Printing Your Self-published Book: Which printer should I choose? (Part 2)

Last week, Trish Romanchuk, the Book Division Manager at Blitzprint, talked about Print on Demand (POD) printers. This week, she will continute her comparison of the different kinds of printers by discussing Short Run POD printers.

Heeeeeeeeere’s Trish Tidbit #3!

If you are printing between 25 and 1,000 books, your best fit is a company like Blitzprint. We are called short run POD printers. In this quantity range, we are still printing books digitally. Don’t let that scare you. I can’t speak for other companies, but I can for Blitzprint and we have some pretty amazing machines that produce some of the most beautiful colors and printing that I have ever seen.

This is definitely the sweet spot for most self-published authors because they can get usable quantities at reasonable prices and in a reasonable timeline. At Blitzprint, our standard timeline is 12-20 business days after proof approval, plus shipping time.

The quantity sweet spot for printing with a short run POD printer is usually between 100 and 500 books. This is where you will notice your cost per unit going down the most when you add books. Every time you add a book to the quantity of your order, your price per unit will go down. Depending on how many books you add to your order, that price reduction could be a couple of cents (if you decide you want 101 books instead of 100 books) to a dollar or more (500 books instead of 100).

Offset printers (which will be the subject of the Trish’s next Tidbit) have something called price break points (which will also be explained).

Also, short run POD printers don’t need, or even want, your book to come to us in signatures.

What is a signature?

According to the dictionary, signatures are “a large sheet printed with four or a multiple of four pages that, when folded, become a section of a book.” (This isn’t always the case, however, as sometimes it is not necessary for them to be folded.)

Basically, a signature is a group of sheets that have four pages printed on them and then are put together to make a book. Let’s use a magazine as an example. A magazine is saddle stitched (stapled in the center). When you read the magazine, you see the pages side by side in correct numerical order. If you take the magazine apart, however, you will see that page 1 is directly beside the last page and page 2 is beside the second last page and so on. In order for them to be printed like that, they had to arrive at the printers in signatures.

Blitzprint doesn’t print like that. We print the pages in one ups. In a one up, pages 1 and 2 back on to each other, but are not attached to any other pages. This means that, if you decide you want your book to be perfect bound (glued), we will be able to print it, as long as there are an even number of pages.

Trish Romanchuk is the manager of the book division for Blitzprint Inc. For more information on their book printing products and services, please visit their website, or contact Trish directly at

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