Book Printing For Beginners

Writing and producing your own book can be an exciting and hugely satisfying experience – but also quite daunting! Once your writing is complete, you need to consider how to get your work onto a printed page and available for people to read and buy – here are some guidelines as to some of the printing issues you need to consider:


If your book features illustrations or photographic images you must ensure that every image and design element is finalized in high-resolution – they must be accurate and clear otherwise the quality of your book will be compromised! If necessary, and the budget can stand it, engage a professional editor or other appropriate professional to scrutinize and approve your work.


If you intend your printed work to be sold then an understanding of ISBNs is essential. Retailers and libraries use ISBNs to track and manage their literary inventory – research the format and use of ISBNs.

Correct Size 

Printed books are available in many different sizes – consider which is the best fit for the style and content of your specific book. There are some ‘standard’ sizes that lend themselves to mass storage and transportation, or display on shelves in bookstores, libraries, and such – but also consider the ‘genre’ of you book and what similar titles and content to your work are normally presented as, and preferred by, the audience typically attracted to these categories. Getting the right size and format for your book can considerably influence the impact of your book’s presentation and success.

Cover Options 

You need to design a captivating book cover – it is the initial attraction of your book on the shelf and is a major selling point. Consider the cover design and style – the format of your cover will dictate the overall feel and appearance of your book. Softback books are cheaper to print but can still look smart and professional, whereas hardback books are more expensive to produce but often appeal to a different audience and retail at a higher unit price. 


There are two distinct formats of the pages of your book – landscape and portrait. Consider the type of book and the content you are printing and select the more appropriate choice for appearance you want. Design the inside layout of your book – the number of pages will dictate the width of the spine required to house your work and will establish the final page count you will need. Consider which font to use, the type size, the margins, and widths and the laying out of chapters and sections. It is always a good idea to employ an editor, or someone versed in such matters, to read your work for spelling errors, incorrect phraseology, grammar, and to check page numbering, chapter titles and such.

Paper Choices 

Consider the materials in which you want your book to be printed – there are many types of paper from which you can choose and there can be quite a difference in appearance in the range of available paper options. Your choice of paper stock will likely be dictated by cost and appearance and the main consideration here is to avoid the common mistake – the lowest gsm paper does not necessarily mean it is a cheaper option, whilst a higher gsm paper does not automatically guarantee a superior quality! Ask your print company for samples and use their knowledge and experience when making your selection.  


There are different book binding styles from which to choose, so consider what type of book you are printing. The same considerations as for your paper stock decisions should apply here –  Perfect Bound binding is ideal for any paperback book – whilst hardback books are best served with Hardback Binding. If printing a booklet, magazine, or handbook, then Staple Binding provides a durable, yet flexible document, whilst books such as a recipe book or training manual are better with the practical option of Coil Binding. Again, ask your print company for advice on these issues.


You need to consider the printing itself – choose an online book printing supplier that offers cheap, quality, book printing – perhaps consider a print company that specialises in your specific style or genre of book. Whoever you choose, ensure they offer digital printing with low set-up costs for shorter print runs and the option of printing just the number of copies you need. Choose a print company that can offer you advice and guidance with regards to design and proofing of the layout of your book – this will ensure you get a more professional finished product!

Marketing And Distribution

 Once your book is printed you will need to consider how your work is to be marketed and distributed – research the most effective ways to get your book into the desired marketing arenas – speaking with a specialist marketing company is the wise choice!


If you would like more information about book printing for beginners, please contact us.