Which online prepress site do you recommend?

I am going to be printing many different books at different sizes, including one magazine. I want some of the books to be with the works: hard cover, soft cover, relief, varnish, gloss, foil, die cut, etc… I am looking to make the switch from local printing to automated – where it shows me what the product will look like… And also, possibility for clients to directly order books from the site. Any suggestions? Thanks.

I’m a little confused. Are you looking for an online print-on-demand printer — Lulu, for example?

I started checking out the site to see how the calculation for 1 book would work, and the section for the book cover gives me only two options: glossy or matte. I want a website that gives me an option to do more elaborate cover in the technical aspects: relief, foil, die cut, etc.

The print-on-demand services are able to do what they do because they keep the printing simple using a limited number of options and digital printing machines. This makes it possible to simply print a book or two before shipping them out to the customers who order them.

Adding die cutting, embossing, debossing foil embossing, foil stamping, dies, spot colors, various spot media coatings, special paper stock, stitched bindings, and other options to the list stretches the jobs out beyond what can be currently done using one-at-a-time, keep-it-simple-and-cheap printing. Instead, you’re looking at ordering editions of minimum quantities — in other words, traditional offset book printing and binding.

You might find a traditional printer with a more automated workflow and various options, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any. Maybe someone else here has some suggestions.

You might want to speak with a print broker whose job it is to keep up with this kind of thing.