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The Pros and Cons of Small Batch Book Printing

April 19, 2023 (Last Updated May 11, 2023)

Marcy G.

If you are a self-publishing author – first of all, congratulations! You’re joining an ever-growing number of authors who choose self-publishing. Being a self-publishing author puts you in control of many decisions related to your book, including how many books to print.

Publishing companies charge authors a fee to print books – often 5,000 (or more) books at a time. If you go the self-publishing route, you get to choose the number of books to print, and small-batch book printing might be the best answer.

What are the advantages of small-batch book printing? How can you cost-effectively handle custom small-batch book printing for your book?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of small-batch book printing for self-publishing authors.

What is the best method for small-batch book printing?

To begin any discussion of small-batch book printing services, it’s important to know the difference between the types of printing available: offset and digital.

Offset printing transfers text and images from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to a printing surface. This traditional printing method uses water and oil via ink rollers.

Digital printing uses high-volume laser or inkjet printers that transfer text and images directly from digital files. This printing method provides quicker turnaround time because you do not need to replace printing plates like you would with an offset printer.

Pros and Cons of Small-Batch Book Printing

The downside of small-batch printing has been cost, traditionally. For small runs, offset printing is very cost prohibitive. If you need larger quantities of books, your cost-per-book will still be less using offset printing. For instance, if you need 2,000 books or more, or if you consistently need to print large quantities of books, offset printing would be the way to go.

If you do want to print in small batches – and there are many good reasons to choose that route – digital printing now provides authors with a better option. With digital printing, you can print small batches cost effectively and continue to print in small batches as you need them.

48 Hour Books uses digital printers for custom small-batch book printing, producing bookstore-quality books with quick turnaround times. 

Why would you want to print books in small batches? For the self-publishing author, small-batch book printing has tangible benefits.

You can make a smaller upfront investment.

As a self-publisher, particularly if you are a new author, you may not have an accurate estimate of how many books you’ll sell. With small-batch book printing, you pay less money upfront to print your books and can order more copies in larger quantities to meet demand later.

You can print exactly what you need.

With a small-batch run, you print exactly what you need and nothing more. No worries about leftover stock and over-investment in printing costs.

You can get more copies – fast.

What if your sales far exceed your expectations? Custom small-batch book printing allows you to respond to your sales and print more books when you need them. Hint: If you offer pre-orders for your book, you have a more accurate estimate of sales.

Small-batch book printing allows quick turnaround time.

If you need books for an event, whether it’s a book signing, a promotional event, a speaking event or any other specific occasion, digital, small-batch book printing can get you the books you need right when you need them.

Why 48 Hour Books?

48 Hour Books is a great choice for small-batch book printing services. We offer bookstore-quality books with quick turnaround time in the quantity you need. We do everything possible to make book printing easier for self-publishers. With 48 Hour Books small-batch book printing services you get:

·      Flexibility to print even the smallest quantity. You can print as little as ten books at a time at 48 Hour Books. If you need larger quantities, you can print thousands!

·      Bestseller quality. You’ll find that our books match the bestsellers. We use high-quality paper stocks and produce laser-crisp images and text. We offer a variety of book binding options, from hardcover to softcover, spiral bound and saddle-stitch. 

·      Quick and easy pricing. We also offer quick pricing for our services. Just use our price calculator.

·      A team of helpful people. If you have additional questions, our customer service team is second to none.

What If I Need Reprints?

If you need to reprint your books, 48 Hour Books makes it simple. We never delete your files. You can choose to reprint your books exactly, or you can send in edited files and print new versions or special editions.

Ready to print? Place an order with 48 Hour Books today.

Want more information on small-batch book printing? Read our blog on “5 Reasons You Should Invest in Short-Run Printing.”

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