What is Short Run Book Printing?

Short-run book printing, also called low volume book printing, is when you print under one thousand copies of a book at a time. There are many reasons one might wish to print fewer copies of a book, including the investment costs of a large print run and the storage requirements for the final products.

Is Short-Run Book Printing New?

While short-run printing isn’t exactly new, it has never been cheaper and easier to do than right now with today’s available technology.

Historically, printing was done using metal plates that were covered in ink and pressed to paper. This process is still used by some in the publishing industry today.

A man using a press for short-run book printing.

The large amount of time involved in setting up those plates meant that, once they were ready, printers often created large quantities of pages at a time. If another printing was needed, the plates would be set up again. To save took time and money, publishers try to print just the right number of books though estimating demand is difficult even today.

When companies save book templates digitally instead of using metal plates, they can access the templates quickly and easily. This allows the printing of smaller numbers of books without the added costs.

Saves Storage Space

The size and thickness of books vary but storing large quantities of them is something few people have space for.

In traditional print runs, the books would be sent off to a warehouse to await distribution to different stores which would each hold only a few copies apiece.

If the person ordering books is storing them in a garage or spare bedroom, instead of a warehouse, space can quickly become an issue.

Short-run book printing allows the individual the option to only order the books they can easily store and then to reorder a manageable number when their stock dwindles.

Smaller Initial Investment

Predicting book sales is tricky. Even companies that have been in the book industry for years can’t always accurately predict how well or poorly a book will sell.

Printing too many books may result in an inability to turn a profit because the initial print order, and its associated costs, is larger than the demand for printed books.

Short-run book printing allows for production in alignment with demand. More books can be printed cheaply and easily as needed without the risk of unsold copies tying up funds and taking up space.

Short-run book printing has become the solution for many smaller presses and independent authors. It makes short-run book printing more affordable and allows printing in line with demand for the book.

Get Help with Your Short-Run Book Printing Needs

InstantPublisher is available to help you with your short-run printing needs. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

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