined multi file which meant all the book page PDFs are combined in one file, not all seperate PDFs. Always check your printers guidelines as they are specific to that company and how it sets up and prints its books.


Once you’ve located your potential printer, you should be able to get a free sample pack out of them. Most will accommodate or specify that they are available on their website. Just ask! If you can get some idea of the quality and thickness of papers, covers etc, as well, you are closer to making your decision and a solid, well informed one.


Generally, the Perfect Bound Softcover (high quality paperback) seems to be the most popular style, in about an A5 size, or thereabouts. So there are often more choices available for cover styles and and paper type and weight. With things like page count…if your book is under 80 pages, the Saddle Stitched option is ideal as it’s a more economical printing alternative than a Perfect Bound with the same page count. Keep all that in mind if you’re looking to keep your costs as low as possible.

Make sure you check out more than one printing company. Oh, and look at both commercial printers and book publishers/printers. Commercial printers may only offer a small range of sizes but may be more economical and still offer comparative quality AND turn around times, or better!

Book Publishers and Printers will have a broad range of sizes and options and may be cheaper or more expensive, depending on your publication type.

So… do your homework and go with what works for you.

Short story books and some poetry books etc are obviously popular in the cheaper saddle stitched binding option with full gloss colour pages or alternatively uncoated pages. There is also the standard option for internals of black and white on uncoated or gloss paper.

Novels tend to lean towards uncoated laser bond style paper in black and white and in the lighter weights depending on page count.

Whilst Landscape style books can be printed, I discovered very limited options to choose from. Lastly, hard cover books, although still printed are the more expensive option and are usually printed off shore to keep the costs as low as possible. So shop around.

After researching four different printing companies, I went with a commercial printer. I found the result and quality was excellent and they accommodated my requirements. Being a commercial printer they mainly catered for A5 and A4 size publications which suited me. Remember, not all printers are going to manufacture every shape and size book, or paper type and weight. But there are more specialised book printers out there who offer custom designed books where you can nominate any finished size. As I mentioned, research all your options as this is a huge decision regarding the presentation of your publication and how it impacts your readers and particularly your back pocket.


The factors that determine the pricing are:

  • Size
  • Orientation
  • Print
  • Binding
  • Page Count

Other options like Cover Weight, Paper Type and Paper Weight will alter the price marginally, but not a great deal. The Quantity ordered ultimately determines your final book price.  Obviously the more you buy, the cheaper they become.

When you’re getting ready to order your first print run of books, you’ll need to fine tune your decisions about how you want your finished publication to look:

  • Size
  • Orientation
  • Print
  • Page Count
  • Cover Weight
  • Cover Lamination
  • Paper Type
  • Paper Weight
  • Qty

Explore all the above options for each element of your book. You will have to select absolutely everything…from the orientation to the binding, to cover weight, to paper type and more…

See example below

I have used my book details below and ticked the preferences I took with each element, as shown:











for the DIY Publisher

Most times, you’ll have to meet Bleed Layout requirements when supplying your Print Ready PDFs to the printer. Printing companies provide a range of templates and guideilines to assist in setting up your bleed correctly.

Refer to the Templates section on your printers website. Select the template that suits your book size and download. Along with your template there should be instructions and guidelines to work from.

Look carefully at all this information when you are in research stage for your book. The principle is similar for most printing companies, but parameters can vary slightly. The set up must be done according to your printers guidelines to ensure your files and consequently, your book are printed correctly. It is an additional cost if you can’t do yourself.


  • Sign up and create an account if required
  • Place your order and make payment
  • Submit your proof
  • Printer will send back their proof
  • They will notify you of any errors
  • You can fix errors and resubmit for a small fee
  • Or you can accept proof as is and approve
  • Publication will go to print

Feeling Overwhelmed??

Busy Fingers Publishing can assist you with Bleed Layout, File Saving and File Conversion services should you feel this is a bit beyond your capabilities. For information relevant to these services:

Go to Assistance Package Step 07 PRINT READY PDFs

Your files MUST be supplied in Inkscape SVG format


Busy Fingers Publishing offers a Print ONLY Package for DIY Publishers who do not wish to seek out their own printer. We can supply templates and instructions for your bleed set up or as mentioned above, we can assist with the bleed layout and required file conversions to take your book right to the print ready stage.

All book printing packages are printed in Australia and shipped to country of origin. However, with lengthy books weight becomes an issue when freighting so we may locate a printer that is closer to you.

We recommend you compare exchange rates as they may be in your favour, depending on your location.

For information and prices:

Go to DIY Book Printing ONLY Package

For DIY Publishers

If you are getting your books printed through Busy Fingers Publishing access the Templates Information and Bleed Information via the links on the Step 07 Print Ready PDFs as mentioned or from the Home page.

If you are ordering and purchasing a Print Book ONLY Package from Busy Fingers Publishing, you can work from our templates, instructions and guidelines.

For all our information on:

  • Bleed Layout
  • How to Use a PDF Template
Go to Step 07 PRINT READY PDFs

For Complete Publishing Package Customers

Your Bleed Artwork, PDF print ready files and Multi PDF file conversion are part of your package.

For a range of free ideas and low cost marketing methods based around book promotion:

Go to next step:


<– Back to previous step

<– Return to:


For Professional Help:


Or to direct page Assistance Package Step 08 BOOK PRINTING