How Much Does It Cost To Print A Book?

July 24, 2018     / / /

How Much Does It Cost To Print A Book

Publishing and Pricing Your Book

How much does it cost to print a book? If you have an idea for a book, or perhaps have one written and waiting to be published, this post is for you.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight forward answer to this question as there are many factors to consider when printing a book. Which is why Ball Media have outlined everything you need to think about to come up with the price of your book.

Considerations for Printing Your Book

Word Count

The word count of your book is integral to the cost of the book, but it’s not entirely that straight forward. Most of the time you won’t necessarily know the page count until the book has been formatted to your specifications. This is why we suggest you do an estimation first.

Here are some factors you need to consider for the best guess:

First of all, you need to establish the overall word count. The way you do this is by opening up your book into a Word document, and the word count will show up at the bottom of the screen, between the number of pages and the dictionary language.

Trim Size

Once you’ve established the word count, you will need to choose a trim size. At first this will be a bit of guesswork, but to use as a guide, a fiction book would most likely be 5.5 x 8.5 inches, and for non-fiction it would be 6 x 9 inches.

Large format books with illustrations are more difficult to predict the final page count, but usually large pages will have a similar amount of text as small pages, as part of the large page will be devoted to illustrations, sidebars, captions, and so on.

Choose one of the above sizes, even for your large format book, just as a starting point.

Number of Pages

When you have the trim size worked out, then you will need to calculate the number of pages. Using your current word count, find the appropriate formula below and calculate the number of pages you can expect in the book.

Your word count divided by 390 = page count for a 5.5″ x 8.5″ bookFor
example: 50,000 divided by 390 = 128.20 pages

Your word count divided by 475 = page count for a 6″ x 9″ bookFor
example: 50,000 divided by 475 = 105.26 pages

As you can see, a smaller trim size will produce more pages for the same word count, and a larger trim size will produce less. These formulas are based on using:

• a standard typeface for book publishing

• a standard type size (11 pt)

• standard margins

• standard spacing (the first line of each paragraph is indented, and there are no blank lines between paragraphs)

How to Control Your Page Count

You may be surprised by your page count, and realize that your book is going to be thinner or thicker than you anticipated.

Moving to even a slightly larger page size can lower your page count and save printing costs. Or, if your book is slimmer than you’d hoped, you can choose a smaller page size, a larger font size, and a paragraph style which can add more spacing (and more pages) to your book.

This type of information is very helpful to someone who may be doing your layout or design of the book also. If you feel your book needs to be thicker to improve perceived value, your designer can help.

Similarly, if your book is lengthy and you want to keep printing and shipping costs down, your designer can minimize your page count by creating a layout and design with this in mind.

Paper Thickness

As you may have guessed it, the heavier the paper, the pricier it will be.

It may be tempting to go for the lightest weight, but the weight of the paper does have an effect on the perceived value of the book. Psychologically speaking, when people feel a lighter weight paper used on something they instinctively feel should be heavier, they make a value judgment about your product. Consider your options and make the right choice for your own book.

Types of paper to consider when choosing for your own book include:

Bond Paper

Bond stock is most commonly used for letterhead, copier paper, and laser printer paper. Similar to bond stock is writing stock. Writing stock is typically pricier than bond. It has shorter fibers, making it softer. It can be used for company stationery and sometimes contains a distinctive watermark.

Writing stock can also be made with a variety of finishes. Standard weights for bond/writing stock are 16#, 20#, 24# and 32#, with 20# being the most commonly used for in-house applications.

Book Paper

Book stock can come in coated and uncoated varieties. Their weights vary from 30# Bible stock to 115# book stock. Bible stock is very thin paper, so named because it is usually used to print Bibles. Other book stock uses include magazines, catalogs, posters, and booklets. The basis size for book stock is 25″ x 38″, so 500 sheets of 30# Bible stock will weigh 30#

Text Paper

Text stock is a higher grade of paper used in projects requiring a better quality paper. It’s a bit thicker than your standard bond copy paper. Text paper is often used for brochures and flyers, some magazines, and thin posters. Text paper weights range from 60# to 100#. The basis size for text stock is 25″ x 38″, so 500 sheets of 60# text stock will weigh 60#

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully by now you have a good idea about what you need to consider when figuring out the price of printing your book.

If you have any hesitations of you could do with a little bit of help, Ball Media have you covered. We truly understand that to many of our clients, your project is like a child to you and at times very personal and private in nature. That sometimes releasing a book you have written that you have spent a good part of your life creating is more than just an order. We know that at times you may have sacrificed many important things to take them where they are when we meet. Whatever your project needs, Ball Media can help you.