How to print a book
February 23, 2005 8:45 PM   Subscribe

How to print a book? I would like to print and publish a book, it may be 10 copies or it may be 1000 copies, depending on demand. What are the options for low volume small scale book printing?
posted by stbalbach to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've never used it, but what springs to mind is LuLu Publishing.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:53 PM on February 23, 2005

Cafepress also offers on-demand printing in various book formats.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:13 PM on February 23, 2005

Most book publishers have a deal where you can get it "published"... ie-1,000 copies, but you also get posted on, and they can and will print extra books when needed...
posted by bamassippi at 9:25 PM on February 23, 2005

stblabach, when I wanted to publish a family history book, I took a look at iUniverse. I never did finish the book (too much work, not enough time), but if I were to pursue a similar project again, that's the place I'd start.
posted by jdroth at 9:30 PM on February 23, 2005

This weblog post by Kevin Kelly offers many tips and discusses some of the different ways you can get a book printed.
posted by misterioso at 9:37 PM on February 23, 2005

The bottom of this page. mentions 6 companies that do this and some information about each.

LuLu and CafePress were already mentioned here so I'll link to the others listed.


Aventine Press minimum 2 "Basic Service Package covers ISBN, cover design, royalty payments, listing of your book with online book sellers..."

Publish and be Damned UK and minimum 10 copies

Lightning Source US and UK based "You can get your book in paper-back or e-book and added to many Ingram's retailers' catalogs."
posted by mztreskiki at 10:05 PM on February 23, 2005

Qoop just sent me a copy of my blog as a book, and it was a damned nice print version. (Content is another story.) I think they do this for non-blog content as well.
posted by anildash at 10:28 PM on February 23, 2005

Response by poster: Hi - thanks, most of the recommendations thus far are for Print-on-Demand services. After reading this critical essay about POD services, I am leary. (BTW thank you dobbs for the link sent via email). Kevin Kelly (via misterioso) talks about "Print Quantity Needed" (PQN) sounds like a good way to go.
posted by stbalbach at 1:04 AM on February 24, 2005

I got a nice looking book from a friend who published using AuthorHouse. I don't know anything about their terms but I was impressed with how the book looked and was put together, fwiw.
posted by jessamyn at 6:30 AM on February 24, 2005

Send an email to Tony of the Busblog (could possibly NSFW at times), as he recently used CafePress to self publish his book How To Blog. He might be able to shed some light on the process, and give you a better idea if this type of POD is right for you. Or he might just ignore your email...
posted by nitsuj at 7:16 AM on February 24, 2005

we published our first issue of jpg magazine through lulu and have a hard time matching my experience to the article stbalach links to. it cost us nothing but the time that went into selecting the images and designing the magazine. lulu has been very helpful and i'm pleased with the quality of the product given that it's pod.

i think that pod enables people to dip their toe in the publishing pool without mortgaging the house. printing is very expensive and you need to order large quantities to make it cost effective.

if you do go a route that involves uploading a pdf, keep in mind that all pdf writers are not the same. there are known bugs with print factory (we found out the hard way).

i've also seen bw cafe press books and they look good.

i'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
posted by heather at 9:42 AM on February 24, 2005

My close friend and conspirator meg holle has this to say about Print On Demand services.. Hope it helps.
posted by fake at 10:49 AM on February 24, 2005

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