Traditional publishing was revolutionised by the advent of print on demand services. As the digital age advanced and new printing and printer ink technology became available the approach to publishing changed. Print on demand has seen a boom as unlike traditional publishing the technical setup is much quicker, costs are reduced due to low inventory costs and publishers only print the number of books according to the demand. Print on demand has also become a popular means of creating customised business cards, greeting cards and a variety of other mediums.
Here are twenty of the best print on demand services on offer.
Blurb tailor offer a generalist print on demand service. They will print just about anything in book form such as a first time novel; a blog book; a wedding memory book and photography books. They have a flexible pricing structure which is dependent on the book size; the paper used; the page count and whether the book is a soft or hardcover.
For instance a 7×7 inch soft cover book of no more than 40 pages, using standard paper will cost around £6.95 per book. All the self publisher has to do is download the Blurb Booksmart software which is used to edit the layout and content of the book. Once the self publisher has finished the overall design and look of the book, they can submit it for publishing.
Lulu is another generalist print on demand publisher who will print books; calendars; photography books; brochures and even comic books. The advantage of using Lulu is that there are no setup fees and they even offer additional services such as editing; marketing tools and advice, and press releases which are very handy for a first time author who has little or no experience in publishing and marketing.
They offer a flexible pricing structure based on the book size; paper type; number of pages; binding and whether it is a paperback or hardcover book. A single 7.5 x 7.5 inch paperback book of no more than 40 pages using standard paper will cost around £4.76. Depending on the package selected all the author needs to do is open an account with Lulu then upload the content of the book. Once the author has created the cover using the Lulu software and edited the book, it can then be published through the Lulu website.
Booksurge caters to authors of books and do not publish other print material like calendars or brochures. They offer comprehensive packages to authors that include publishing; editing; design and distribution services. Booksurge is a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc. and in addition to publishing, they also offer marketing tools to help the author achieve maximum online promotion for their books.
In order to publish a book, the author needs to submit the manuscript as a Word document, Text File, RTF or PDF and the Booksurge designers will convert make it print-ready. They offer a flexible pricing structure based on the package selected the most basic of which starts at $799 and includes 10 books where the author is responsible for the cover design and interior formatting, however the book will get listed online with leading retail and wholesale booksellers.
Xlibris cater to book authors and therefore only publish books. They offer an extensive range of services to help authors get published and to assist with the editorial and promotional sides of publishing. Aside from traditional types of books, they also offer specialised publishing services which include the creation of leather bound books, US Copyright registration and extensive distribution services.
After initial consultantation with one of Xlibris’ publishing consultants and the package selection, the author submits their manuscript, cover images and text to Xlibris who will print out a review copy of the book for the author to approve. Only once the author has approved the proof will the book actually be published. Pricing varies depending on the package and costs start at around $299 for a basic package.
Moo are not print on demand publishers for books, however they do print personalised business cards, postcards, greeting cards, stickers and mini cards. They are reasonably well priced with business cards starting at £10.99 for a 50 card pack. They have various templates to choose from and enable you to upload your own logo, text; images and to select the type of paper on which to print. Once you have finished customising the print material, all you need to do is pay and they will print the product and send it to you.
Similar to Moo, however Love Online Print over a range of printing services catering to business needs including stationery like business cards, letterheads, invoices and envelopes, as well as cheque books, brochures, manuals, reports and labels. The service is very easy to use as all you need to do is select the product type, add your text and images, or even upload your own design and then place your order. Once payment has been received they will print your chosen product and send it to you.
The pricing ranges according to product selection and quantity, for example 100 full colour business cards cost approximately £32.
Book publishers, printondemand-worldwide.com, have been around for 13 years and offer some of the best printing prices around. For instance 100 books can be printed from as little as £3.83 per book. The pricing structure is dependent on the type of book, number of pages, paper used and the size of the book. They will print all types of books including novels, journals, educational books and art books.
Their offering is slightly different to other on demand book printers in that not only do they cater to the needs of self publishing authors but small organisations and large mainstream publishers as well.
Another good book printer is Spiderwise. They offer a range of services to help the self publishing author including formatting the book, designing the cover, assigning an ISBN and distributing the book to various bookseller retailers and wholesalers including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many more.
The advantage of using Spiderwise is that they take care of the finer details like resizing the pages, formatting margins to printer standards and designing a unique, professional cover – all you need to do is supply the content of the manuscript and they do the rest. Spiderwise offer several different packages and an all inclusive package costs £349.
Marketing themselves as full colour specialist printers, Imex offer a range of printing services from catalogues, brochures, booklets to greeting cards, business cards and business stationery. They are short run printers who aim to dispatch orders within 24 hours. Their prices are reasonable with business cards starting at £18 for 50 colour cards.
You can select a template to use from their online catalogue or design your own using their software available online. There is also an approval process before the product is printed so that you can review it and make changes prior to printing.
A generalist printer, The Book Printing Company is a subsidiary of Printondemand-worldwide.com and offers a range of printing services. Self publishing authors are advised to visit the parent company’s website, while The Book Printing Company prints material such as training manuals, greeting cards, leaflets, catalogues and magazines.
Prices range according to the publication type and number of pages and packages start from £169.50 for 50 copies of a 100 page book. They do outsource the actual printing to Fast Print but all you need to do is supply them with a copy of the content and they will assist you in the layout design, scanning photographs and proofreading the copy.
11. Fast Print
Fast Print offer a range of services for self publishing authors from the basic print and delivery service to the comprehensive Platinum service which includes on demand printing; creation of a web page for your book, listing the book on bookselling websites, book trades and a publicity campaign.
This service is very expensive, at £2999, however it is probably one of the best comprehensive packages around as it provides services normally associated with traditional publishers such as complete promotion and editing.
Very reasonably priced on demand printers, Printwise offer a range of packages for printing leaflets, brochures, business stationery, business cards, posters, folders and postcards. 500 hundred A6 colour leaflets will only cost around £50, however you have to supply all the artwork. Once received, they will typeset it and send the proof to you for approval. On approval, the package will be printed and sent to you.
Printwise is similar to traditional printers in that they do not offer templates or online design facilities however they do on demand printing.
Specialists in printing manuals, training materials and books, Manuals2go offer two print on demand services: next day service and short run service. The next day service always a maximum of 20 copies with a maximum of 100 pages in each copy, while the short run service offers a 5 to 7 day turn around for up to 250 copies for A4 manuals.
They also offer additional services such as scanning and full design and layout. Generally speaking, it is cheaper to supply the completed proof to them which they will then print.
Specialising in print on demand publishing for academic titles, they offer a great package which includes a competitive royalty payment scheme, short runs for finished manuscripts and distribution of titles to online booksellers such as Amazon, both the US and UK site. They tailor the printing cost to the type of publication and will supply a quotation on demand.
The benefit of using Abramis is that they have experience in the academic publishing market and will help ensure that the books are published to the recommended standard.
Cambrian Printers were established in 1860 as traditional printers however they have more recently embraced the print on demand market and offer competitive services. They are well established as printers of journals, books, magazines and catalogues and can advise all new self publishing authors on the ins and outs of the publishing process.
They offer a complete service including design and processing of DTP files, lamination and binding, however unlike the newer print on demand book printers they do not offer marketing and promotional services.
Dubo are a self publishing consultancy who offers competitive prices starting at £3.50 per book. They specialise in copy editing, typesetting, indexing and page design, in addition to offering the generation of the ebook format or traditional book format. They also offer both online and offline promotion services and will handle the finer details like registering an ISBN number and distribution of the book.
17. The Choir Press
The Choir Press publishers offer a print on demand service for self publishing authors; small firms and large publishing companies. They have an impressive client list which includes Macmillan and Liverpool University Press and in addition to printing, they also offer editing, proofreading, design; preparation of print-ready files and delivery of finished books.
If you submit print-ready files print on demand packages start from around £245 for 10 copies of a 64 page paperback.
Focusing on print on demand book publishing, Pen Press Publishing offer packages from £695. The package includes manuscript typesetting, cover design, proof approval before printing, barcoding, an initial stock of 50 books, ISBN registration, internet distribution via Amazon and wholesaler distribution via Gardners, Bertrams and Nielson Bookdata.
19. Print Resources
Print Resources provide print on demand services to publishers, small businesses and corporate print buyers. They digitise, store, print and deliver documents as and when the client needs them. The turnaround time is very quick as all titles are stored digitally and are printed with just a click of a button. For book print runs, they will print as few as 25 copies in order to keep the print costs down.
In Control Marketing offer a complete print on demand service using their Innovate solution. Utilising the capabilities of online editing, the interface allows the customer to edit, review and proof the documents held online. The customer can use predefined templates and modify the artwork to suit. The Innovate Print on Demand solution also has sophisticated search and reporting facilities and allows organisations to order and reorder through the portal.
The service is aimed at print service providers who want to provide print on demand services to the clients without having to change their existing printing technologies.