Short-run book printing up to 500

Book printing short-run, printed books

If you have plans to sell your book in person and want to print between 200 and 500 copies, then you will have the pick of the three main ways to produce printed books:

  1. print-on-demand book printing
  2. digital book printing
  3. offset book printing

Print-on-demand and digital printing are the best options for short-run printing; this means less than 500 copies. In some cases, depending on your book, offset printing may be possible, but it is not usually viable to print books via an offset printer unless you’re ordering at least 1,000 copies. For numbers between 500 and 1,000 please see our ABCs on why you should never print 500 to 1,000 books.

Digital printing is suitable for printing a small quantity of books that you intend to sell directly to consumers or on consignment to retail outlets yourself. Once printed, your book will be shipped to you, ready for distribution. Print-on-demand is the best kind of digital printing because it also facilitates worldwide distribution, without you having to inventory or ship books to wholesalers yourself. If the printer (like the one PublishMyBook.Online uses) has machines located in major western countries, it is more affordable than using a POD company that only has machines in the USA. In either case, print-on-demand books are quick to print and ship to readers all over the world.

All three printing options are suitable for printing novels, non-fiction books and chapter books in greyscale or full colour as long as you have no special requirements such as needing spot UV (shiny or textured segments) on the cover, a dust jacket or tipins (colour pages in sections, not the entire book).

Children’s picture books are almost always produced in full colour, often in large sizes with a hard cover. While some options are available via print-on-demand it is unlikely to be the best business decision to choose any kind of short-run book printing for a children’s book. In other words, unless you can be sure to sell at least 2,000 copies of your children’s picture book, your self-publishing venture will not be a business venture, but rather an altruistic one, a fancy business card, a way to test the waters with your new book, or a legacy book you wish to leave for your family.

The team at PMBO can work with you to print your book. Once your book is designed for print, whether by us or another designer, we can take over and manage the printing for you. If it is print-on-demand you want, we can provide a quote just as soon as we know the following:

  • height and width of book
  • no. of pages
  • colour or greyscale
  • no. of copies you want
  • whether you want global distribution or not
Book printing short-run, printed books

If you are swaying towards offset printing (1,000+), as part of the book print procurement process, the team will work with you to determine your book’s specifications; they will source quotes and manage the printing of your book. Contact us to discuss your printing requirements with our book printing team.

If you are looking to print 500 or fewer copies, and plan to test the waters before ordering a larger print run, then digital book printing is the way to go, especially via print on demand (POD). POD is suitable for printing both greyscale and full colour books. The PMBO team can manage the POD process for you. They will work directly with POD suppliers to manage all the printing arrangements. The team can look after your book design requirements, prepare your book files, so that they are print-ready, and submit the book files to print on demand.

POD provides you with control and flexibility around your printing requirements. At PMBO, we offer POD with, and without, distribution. POD with distribution means we list your book with leading distributors, via Ingram Content Group, who make your book available to over 39,000 retailers worldwide. For the full list see here.

POD without distribution means that you can order a print run when you want, and they will be shipped directly to you to distribute as you please. This is equivalent to an ordinary digital printer, which does not provide any distribution. Many digital printers ensure that on their website they appear to have a book store, but this is just a front, and should not be confused with global book distribution through reputable booksellers.

Please contact us to learn more about the options for short-run printing.

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