Print on demand vs. printing in large quantities: What is the best option for your book?

If you have written a book, you most likely want to get it out there and make it reach readers. To do this, the best option is always to publish it on paper, since studies show that people prefer to read physical books than electronic ones. However, is it better to opt for print-on-demand or a large print run? 

Even if you know that your book is good and worth it, printing many copies can be risky, especially if you don’t know how to market your book well to promote it. On the other hand, print on demand allows for a more controlled investment. That is why many writers prefer to print a few copies of their book and request more as they receive orders or requests from readers or bookstores. 

To make a good comparison of options, you not only have to evaluate the general but also the specific and what is best for your specific book. That is why throughout this article we are going to analyze what those options are and which one best suits your needs and those of your literary work.

Print on demand vs. printing in large quantities: What is the best option for your book?

Anyone who has written a book knows that any decision regarding it and its publication must be considered. Consequently, it is important to understand what the advantages and disadvantages are of printing on demand versus printing in large quantities, and vice versa.

In general terms, the printing of books on demand is possible from a single copy and with minimum production times. In contrast, printing a large number of books takes longer. It also requires having a larger inventory and therefore a warehouse in which to store it, something unprofitable if we are not sure of the evolution of sales. experienced writers, often referred to as “ghostwriters,” create content on ghostwriting services behalf of individuals, authors, or organizations without taking credit for their work. These services

Introduction to the different printing options available on the market

The rise of self-publishing in literature has brought new options for printing books. Whereas before authors could generally only publish through publishers and they, in turn, make large print runs of books, now there is print on demand.

This last alternative would not be possible without the development of digital printing, which simplifies and makes the process cheaper. Its great competitive advantage is that it does not require the start-up of traditional machines, which require four passes and the use of customized inks, plates or matrices.

  • Digital printing: The book, in a digital file format, is sent to the machine, which prints it on custom, already cut papers (not drums of continuous paper). The ink is applied by injection or laser, but it is not necessary to make a pass for each color.
  • Offset printing (Offset): it works using aluminum alloy metal plates. In each of them the design of the document is previously recorded. One plate of each primary color is needed for each sheet or side of the document. The combination of the different plates allows you to create different colors. The cost of this technique is therefore high and is made more expensive by the use of paper drums.

Comparison between print on demand and bulk printing

Now that the characteristics of printing on demand (digital techniques) and printing in large quantities (offset technique) are clearer, let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

The advantages of printing books on demand

  • It is recommended for short runs, although there are no maximums or minimums.
  • The production time is minimal, since only the digital file is needed (not the manufacturing of plates), the ink does not have to dry and the paper used is custom-made, it does not need to be cut.
  • Reprinting is also quick and easy, as there is no need to change plates to print.
  • The cost is low since the start-up of the machinery and its operation are simplified compared to offset printing.
  • It does not require a large financial investment; allows you to print the copy once it is already sold.

The advantages of printing books in large quantities

  • The cost is lower when the number of copies to be printed is high.
  • The definition and print quality obtained are higher.
  • Allows printing on different types of paper and supports.
  • The printing process (not the preparation) is quite fast (it can print more than 10,000 sheets per hour).

How to choose the best option for your book based on your budget and the number of books required?

After reading the advantages of each type of printing, you have been able to get an idea of ​​which one is best for you according to your budget and your sales forecasts. As a guideline, these are the recommendations:

  • If you want to make a large print run (more than 1000 copies), choose offset printing, since you will make the price of starting up the machinery and creating the printing plates profitable. Also keep in mind that the more copies you make, the cheaper the unit will be. If you choose this option, you or your editor should contact a specialized printing company and request a quote, assessing whether making more copies and keeping stock may be more profitable than placing the minimum order of 1,000.
  • If you prefer not to take risks and are going to print few copies (less than 1000), opt for on-demand and digital printing. Although the printing quality is somewhat lower, you will reduce costs and you will be able to request more copies depending on sales, without having to advance money. This is the alternative that we offer at, where for example you can order 10 copies of your book for about €100. Having this information beforehand also allows you to set the price of your book according to the profit margin you want to obtain.

“The printing press is an army of twenty-six tin soldiers with which you can conquer the world.”
Johann Guttenberg

How to use printing services to print your book

At we are committed to quality service, both in printing and customer service. That’s why many writers trust us to publish their books. 

Printing is an art that has evolved greatly since Gutenberg invented it, reaching higher levels of quality. Consequently, readers’ expectations when they get their hands on a new book are equally high. Due to its external appearance, they make an initial assessment of what they will read inside, which is why it is essential to go to professional companies that can offer adequate printing standards.

These professional solutions were previously only available to big authors working with book publishers. Luckily, the advances in the printing press have also meant a democratization of it and the knowledge it provides. Now independent authors and small publishers can also access print-on-demand and even distribution services. 

Furthermore, while in traditional printing presses the process is slower because the manufacturing and use of specialized machinery is required, desktop publishing and print-on-demand platforms are very easy to use and guarantee a good result. 

The importance of print quality and how to ensure standards are met

The weight of the paper, the size of the font, the colors… Although all of these aspects may seem purely aesthetic to us, the printing quality matters and can positively or negatively influence the reader. When you pick up a book, especially if you don’t know the author, how it was printed can lead you to classify a book as good or average.

Since we know that you want the reader to have a good predisposition to read your book, we will tell you how complying with printing standards will make it so:

  • Readability – A book with blurry text will make for a poor reader experience. To prevent this from happening to you, choose a printing company that guarantees sharpness and clarity of both text and images.
  • Durability: a reader can be the best distributor and share your book with their friends. For this to be the case, it is vital to opt for quality printing and prevent the pages from coming off or breaking.
  • Customization – Choose a printing company that offers several design options. If you also opt for print on demand, you can make changes between one copy and another. For example, you can easily modify the digital file if in the first print run you realize that another font would look better.
  • Sensory experience: never forget that the reader is going to touch the book and turn its pages, so they must have a pleasant touch.
  • Professional advice: If you have ever thought about printing copies of your book at home, get that idea out of your head. Even if you have a good printer, it will not meet the quality standards that are met in a printing press. Furthermore, if you go to professionals, they will be able to advise you on the paper or whether a type of rustic or staple binding is better, for example.

Practical tips to print your book efficiently and in high quality with

At we are experts in print on demand and desktop publishing. The trust that many writers have already placed in us has been our great learning and has allowed us to increase our experience.

In order to make the most of the services we offer and all the options available, don’t forget to follow these tips for printing books:

  • Study all the customization options and adapt them to your book: think about your book and above all about what your reader is like. If, for example, you have written a love novel that you hope will be a success this summer, it is advisable to print it in pocket format and on sturdy but not too heavy paper. 
  • Pre-sell your book: you will have a first number of copies already sold and therefore you can now print. Furthermore, since you already have the money, it is not a blind investment that may not return a profit later. We recommend that you add a few more copies to the order to have some stock. This strategy can not only be used by independent authors who opt for self-publishing, but also by small publishers who, due to their finances, cannot afford to make large print runs.
  • Place a first order: One of the great advantages of print on demand is that you can order a single copy. This first sample will serve as a model to evaluate the quality.
  • Use an appropriate file format: The printer you choose will request the book in digital format, but it is important that you choose the right one. Even if you used Word or another writing application, it is best that the file you send to print be in PDF, this will ensure that the images, text or page texts are preserved and are not modified when opened on a device different.

Online print-on-demand services: why is the best option for independent authors and small publishers?

If you have made the decision to choose print on demand and publish your book, colliery is an excellent choice if you are looking for a professional printing company, easy to use and with a great customer service team. But these are just some of our advantages:

  • Our platform is very easy to use and highly efficient. In just a few minutes your file can be uploaded, reviewed and ready to print according to the options you have chosen (from the weight of the paper to the type of binding to the type of cover).
  • We offer many customization options, because we know that your book is yours and must meet your expectations and those of your readers.
  • Prices are highly competitive and there are discounts depending on order volume. In addition, you will receive the exact quote before requesting printing, so you don’t get any surprises.
  • We have good customer service. Our team acts as your printing guide; is available to answer all your questions, make suggestions and advise you throughout the editing and printing process.
  • We have state-of-the-art digital printers. We are up to date with the most advanced technology, allowing us to achieve high printing standards.
  • Our materials are also of high quality, characterized by their resistance. We guarantee a professional-looking final result.

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