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6 Tips for Lowest-Cost Book Printing

If you’re self-publishing your literary works, you’re very likely interested in how to print books cheaply. Because every upfront cost is yours alone to cover, you may not have the funds to invest in an extravagant book-binding service. After all, you still have to market your book, and that’s a costly process.

Cheap book printing services exist, and they can allow you to get your book into the hands of readers without destroying your bank account. To that end, what is the lowest-cost book printing you can trust?

How Much Does Custom Book Printing Cost?

Custom book printing runs anywhere from $2 for each copy of your book to as much as $10 or more. The lowest-cost book printing may be relatively no-frills, lacking assets such as full color or hardback covers, but you shouldn’t sacrifice quality book printing and binding services for quantity. 

No matter which printing and binding services you consider, make sure they have a good reputation for making quality printed materials and remember that you get what you pay for. 

Springing for the lowest-cost book printing or bookbinding service can be tempting, but it may offer prints of a much lower quality than you’re looking for. Readers want to know that they’re picking up a high-quality book, or they may not be willing to buy it, so take the time to ensure the balance between the level of quality you want and the price you’re willing to pay. 

Guide to Cheap Book Printing 

It’s OK to be picky when you’re trying to find the lowest-cost book printing. It’s your reputation and your book on the line here. Though you can pursue digital-only publishing, consider whether you want to have a physical book to sell as well. Studies continue to show that people prefer to read physical books and retain information better when they do. 

Here are ways you can make publishing and printing your book a reality.

Buy in Bulk

Many printers require a minimum number of copies, which is how they keep costs down for both themselves and the authors. Print-on-demand services are wonderful if you can afford them, but buying a large batch of prints all at once may hit you less heavily in the wallet — just make sure you can actually sell the books.

Printing Specifications

Size and materials make a huge difference in price. If you’re printing trade paperbacks, you’ll be spending far less than if you decide on hardbacks. The number of pages also makes a difference, and graphics should be taken into consideration, too. If you want fancy, colored pictures inside your book rather than black-and-white images, you’ll have to pay more in out-of-pocket costs.

Binding Type

Consider the style of the bookbinding service you plan use. Case bindings are traditional for hardbacks, and though it provides an air of quality, it involves a time-consuming process and causes books to be heavy. You can always charge more if you think people will be willing to splurge!

Perfect binding is used for paperbacks and softbacks, in which the cover is made from heavy cardstock and then laminated. The cover and pages are held together with strong glue, making perfect binding a much cheaper alternative to case binding.

Book Size

Mass-market paperbacks are small: At just 4.25 inches x 6.87 inches, they are meant to fit in most backpacks and pockets. Trade paperbacks can measure either 5.5-inch x 8.5-inch digest size or 6-inch x 9-inch U.S. trade size. Hardcovers measure between 6 inches x 9 inches and 8.5 inches x 11 inches. In any case, the bigger you print, the more you spend.

Page Count

Like with the book’s size, the bigger the page count, the more money it will cost you. Remember that each page of a book takes up one side of the actual paper, so you really get two pages per piece of paper. 

Also, keep in mind that you can only make the text so small before it becomes unreadable, so you’ll have to balance between text size and page count when you’re calculating what you’re willing to spend.

Shipping Costs

Big books take up more space and are heavier, making them more expensive to ship, so keep this in mind when you’re finalizing your book’s design. Talk to your book printing and binding services about your specific book’s size and weight to make sure you get an exact number that will fit in a box. Even ordering one more book than what will fit will probably result in an entirely new box, with its own shipping costs — all for one book.

How to Find the Lowest-Cost Book Printing

Talk to printers and fulfillment companies about their prices, and get quotes in writing. Find out about all the services they offer, including whether they will ship the books and whether they can they design covers. 

If you work with a book printing and binding service like Print Bind Ship, you won’t have to worry about any of those questions, as we’ll handle every aspect of your book’s printing.

Working with a third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment company like Print Bind Ship also provides you with great flexibility. If your book becomes a success and you want to introduce a hardback version or start offering print-on-demand services, you can do that. You’ll also get the benefit of fast worldwide shipping to satisfy readers anywhere around the globe.

Your Search for Low-Cost Printing Ends Here

Many factors go into the cost of printing a book, and they can be overwhelming for new authors. But partnering with an experienced printer like Print Bind Ship will ensure that your book is produced with quality, gets shipped to customers quickly and comes in at a price you’ll be happy with. Self-publishing doesn’t have to be tough or headache-inducing, so contact Print Bind Ship to bring your book to life.


How much does it cost to print and distribute a book?

Costs can range dramatically based on the options chosen, but on the cheaper end, authors can spend as little as $500 in total or $3 per book. If you want to start adding in extras like dust jackets or you want to increase your book’s overall size, prices can creep toward $8 to $10 per book.

How can I get a book published for cheap?

Shop around for printers that print large batches and offer reasonable shipping rates, and consider formatting and designing everything yourself so you don’t have to pay someone else to do it.

What is the cheapest price to publish a book?

It’s possible to spend as little as $100, but you’ll have to weigh that price with the ramifications of the quality. Take the time to consider whether readers will be happy with the final product.