7 Tips for Lowest-Cost Book Printing

If you’re self-publishing your work, you’ll likely be interested in how to print books cheaply. Every upfront cost, from bookbinding to cover design to marketing, ultimately eats into your bottom line.

After all, you still have to market your book, and that’s a costly process too.

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? Let’s find out in this blog, along with tips to lower the cost of custom book printing.

Looking to print books cheap? Get a quote here!

How Much Does It Cost to Print a Book?

Custom book printing costs 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.

Keep in mind that these costs are only associated with printing a book. If you’re planning on self-publishing, there may be a host of other costs to take into account – from editing, proofreading, marketing, distributing, and more. 

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.

7 Tips for Cheap Book Printing

It’s okay 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.

1. Weigh Buying in Bulk vs Print-on-Demand

Many printers require a minimum number of copies, which is how they keep costs low for both themselves and the authors. However, they require an upfront investment.

Print-on-demand book services are another alternative and are wonderful if you’re low on cash now, but buying a large batch of prints all at once may ultimately be more economical in the long run. However, there’s a big IF – you’ll need to make sure you can sell the books.

If you’re unsure whether you’ll actually be able to sell all the books in a given order, opting for a print-on-demand book model may be a better choice and a less risky bet.

Learn about cheap options for print-on-demand books

2. Choose Standard Paper Sizes and Weight

When it comes to printing materials, the size and weight of the paper can significantly impact the overall cost. For instance, if you’re printing trade paperbacks, you’ll find that the cost is far less compared to producing hardcover books. This is because hardcovers require durable and premium materials, driving up the expenses.

Choosing standard paper sizes and weights for your printing needs can also save you from incurring additional charges for custom specifications. Standard options are more cost-effective and readily available, making them a practical choice for most projects.

3. Binding Type

Consider the style of the bookbinding service you plan to use. Case bindings are traditional for hardbacks, and though they provide an air of quality, they involve a time-consuming process and cause 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.

4. 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.

5. Optimize Page Count

Like with the book’s size, the higher 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 get only 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.

6. Look for Ways to Save on Shipping Costs

Big books take up more space and are heavier, which makes them 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 shipping costs — all for one book.

One possible way to save on shipping costs is to bundle printing with shipping. Print Bind Ship, is a dedicated book printing service and a fulfillment company.

When you place an order, we’ll not only print books but also ensure that they reach their final destination and customers in time. Learn how to cut down on print costs by combining book printing services with fulfillment for your brand here.

7. Shop Around for Printing Quotes

By obtaining quotes from multiple printing companies, you can easily compare their prices and services side by side. This helps you to make an informed decision and ensures that you get the best value for your money. Additionally, shopping around allows you to identify any hidden costs or fees that may not have been obvious at first glance.

Moreover, comparing quotes also gives you an insight into the quality of work offered by different printing companies. You can request samples or browse through their portfolios to assess their level of professionalism and attention to detail. This way, you can be confident in the print quality and the final product that you will be receiving.

For the highest quality book printing service that’s also affordable, we recommend Print Bind Ship. With decades of experience printing everything from comic books, paperback books, hardcovers, and more – we have all types of solutions at some of the best print costs on the market.

How to Find the Lowest-Cost Book Printing?

The best way to find the lowest-cost book printing services is to 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 design covers.

If you work with a book printing and binding service like Print Bind Ship (PBS), 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 PBS 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.

Cheapest Way to Print PDF Books

Looking for the cheapest way to print PDF books? Send your files over to us at Print Bind Ship!

Many factors go into the cost of printing a book, which can be overwhelming for new authors. However, partnering with an experienced printing company like Print Bind Ship will ensure that your book is produced with quality, gets shipped to customers quickly, and comes at a price you’ll be happy with.

Plus, Print Bind Ship also offers much more than book printing. We’re a full-blown fulfillment partner and a print-on-demand provider for books and we manage printing, storing, packing, and shipping as orders come through.

Looking to print books cheap? Get a quote here!


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.