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Book Printing for the Trade: How to Pick a Partner that Fits Your Needs

When Seeking a Trade Printer for Book Printing, Pick the Partner that Best Fits your Unique Needs

One of your customers has just approached you with a request for printed books, but you don't have the capabilities to produce the order.

What do you do?

If you decline the order, or refer your customer to someplace else, you'll miss the opportunity to enhance the customer relationship and you risk handing over the project to a potential competitor. Plus, you'll completely lose out on profit for your business.

But, if you outsource the book order to a trade printer, you will strengthen the relationship with your customer, retain the sale and make a nice profit.

Needless to say, outsourcing is by far the wiser choice. But just how do you choose an outsource partner to print your book order? Well, there are three important things that help determine if a particular book trade printer is a good fit for your needs…

1) How Many Books Do You Need?

The size of your order will help you select a book trade printer. As a general rule, if the order is less than 1,000 books, you will likely need a book printer with a digital press. That's because digital printing will be your most economical choice for short-run book printing.

But if you need a medium-length production run, say 1,000 to 10,000 books, then your best price will come from choosing a trade printer with offset presses. And long-run printing of over 10,000 books would normally require a trade printer with web-style offset presses to attain the best value.

2) What Binding Style Do You Need?

Not all trade printers offer every binding style. Many have saddle-stitch or perfect binding capabilities, but spiral or coil bound books or printed binder sets can sometimes be harder to find. Finding a book trade printer that offers multiple binding styles allows you to capture a wider range of book projects.

Similarly, your customers may request specialty features such as a UV or laminated cover, landscape or unique sizes, distribution services and so on. So when choosing a trade printer, consider their range of capabilities. The more capabilities they can offer you, the wider range of book projects you can then offer to your customers.

3) How Much Assistance Do You Need?

Some book trade printers will provide personalized consultation and guidance on your projects. Others only offer automated ordering through a website and will simply print the layout file you upload, often with limited intervention. Which type of trade printer you prefer will depend on how comfortable you are with the specifications and ordering processes of printed books.

If you like talking with a real person who can offer suggestions, answer questions and help watch your back, then you might want to avoid trade printers who only communicate via emails and uploads. On the other hand, if you know exactly what you want, are more tech savvy and only need minimal assistance, then an automated system may work out just fine for you.

Does Formax fit your needs? Well, if you have a need for short to medium run book printing…in any softcover binding style…and prefer personalized service and one-on-one attention, then Formax will definitely fit your needs. So give Formax a call when your next book project arises. We would welcome the opportunity to become your outsource partner for printed books!

We've also prepared a FREE Guide to Book Outsourcing. It explains how to properly spec out book projects as well as which types of organizations are good prospects for printed books. Just give us a call at 866-367-6221 and we will email you this informative 16-page report.

Take care! Keith

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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