What does it cost to print and bind your book?

There are several factors that contribute to the price of your book. Luckily, you can influence most of them. The factors that influence the price of your book are: the choice between paperback and hardcover, the format and number of pages, the paper type, and whether you want to print in colour or not. Tweaking these factors, you can print a book for as little as £6.60. Then there’s also our progressive bulk discount which kicks in when you order 3 copies or more. This will push the price per copy down even further.  

Paperback or hardback? Which to print?

You can choose to have your book bound as a paperback or a hardback. The cover of the former is made of 240 gram cardboard, which is nice and flexible. The vast majority of printed books are paperbacks. The hardback cover is made of thicker cardboard, and actually consists of 3 distinct parts: the front cover, the back cover, and the spine. These pieces are joined together with an endsheet, which is the paper lining the inside of the cover. Due to all the extra work and materials that go into making a hardback, they are more expensive than paperbacks. A paperback is generally around £4 cheaper than a hardback, which is good to know before you commit to a certain type.

You can choose a matte or a glossy finish for your cover, no matter which cover type you use. This won’t impact the cost of your book.

Printing a hardback generally takes about 1-3 work days longer than a paperback, which takes 3-4 working days on average.

Book format and page count

Book printing costs are not only influenced by the cover type, but also the size of your book. We’re not just talking about the page count, but also the format, i.e. the dimensions of your book. For example, an A4 book uses twice the amount of paper that an A5 book does. Ink usage will also go up as a result. Fortunately, this does not mean that the price will be twice as high; you can expect it to go up by 5-20%. 

It is of course up to you to decide which format works best for your book, thesis or magazine. You can see all the available formats when creating a new book, or by using our price calculator.

Paper type

The choice of paper type will also affect the cost of printing a book. At 24bookprint, there are three different paper types to choose from: 80 g offset white, 115 g semi-gloss white, and 90 g bookwove cream paper. Offset white is the cheapest, and the other two are just about the same price. Which of these is best suited for your book? While the choice is ultimately yours, we do have some recommendations. Our offset white paper is a fancier version of the standard printer paper you’re probably familiar with. It’s mostly used for textbooks, handbooks and manuals, theses, and white papers. Semi-gloss is used for books and magazines in which colour is a key factor, such as cookbooks, photo albums, and pretty much every magazine out there. Our cream paper is what you’ll see in nearly every fiction book. 

Book printing: bulk discounts

We’ve covered all the components that influence the cost of getting your book printed and bound. The cover type, format, paper type, and colour settings can all be tweaked to make your book cheaper. There’s one more thing you can do to influence the book printing cost though. You can push the cost per copy down even further by taking advantage of our bulk discounts. Our bulk discounts kick in when you order 3 copies or more of your book. The more copies you order, the lower the price per book: 

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Starting at orders of about 400 copies, we’ll switch from digital printing to offset printing. We’ve covered the differences between digital printing and offset printing elsewhere, so suffice to say that when an order is big enough, offset is cheaper. This comes at the cost of longer printing and delivery times however. Get in touch with us if you’re looking to place a large order.

So, what kind of book do you want to print?

Ultimately, you decide what it’s going to cost to print your book. You can either opt for a barebones paperback to get the job done, or splurge a bit on a fancy hardback. A book in the smallest format (110 x 180 mm) using the cheapest paper (80g white) entirely in B&W is naturally going to be the cheapest. However, depending on what your goals are, it’s not always going to be the best option. Sometimes you need a hardback with semi-gloss paper in full colour, for example, if you’re making a cookbook. One thing is certain: we’ll print the perfect book for you at supremely affordable rates!