How to Select and Work with a Book Printer

October 1998
by Ron Mazzola, McNaughton & Gunn, Inc

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How do you find someone to print your book?

Thousands of printers across the country can put ink on paper and hire a bindery to put your book together. Many of these will tell you that they can do your book. However, only about 40 printers in the US specialize in manufacturing books. Most experienced small and medium-sized publishers have found that they get the best results by giving the job to a printer who does books all the time. It’s their specialty. They know the problems and pitfalls and normally you will get better pricing and service.

Here are some ways to locate key printers you might want to work with on your project:The Literary Marketplace (the official directory of American book publishing) lists them all by category and geography, along with their specialty and optimum print runs. Most self-publishing manuals also include a list. Ask other small publishers in your region who they have worked with successfully.How do you narrow the list down?

It is usually best to ask for quotes from three printers that fit the needs of your project. If you’ve done your homework, more is unnecessary and less is not wise-at least when you’re starting out-because quotes can vary widely. To narrow the list down, ask about the following: What is their average print run? Do they most often do one color, two color, or four color? Will they give you references? How does the customer service rep or project coordinator work with their clients? Pay attention not only t…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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