Book Printing Services : Book Printing Pricing Explained

Book Printing Services

When it comes to getting your book published one of the things to consider is the cost of book printing services. The price of these services can vary depending on factors, such as the printing method used available binding options, quantity required and level of customization desired.

Whether you’re an author self-publishing your work, a business owner in need of professional marketing materials or an aspiring writer dreaming of seeing your manuscript in print, it’s crucial to have a great understanding of what goes into determining the pricing for book printing services, whilst maintaining high quality printing standards

In this article, we will delve into the complexities surrounding book printing service pricing in Australia. We’ll explore the differences between digital and offset print techniques and discuss book binding methods like Perfect Binding (PUR), Saddle Stitching, Coil Binding and Wire Binding, and how these products affect price.

Understanding How Book Printing Service Pricing Works

Confused about Book Printing Services

In Australia, the cost of book print services is determined by a range of factors that impact the expenses involved. To make decisions about your printing requirements it’s vital to grasp how these variables come into play…

Printing Methods: Digital vs. Offset Book Printing Services

Digital Printing

Ricoh 9200

When it comes to printing your books, digital printing is the choice for shorter print runs due to its lower cost setup advantages and fast turnaround. However, it’s crucial to understand how it impacts the cost.

1. Setup Costs;

Unlike offset print, digital print requires setup, which means you won’t have to bear initial expenses. This makes it an affordable option for shorter run (generally less than 500) quantities.

2. Printing Speed;

Digital is faster when it comes to handling quantities, which helps in reducing labour costs. One big advantage is there is no drying time, as Digital uses toner, not ink. However, for large-scale (over 500 Books) printing jobs it may not be as efficient.

3. Quality;

Although Digital offers good quality it might not match the sharpness and color consistency of printing when dealing with very large Full Colour Offset print runs. We are lucky here at MVP Print to partner with Ricoh Australia, a world leader in Digital print quality. Some clients even request Digital over Offset for even higher quality reasons, which would have been unheard of 10 years ago in Australia.

4. Cost Per Unit

Due to setup costs involved in print, it often turns out to be more cost effective for smaller quantities resulting in a lower cost per unit.

Offset (Lithographic) Printing

SM52 Offset Book Printing Services

Offset Printing is a high quality production method used for longer print runs and has its own set of cost considerations.

1. Setup Costs;

Offset printing involves setup costs that include make ready, plates and press set-up. Not good for short book printing runs, but great for longer ones as you only set up once.


When it comes to print speed, Offset stands out as it is highly efficient, for larger quantities. High-speed presses used in Lithographic processes can handle thousands of printed pages per minute which leads to reduced labor costs per unit.

Offset Print Quality

In terms of quality , offset is widely known for its high quality printing ability. It offers sharpness and accurate colour reproduction making it the preferred choice for producing high-quality books (Both Full Colour and Black-White)

Economies of Scale

While the setup costs of print may be higher initially it becomes more cost effective as the quantity increases. This means that for print runs the cost per unit decreases.

Book Printing Services : Binding Costs Explained

Moving on to binding methods and their impact on pricing the choice of binding method plays a role in determining the cost of book printing services. Each binding option has its own features and associated costs.

Perfect Binding (PUR)

Perfect Binding PUR
Open book

Perfect Binding PUR (Polyurethane Reactive binding) – commonly used for softcover books and magazines. This type of binding provides a professional look to your publication. Easiest described as `like a novel’ with a cover and a printable spine. Here’s how it affects pricing;

Materials Cost – Perfect binding typically requires a specific material compared to some binding methods. PUR requires a relatively expensive binding unit, and Glue that is specific to the process, which does add to the cost versus something like Saddle Stitching

Labor Costs – While the process of binding is quite straightforward it may necessitate labor to ensure cutting and gluing which can impact the overall labor costs. A PUR Book is slower to produce, which means longer production time, which means more labour costs.

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching

Saddle Stitching is the most cost-effective method of binding …mostly employed for publications with fewer pages, or as a reduced-cost option Magazines, Event Programs and Instruction Manuals are frequently saddle stitched. The most common binding type out there, and if you are looking for a fast turnaround and quick delivery, Saddle Stitching is the way to go.

1. Materials Cost: Saddle stitching involves materials just the pages themselves and a staple in the spine. This helps keep material costs at a minimum.

2. Labor Costs: Saddle stitching is an uncomplicated process that results in affordable low overall labour costs

Coil Binding

Coil Binding Book Printing Services

Coil. Spiral binding offers flexibility and durability as a binding method. One key advantage is that it allows the pages to lay flat when opened. Some clients prefer this over Wire O Binding as the Coil is a single piece of binding, as opposed to being clamped together…Let’s see how it affects pricing

1. Materials Cost: Coil binding requires coils or spirals made of either metal or plastic. These materials can be more expensive compared to staples or adhesive options.

2. Labor Expenses: The process of coil binding may require time and has a specialised equipment need, which can affect the costs associated with labor.

Wire Binding

Wire Binding Book Printing Services

Wire binding is another method that offers an appearance and allows the book to open flat. It is commonly used for reports, notebooks and calendars where the ability to open the book flat is important

1. Material Costs: Wire binding utilizes a metal wire that can be pricier compared to binding materials.

2. Labor Expenses: The process of wire binding is relatively straightforward and efficient resulting in labor costs.

Alternative Cost Factors to Consider wit Book Printing Services

Apart from print and binding methods, there are several additional cost factors to consider when determining the pricing for your book printing services;

1. Paper Quality: The type and quality of paper you select for your book can significantly impact the cost. Premium paper options will be more expensive, than paper.

2. Choosing between color and black-and-white print options can have cost implications. It’s important to consider your budget and the content of your book before making a decision.

3. The number of copies you decide to print can affect the cost, per unit. Finding a balance between your budget and the expected demand for your book is crucial.

4. The size and artwork dimensions of your book can impact both print and binding expenses. Non-standard sizes may require cutting and binding methods, which could increase costs.

5. Adding features like embossing, foil stamping or die cutting can enhance the appeal of your book but will also come with additional expenses.

Clear as Mud ?

confused about print

Understanding how pricing works for book printing services is essential for authors, publishers or businesses planning to bring their content into print form. By considering factors such as print methods, binding options, paper quality and quantity you can make informed decisions that align with both your constraints and the desired quality of your publication.

Whether you choose digital or offset print methods, along with saddle stitching coil binding or wire binding—each offer advantages and disadvantages that will impact the overall cost.

Keep in mind that achieving the combination of quality and affordability is crucial to guarantee the success and cost-effectiveness of your book project. Of course, you also need a quality team of experts who are experienced in providing excellent customer service with a fast turnaround. At MVP Print, this professional mantra is what we preach.

When it comes to book printing services ‘knowing’ is an asset. Utilize the information provided in this breakdown of costs to make decisions. This way you can create a printed masterpiece that surpasses your expectations without putting a strain on your budget.