Book Shelf

About the process of printing your book

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Zip Print is one of the largest book producers in the Central Ohio area. We offer digital printing and perfect bound (paperback). Saddle stitch, coil, & comb binding on site, and offset printing through a partner vendor.

You’ve written a book. You may want to print copies for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you want to submit copies for publishing submissions. Maybe you want to sell copies through your website or give copies to friends and family. Maybe you want to self-publish your book and need inventory for fulfilling your orders on Amazon. What can you do? What is the process?

The first step in the process is to make sure that your book is ready to print and that you have the files for your interior and cover ready to print. Ready to send to the printer. If your book needs additional editing, proofing, formatting or design, these steps must be taken before the files are submitted to the printer. The last thing that you want to do is have the printer print copies of your book, only to have to reprint them later because of errors or poor aesthetics. This can be an expensive mistake.

Digital PrinterAn important choice for any author is the type of printing used. Basically, there are 2 main types of commercial printing. Digital an Offset. Digital printing offers the best representation of graphics and images. Offset printing is great for text-based books and offers good image quality. (Note that inkjet printing is making gains in the commercial printing industry, but this equipment is in its infancy.) The biggest difference between digital and offset printing is the price and run size requirements. Digital printing is more expensive that offset printing, especially when an offset job is for a larger run. So basically, if you have a short run book of images, you will use a digital printer, and if you have a long run book of text, you will use offset printing. In between, you probably want to research to determine which is the best option.

Next, you will want to choose the building blocks for your book. Your cover stock, interior paper, type of binding, all contribute to the look and feel of the final product. Some paper stocks lend themselves to colorful images, while others work best for text-based books. Basic paper stocks vs. high quality coated papers will influence the cost of your books, and in the end, the retail price that you will use to sell your book, if that is your intention. The same is true of cover stocks. And binding types also need to be chosen. Although the costs for different bindings are similar, certain types lend themselves to different uses of the final products. Paperback binding is great for a novel, or portfolio, but not so much for a manual or cookbook. Coil binding can make a book more useable in a kitchen or workplace. If necessary, you can often visit the book printer’s facility to look at their stocks and binding options.

Once your file has been submitted, and you have determined the materials for your book, the printer will get to work. Next a proof will be printed, bound & trimmed (if necessary) and it will be furnished to the client for review. At this point, the client will check the proof for any errors in the text or cover, and to ensure that they are happy with the materials and final product. The client can ask for changes, perhaps submitting a new file(s) or changing the stocks or binding used. A new proof can then be created and provided for review. Note that some printers will charge extra for additional proofs or setup when changes are made.

Once the proof has been OK’d, the printer will print the full order. This may take a few days or a few months, depending on the size of the print run, how complicated the project is, and/or how long the printer takes for their print projects.

Then comes the day you either pick up your books or receive the books via shipment. For a

time author and a seasoned author alike, opening a box and physically seeing stacks of your creation is always an exciting thing. Your dream is now reality. Time to sell your books or give them to your friends.

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