How much does it cost to print a book?

imagen de una novela para el artículo cuanto cuesta imprimir un libro en una imprenta

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to print a book in a print shop, here we’ll answer your questions.

Although there is no exact answer, since there are so many variables, we will tell you about the different options that influence the value, and price, of a book.

And if you want a customised quote, you can visit the form to find out how much it cost to print your books on Colorprinter.co.uk


Examples of book prices

We would like to caution that this data cannot be taken as completely certain. There are many variables that can make the difference in price between one print run and a different print run noticeable.

In fact, we have even printed books for £3 per unit for the same order that other printers had quoted for £15 per unit.

How much does it cost to print a book in a print shop

It may seem unbelievable, but the difference in price that can exist between how much does it cost to print a book print a book at one printer and another is incredibly high. It is very common for printers to have very basic and simple products at cost prices that serve as a lure but then in this type of work they shoot up the prices.

How much it costs to print 100 books, A5 size, black and white, offset paper, with 180 pages, soft cover without flap, matt laminated.

Exactly with these characteristics we did a printing job whose budget was £358, that is, £3,58 per unit. Up to 70% cheaper than printing books at other printers.

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How much does it cost to print 50 books, A4 size, full colour, premium coated paper, with 120 pages, soft cover without flap, matt laminated.

This is another example, in this case we are talking about how much does it cost to print a book of photos. It is a fairly large book as it is in A4 format. In this case there are very few units, however we also get a really good price. £797 final price all inclusive. It costs less than £16 each book large in full colour.

How much it costs to print 20 hardcover books, size 20 x 27cm, offset paper, with black and white printing, 368 pages

Only 20 hardback books. And this job cost £380, each book with these features costs £19. It is an incredibly cheap price for all the features included, in fact for this kind of small print runs we are always asked to print books.


Factors that influence how much does it cost to print a book

But to go into more detail, let’s specify the factors that determine how much does it cost to print a book, without putting prices, just indicating whether the price is higher or lower, so you can get an idea by comparing with the examples above.

To simplify the answer as much as possible, we are going to focus on 5 factors only. We show them to you 😉

Price of a book in relation to its pages

To be honest, the price of paper is quite low. This means that in small print runs the price hardly varies between the different weights of paper and the number of pages. It can cost the same to print a 20-page book as a 50-page book when less than 100 copies are to be produced.

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In medium and large print runs (let’s call them medium from 500 books) any detail can vary the price even by thousands of euros.

For a reference you can take the prices of the examples and make the proportion, although it is not really proportional, at least you will have a reference to start from.

The price of books in relation to size

Exactly as in the previous point, the larger the format or size, the more material is used, but it is also something that begins to be noticed in medium print runs. You can take the example prices as a reference and make a proportion.

Maybe calculating it perfectly the difference is lower and an A4 book won’t cost exactly twice as much as an A5. But we are here to give you some guidance. And of course, you can also contact us if you need something more specific.

The value for the type of print

In the examples we have also taken two very different types of books to explain this point. Black and white printing is more economical than colour printing. But there are also different printing techniques.

This point is the most difficult to explain, because it does not follow any kind of proportion to anything. For printing few books, digital printing is better, but for large ones, offset is better. It is up to the printer to decide which print is suitable for the quantity to be printed and to make the budget accordingly.

Offset printing is cheaper, but when the print run is several thousand books because it has start-up costs. On the other hand, digital printing is more expensive in proportion, but cheaper in a few units.

Lastly, we also have inkjet printing (which is similar but of higher quality to the printers we have at home). It is a great saving in small and medium print runs. A professional will know how to choose it if the content does not have high-resolution images and the colours to be printed will look good in inkjet printing.

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To sum up a bit. The type of printing influences how much does it cost to print a book, of course. But it’s something you shouldn’t worry about because a good professional will always choose the most cost-effective and highest quality for you in each case.

The covers and special finishes

The most common bindings are hardcover and softcover. Considering that both are made with PUR gluing (a type of glue that sticks very well), the hard cover is like an extra of the book. That is, the price will be the same for both, but the addition of the hardcover can cost up to £6 per unit.

On the other hand, there are also the exclusive finishes: selective varnishes, dry-stamping or embossing, laminates with special touches, metallic inks, etc…. Not just any printing company can do this because it requires very specific machinery to achieve it. But these are extras that, although they increase the cost price, will also increase its value in the marketplace.


How much it cost to print a book in a print shop depending on the number of copies

Printing a book often has a much lower unit price the more copies are printed. This is because much of the manufacturing process is the same for one book as it is for ten thousand.

In this respect, the price is up to 70% lower for large print runs compared to small editions. This is a factual figure from some of our quotes.

For this very reason we sometimes have a minimum quantity set to start production. In addition, for certain types of printing, it is often necessary to discard some prints prior to the final print.

As for the examples, they are for 50 units the highest price and for 500 the lowest. The price could be lowered even further for projects of several thousand copies, but this is a matter of a completely bespoke quotation.

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