In this Q&A video, David Norrington, Managing Director of Wordcatcher Publishing, explains four things self-published authors should remember when deciding on a printer for their book.
1. Who really does the printing?
Many so-called publishers are just glorified organisers. They subcontract the work you pay them for to others, meaning you’ll have to pay an unnecessary premium. Ask questions and make sure the printers you’re speaking with actually do the work themselves. Some print the main body of the text, but subcontract covers to other companies, so watch out for that too.
2. Don’t get upsold
You may have printers try to upsell you, telling you that if only you buy another 50 copies, they’ll bring down the cost per unit by 15%. Don’t be fooled: buy only what you need. You might pay a little more per unit, that’s true, but better to lose a little per sale than buy hundreds or even thousands of books you’re never going to sell.
3. Look at examples of their work
Some book printers are great at what they do… others, not so much. Before you buy, make sure you preview similar titles they have printed to make sure everything is up to the standard you expect. The last thing you want is 200 subpar copies that no one will ever want to buy.
4. Make sure your book is economically viable
When you take off the cost of printing, can you give 40, 50 or even 60% of the book’s price to a retailer and still make a profit? If you can’t, you shouldn’t go ahead with printing. You won’t do anything but lose money.