Recommendations for lower price book printing?

I will be printing many different books at (most likely) 6 x 9 size, 100 (or so) copies for each book. #50 or #60 1/0 text, and 4/0 cover… I am getting very high prices for the printing. Here, in Orlando, FL, the prices are even higher, but at least I don’t have to pay for shipping. I tried searching for printing in China, but I don’t see the prices being any lower (unless I am not searching properly + there will be extra month or two for the shipping across the Pacific Ocean). Maybe drive across the border to Mexico and print there? Any other recommendations? Maybe I should just shut up, open the wallet, and start shedding off the money.

You didn’t mention any of the online self-publishing, on-demand book printers, such as Amazon KDP, Lulu, IngramSpark, BookBay, and others that specialize in low-volume editions. Is there a reason why they’re not suitable for your needs?

If all you’ve looked at are traditional book publishers and binderies that are set up to print tens of thousands of books, they will charge you an arm and a leg to print and bind only 100 copies.

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I am a little confused on those, because I am printing books for promotional reasons: to give them away, to interviewers, to potential employers and publishing houses, and to anybody who wants to read them. If I have an account with those popular online publishers, and people go to check out my work, they would have to pay for the books, don’t they? That’s exactly what I don’t want. I want my books to be available for free. I will soon be putting all digital files on my website for free, but as far as physical copies to give away, I’d need to figure it out.

So, just order 100 copies yourself?
and “unpublish” your book when done.
For Amazon KDP
Unpublishing and Deleting Books

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I see. I didn’t think of it that way, because I thought that those books are for others to buy them. But I am realizing now that I can actually buy them myself. Maybe I can get the lowest price there per book. But in order for me to buy my books, wouldn’t I need a barcode on them? I specifically didn’t want to have a barcode on my books. I have to research this further. Thank you.

For-sale books need an ISBN code, but if you’re not selling the books, there’s no reason to have one. If it were me, I’d call two or three of those printers to explain the situation, then go from there.

It is required for their printing.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

There are at least a dozen good online book printers that specialize in low-quantity printing. As I mentioned, call their customer service numbers to explain your concerns, then make a choice. If you’re stuck finding one that won’t leave off the ISBN barcodes, well, so be it. So what? Is that really a deal-killer?

For that matter, a Google search turns up several lower-cost book printers that don’t have distribution options and will probably print your book without a USBN code. I can’t recommend them because I haven’t used them, but they’re worth checking into.

What kind of books are you hoping to print anyway? Approximately how many pages? What kind of bindings are you considering?

From what I understand, I can’t order from them, because it needs to have a ISBN (barcodes).

Perfect bound paperbacks. I wanted to have the works: hardcover, embossing, foil, etc… but quickly gave up on the idea because of the skyrocketing cost. They vary in length. The first one is 400+ pages. They are promotional materials that deal with several different topics.

What you really need to do is contact a Print Broker.
These typically have ‘ins’ with printing companies and can get you a cheaper price due to their higher volumes of orders - a trade price if you will.

The way it works is they get a much cheaper price that you ever will, they add a markup for their profit - and even with this it should be cheaper than what you got quoted.
Not only that - they would be able to contact people who can do all-in-one service to keep costs down - or else that printer will have contacts with another printers who owe them a favour for a special finish - sort of trade-offs between companies to keep each other flowing.

The prices on these special finishes would be quite high on low quantity print runs, most of the cost is in the setup and materials. The larger the print run the cheaper it would be per unit.

There are alternatives to each
Hardcover - it would be quite expensive to get embossing/foil stamps etc. on a hard cover.

But you could get a plain hard cover and print a Dust Jacket - and applying special finishes to paper would be more cost effective than applying to a hard cover.
Or alternatively get a really heavy paper that would work too.

Emobssing - you could consider Themograph - this where small thermographic beads are dusted over the ink while wet and adheres to the area - and then heated, once heated it gives a raised effect.

Foils - you could consider Scodix -

In my opinon you should be contacting Short-Run printers who specialise in books and most probably digital printing.

Some research into Orlando Florida

These have a Print on Demand options

Apologies if you already contacted these people.

Some print brokers

I’d start by contacting print brokers by phone or email

Talk to real people who are in the know in your area - and they will point you to the right direction.

A word about on demand printing.

This is typically gang-printing - that is your job is on the same sheet of paper of many others - or at least the same print run.
It cuts down costs for the printer - but the downside to this is the cost is not always given back to you - and the quality may be a lot lower due to the speed and volume of the work going through the machine that is likely running 24/7.

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I contacted the first two in Florida, because I can do a pickup. Not right now for the other ones, because they are not in FL, and the shipping cost automatically raises the price. However, when I was researching the ones that come up first for the keywords: “lowest price book printing usa”, diggypod gave me the lowest price, because they give me free shipping if I do 100 books or more… But ideally, I may have to go with a local printer, because I am itching to do a little more specialty on each one with embossing, and 3d UV gloss for the title of each book.

By the way, is embossing or debossing not a good idea for a paperback cover?

It’s fine for a paperback cover - just remember you can’t have any content on the reverse-side. Well you can but it will be distorted - it’s best for the underside to be blank.

If you went with cheaper thermographic beads - you could technically have content on the reverse.

Explore your print opions. Thermographic is cheaper, and Scodix is amazing could give raised UV effects etc.

Your local printer / print broker will have options for you.

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