If you want to print 400 books or more, offset printing is the way to go!

Generally speaking, there are two ways to print your book: print-on-demand or offset. Technically, we suppose you could use a good-old-fashioned manual printing press and do it by hand, but we don’t recommend it. Anyway, print-on-demand (or digital printing), is the best option if you’re printing fewer than 400 books. However, once you reach that volume, it becomes cheaper to print mechanically, using so-called ‘offset printing’.

When to choose offset printing?

As mentioned offset becomes the cheaper option when you start approaching orders of around 400 books. The exact turning point will vary a bit depending on what kind of book you want to print, however. Why is the minimum order quantity so high for offset? Well, it requires more effort to set up, as it’s a mechanical process.  For example, custom printing plates need to made for your book and installed on the printing press in order to start; it’s a labour-intensive process that only pays off if you’re printing large volumes. Once it gets going, however, you can print your books for cheap.

Keep in mind that offset orders are delivered in one go. So, if you order 400 books, you’ll get a delivery of 400 books. If you order 2000 books, you’ll get 2000 books shipped to your doorstep. In other words, if you’re considering an offset print run, plan ahead and make sure you have enough space to store all those books. If you know you’re going to be selling a lot of books relatively quickly, offset is definitely an interesting option. If it’s your first time, definitely go for print-on-demand.

If you’d like a quote for an offset print run, send us an email and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Offset printing: delivery time

An offset print run takes a bit longer than a digital one. On average, you can expect it to take 2-3 weeks once your uploaded files have been approved for printing. You’ll need to upload a manuscript and a cover file for us to print your book. You can easily create and upload these files using our platform; we have free manuscript templates for you to use, along with an easy-to-use cover designer. Once your books have been printed, they’ll be delivered to an address of your choice!

Planning on printing a lot of books? Order a proof copy first!

We strongly recommend not placing an offset print order until you’re 100% certain your book is perfect. Because our books are custom-made we, unfortunately, cannot accept returns. So we cannot emphasize the importance of proof copies enough. So: before committing to a large print run, make sure you order a test copy of your book. If you want to be extra sure, order several and give them to friends, family or colleagues to proofread.

In our experience, there’s always a typo, a paragraph that didn’t get removed, or a colour that doesn’t look the same in real life as it does on your screen. You can order as many proof copies as you like, as often as you like, allowing you to ensure that you’ve got a perfect book on your hands. There’s nothing more frustrating than having ordered 500 books and only realizing that the title isn’t centred once you pull out that first, still-warm copy out of the box. Trust us.

You can order a proof copy on the platform with a few clicks – simply log in and click ‘Buy your own book’ on the ‘My books’ page, or go to the last step of the publishing process and do the same there.

Offset printing: costs

The cost per book is quite a bit lower when offset printing, compared to printing a handful digitally. For example, printing a paperback in B&W won’t cost more than a couple of pounds if you’re offset order is big enough, say 500 copies. If you want to print a hardback in full colour, it’ll be more expensive of course, but the same principle applies: if your order is big enough, the cost per book will go down significantly. Contact us for more information on how much your offset print run would cost.