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Simple Ways to Save Money on Book and Booklet Printing

Everyone is looking for ways to save money these days and book printing is no exception. Here are a few cost saving ideas to keep in mind when designing and buying printed books and booklets.

Stick with Standard Paper Sizes

Standard paper sizes are less costly because they are readily available and produce less waste. The use of standard size paper is recommended to save money on many types of printed pieces, but the savings are magnified with book printing because each book has multiple pages.

In the USA, the printing industry revolves around the 8.5" x 11" sheet size. As a rule of thumb, your printing costs will be lower when you design your books and booklets for printing on 8.5" x 11" paper. Another recommended size for page layout is 5.5" x 8.5" (8.5" x 11" divided by 2).

Use Black Ink when you Can

If the book is to be used internally by an organization - such as an employee manual or part listing - the use of color is not as important. The interior pages and cover can usually be printed in Black ink without much concern. Most images and logos can also be printed in grayscale using Black ink.

However, if the book is to be sold by an author or used for promotional purposes by an organization, a color cover is still recommended to get attention and convey quality. But to save money, you should still consider printing most, if not all, of the interior pages in Black ink.

Choose Colored Paper for the Cover

Full color printing is quite affordable, but Black ink on colored paper is still cheaper than full color printing on white paper. So if you decide to use Black ink for a book's cover, you can dress up your book somewhat by using colored paper for the cover.

Depending on the book project, a subtle fleck pattern, a parchtone or even a solid hue can enhance the use of Black ink. Again, a cover printed in full color is recommended for books used for promotional purposes or those sold commercially, but this simple idea can still be used to improve the appearance of a manual, guide, directory or similar book.

Look into "On Demand Printing"

Not that long ago, the way to low cost book printing was to print a bigger batch at one time. This lowered the unit cost per book. However, a large book inventory requires a sizeable investment and introduces another slew of issues. For example, there is the increased likelihood of waste due to obsolescence or damage. Handling and storage costs are also higher, and a large inventory prevents the ability to make frequent changes to the book.

Much of today's book printing is On Demand, which means your printer only produces books as you need them…200 here…300 there. This allows greater flexibility by eliminating the risks and costs associated with obsolete or outdated content. It also reduces your upfront cash outlay as well as lowering costs associated with storage and handling. Equally important, it provides the flexibility to make frequent changes to the book. If you haven't already done so, you should definitely explore the benefits of On Demand book printing.

Find a Printer that Specializes in Book Printing

As a general rule, the more efficient the production method, the less your book printing will cost. This is why you want to use a printer that has the experience and specialized equipment for printing, assembling and binding the exact style of book you need.

Let's face it, books have more variables than most printed pieces so the chance of a costly mistake is greatly increased. That is why you need to make sure that all questions and concerns are addressed properly by someone who knows what they are doing. You may have a lot of upfront questions for your printer, which is good…but equally important is to find a book printer who knows the upfront questions to ask you.

Formax can offer guidance on just about any book printing or book binding topic. Our years of experience can greatly simplify your task of buying printed books. Just give us a call if you have any book printing questions.

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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