How Do I Print My Book?

Are you interested in printing your very own book? Are you unsure of where to start, intimidated by the process, or feel that it all seems too much for one person to handle? Have no fear, the process of self-publishing can seem daunting, but with these 5 easy steps, we’ll help guide you in getting your very own book printed, and becoming an experienced self-publisher! 


Here Are 5 Things You Need To Do To Print Your Own Book


1. Choose The Type Of Book You Want To Print

2. Choose The Size Of The Book You Want

3. Will Your Book Have All Color pages, Black & White pages, or a Mix of Both?

4. Choose The Type Of Book Cover You Want

5. Choose A Printer To Help You Get Your Book Produced


We’ll go further into these 5 steps below and provide some helpful information that will turn you into a book publishing pro! 


1. Choose The Type Of Book You Want To Print

The differences between hardcover, softcover, and plastic coil books may seem readily apparent, but did you know that there are even more advantages to each type than you’d expect?


Hardcover Books

Hardcover books are great for a number of reasons including to durability, style, production versatility, presentation, and more. Not only are hardcover books are made with archival quality products, they are the most durable form of book production, and can take a large amount of handling without suffering from the normal wear and tear that you’d see in other book types. Hardcover books are also very versatile in regard to style, and with over a dozen different cover options you can customize your book to your heart’s content for a unique production.


While being very impressive visually, this book type is not suitable for everyone. Hardcover books - due to their case - aren’t very flexible, and can be cumbersome to hold or use in some situations. Their thick cases add weight, and they can be difficult to carry in large numbers for a student or someone who travels with their books. However, issues like these are addressed in the other types of books we produce!



Softcover Books

Softcover books are a great option for individuals self-publishing their first book, as they are easier to design and format for print, and generally cost less than hardcover books to print and ship. Softcover books are printed and bound with high quality binding adhesive to produce a long lasting and durable product you can exchange from hand to hand without having to worry about quick deterioration. These books are flexible, easy to carry, easily managed, and overall a standard of book production for both entry-level, or professional self-publishers.


While the advantages of softcover books in some cases outweigh even hardcover books, they too still won’t be suitable for all. Softcover books can bend over time due to their innate flexibility, they can be more easily damaged than hardcovers, and like hardcover books, they do not lay flat, and must be held open in order to read, which means there is a hands on requirement for these books when interacting with them.



Plastic Coil Books

Plastic coil books are highly specific in regard to their functionality. Due to their design and coil binding method, plastic coil books are able to lay flat on a surface, which is a great feature for those who need to use their hands for another task such as crafting or cooking, while they read over details in the book. Plastic coil books are incredibly easy to design and set up, and are the most cost effective way to get your book produced. This makes them a perfect entry point for individuals seeking a very small quantity of books, or for those who need a large quantity but are worried about overall production and shipping costs.


Plastic coil books are admittedly less durable than both hardcover and softcover books and generally won’t last as long, but are a simple, cost effective, and functional solution to binding your projects.




2. Choose The Size Of Book You Want

Now that you’re ready to begin the process of drafting your book’s pages and cover design, you will need to select a book size to work with. There are many common sizes which are standards in the industry but custom sizes can also be produced.


Standard US Book Sizes

5.5” x 8.5” (Portrait or Landscape) - A very standard US size for novels, gift books, picture books, etc. Approximately half the size of an 8.5” x 11”.


6” x 9” (Portrait or Landscape) - A slightly larger size than the previous, but still a great travel size. The extra space gives you more room for your margins, and additional space for larger photos or more text to fit on each page.


8.5” x 11” (Portrait or Landscape) - The most standard book size. The same exact size as home printer paper. Convenient for everything from text books, to genealogies, cookbooks, photo books, and more! Easy to set up and even review from home, as the size of paper in these books are conveniently the same as what you can print at home on your own ink-jet printer.


9” x 12” (Portrait or Landscape) - A larger sized book great for photo books and content that needs to be presented in a large format. The extra space over an 8.5” x 11” can also give you room for more text content to fit alongside large format photos without having to reduce their size. Generally a great size for textbooks, instructional books that require accompanying diagrams, children’s books with beautiful illustrations, and more!





3. Will Your Book Have All Color pages, Black & White pages, or a Mix of Both?

When making your TEXT file, it is important to keep the way you’d like to the book to look when it is printed in mind. One of the things that determines the pricing of your order will be the format in which you seek to print your book’s pages. Keeping your budget in mind is certainly an important part of your project, so understanding black and white and color printing is key as it has the biggest effect on your overall cost.


- All B&W - generally the most cost effective option but may not “pop” as no color is printed.

- All Color - more expensive than All B&W but can produce the best visual results with vibrant, stunning colors.

- A Mix of Both - more cost effective than All Color, and can provide a “pop” of vibrant color on pages where needed, while other pages are printed in the most cost efficient way.


Separating color and B&W only elements in your TEXT file can be a very technical thing, as any semblance of color, whether visually present or not in your PDF file, will carry “color data” to a digital press when printed, so if you’re unsure of how to proceed or accurately specify which pages in your file have color and which do not, you can simply opt for an All Color print to ensure your beautiful photos are produced with a vibrant splash of color.




4. Choose The Type Of Book Cover You Want

You have a variety of book cover types to choose from depending on the type of book you’re looking to have produced. Hardcovers are the most versatile as the option of foil stamping adds an extra dimension of design not available to softcover or plastic coil productions, where printed covers are the only options available.


Plastic coil books receive printed covers only, but they can be customized with different lamination options such as:

- Gloss UV Coating: a type of liquid that is baked into the fibers of the paper that your cover design is printed on.

- Gloss or Matte Film: a thin layer of either gloss or matte film that is attached to your printed cover design sheet using a high heat industrial machine.


Softcover books receive printed covers only, but, like plastic coil books they can be customized with different lamination options such as:

- Gloss UV Coating (generally not advised for softcover books as the paper along the spine can sometimes “crack”, making tears in the paper along the finished book’s spine edges)

- Gloss or Matte Film 


Hardcover books can have their covers made from either:

- A Leatherette or Cloth Material: both can be later foil stamped with either a free foil stamping service (if you meet specific criteria) or, a more complex foil stamping die (at an additional cost depending on your foil stamping design).

- A printed cover that you design, which can later be covered in either a matte or gloss film lamination for a fancy look and added durability.


Once you know the type of book cover you want to use for your production, you’ll need to design it and prepare a press-ready file for the printer you choose to submit your project to. Alternatively, you can contact other services that specialize in book cover design to do this process for you.


Doing a Google search online, or visiting popular websites like Fiverr, can be a very effective way to find general graphic designers, or designers that specialize in book creation. Be sure to look for a number of different designers with high rated reviews so that you can narrow down which ones will provide you with the best quality of work and pricing.




5. Choose A Printer To Help You Get Your Book Produced

Once you’ve gotten your files to a press-ready state, you’re ready to submit your books to a printer. Having a close relationship with a printer is an essential aspect of book production that will help to ensure you’re getting a product that best represents what you have in mind.


Finding a printer to handle the production side of things may seem tricky at first, however if you know what you’re looking to receive as a finalized product, you can shop around to find printers that accommodate the aspects of your book.


Searching for printers can be done locally, and this will help with things like the cost of shipping, and in some cases with the turnaround time in having your books produced. Likewise, you can search online to find a printer outside of your local area, as the options that best suit your book’s production may not be available at printers in your local area. When searching online for a printer, always be sure to check reviews and confirm the printer is a legitimate business before paying any money, submitting any files, or providing any of your personal information.


When shopping around be sure to inquire about the materials used in the printer’s productions. If you are unsure about what the materials are like physically, request a sample packet of their available papers and cover options, or a sample book from a production they’ve done in the past that is similar to what you have in mind for your book.


One of the other things you should inquire about with each printer are their options for proofing. Printers will often give you the option to see an example of your book at some point of production either digitally or physically. This means they can provide digital files to you that outline how the book’s pages will be cut to size, and how the cover will fit on the finalized product. Alternatively, they may be able to provide a physical production of the book based on any files you’ve provided to them up to that point.


You’ll likely be interested in knowing the pricing of your potential order with a printing company. Always be sure to address this before moving too far into a production so that you know what to expect financially, and know how to budget for your project. You can always ask for a quote over the phone or via email, though some companies like ourselves here at Book1One, offer an Instant Online Quote Tool that can be used to quickly generate accurate quotes for comparing and contrasting prices for different types of book productions.


With these things all settled, you’re effectively ready to place an order! You’re now an experienced self-publisher!