What to Pay for Printing,
or Would You Rather Have 5,000 copies for $9,000 or for $23,000?

August 2002
by Evelyn Kaye

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Every time I get ready to print one of my travel books, I wonder whether it wouldn’t be easier to go back to the printer I used last time–unless it’s been a hair-curling experience. Wouldn’t that be simpler than sending out Requests for Quotations and starting all over again?

Well, you can do that, but if I’d done it for my new book, I would have spent at least $1,200 more than I needed to for 3,000 copies and almost $2,000 more for 5,000 copies. Surprising? Yes, even to me. Despite the fact that I’ve had this experience before, I’m still startled by the wide range of prices I get each time I send out an RFQ. For the 12 books I’ve had printed, I have only once ended up with the same printer. I really don’t know why it is, but I do know it’s always worth asking for prices from different printers. I usually ask about eight.

The best source of printer information is John Kremer’s Directory of Book Printing. Compiled with meticulous attention to detail, it gives complete information about printers across the country so that you can find those who do print runs of under 1,000 or over 500,000, those who do odd-sized books, comb binding–whatever it is you need.

For my first book, I chose a printer nearby so that I could physically go and hand-deliver my precious manuscript. It was a learning experience with a sympathetic printer, but expensive–about $4 each for a book of 100 pages with a two…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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