Book Printing

Webb Publishing works with digital and traditional off-set web press (aka lithographed; process colour) printers to provide cost effective printing quotes.

If the above terminology confuses you, you’re not alone. In simplest terms, the reason that publishing has become so accessible over the past few years is that digital printing technology (computer technology) has advanced sufficiently that we are now able to print single copies of books on high quality digital (commercial-grade laser – or fancy photocopier) printers. Gone are the days of having to invest thousands of dollars to print thousands of books that end up in boxes in your basement.

The process of traditional printing (off-set web press, etc) requires negatives and plates, inks and technical personnel. The cost to print a small quantity of books via traditional press is prohibitive, however a larger run of books may well be worth running through traditional ‘off-set’ presses. In this type of printing, inks are soaked into the paper, providing a more durable and finer finish than is currently possible with digital printing (though this point is very debatable).

The vast majority of self-publishing is done via on-demand (aka digital, laser) technology.These terms all refer to commercial-grade laser printers ($100,00 versions of your home laser printer) that are virtually replicating the quality of traditional presses. This printing method is fast and much less expensive than traditional press and is used for smaller runs of books. Digital printers can churn out 200 books in one day, and all from one single computer file. Larger runs of books are becoming more viable as unit costs seem to be improving.

So how much does an on-demand book cost? A very gross estimate is that a 100 page book with black & white regular-quality internal pages, a full colour cover, perfect bound currently costs approximately $9-$11. Prices are dependent on the prices of paper, which change with the markets.

There are several paper qualities available to clients using on-demand printing. Typically, we use 20lb bond paper (standard, copy-quality paper) and a higher than average quality of paper for the cover. We find that the higher quality cover stock (paper) handles laser inks better, and it has more sheen, which may help draw a reader’s attention. Estimates for higher qualtiy papers are available upon request. Samples are available for your review.

Books covers may need to be coated with either plastic laminate or UV coating (a brushed-on product) to prevent the cracking of solid inks along the spine and folds of digitally-printed books. If we feel it is important to consider using these products, we may advise you to consider this extra step.