The cost of printing one hardcover book is prohibitive and yet, we still get calls for it. Usually the order goes up to 10 by the time they weigh the costs. Customers get these super small runs to use as galley copies, review copies, investor copies, or as gifts. So, I thought it would be helpful to share how we do this service and what the costs are.
How the books are made: When we print a super short run of 1 to 400 books we start by printing the interior pages on a Xerox DocuColor press. The pages are then trimmed. Usually we can print 2 pages per sheet unless the book is larger than 9×12 in which case we only get 1 page out of a sheet. Then we use a wide-format printer for the cover and dust jacket. Those are then laminated with a lay-flat laminate. While this is going on we also are building the cases for the books (assuming it is a hardcover). There are three boards which have to be sized and positioned exactly; the spine, left cover, and right cover. When the content is ready, the pages are notched to better accept the glue which is applied. The content is then adhered to the case that we have built. Then the endsheets are added by gluing to the covers and to the content, finishing the book. The whole assembly is put into a press which seals everything thoroughly. Any glue that escaped is cleaned off and the books are inspected. After 24 hours the glue is cured and we perform a pull test to ensure that the pages are all secure. Then they are ready to ship.
How much do they cost? You can see from the previous section that there is considerably more manual labor involved in these super short runs than you would see in a larger print run. The costs per unit reflect this. I can’t list all the pricing for all options but I’m going to list the costs for an 8.5×11 book that is 32 pages long and does not have a dustjacket. These prices are all in US dollars.
1 Book = $257.40 ($257 per unit)
5 Books = $287.20 ($57.44 per unit)
10 Books = $376.20 ($37.62 per unit)
25 Books = $598.40 ($23.94 per unit)
50 Books = $839.30 ($16.79 per unit)
100 Books = $1372.80 ($13.73 per unit)
200 Books = $2403.50 ($12.02 per unit)
300 Books = $3423.20 ($11.41 per unit)
400 Books = $4249.30 ($10.62 per unit)
Offset prices are much lower than these but have a minimum of 1000 books which sometimes you just don’t need. If you want to know a specific price for your super short run, email Margaret@dragonpencil.com