GETTING AN ESTIMATE
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For more information or for a free estimate, contact the
Vancouver Desktop Publishing Centre.

 

money, money, moneyHOW DO I GO ABOUT GETTING AN ESTIMATE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF MY BOOK?

Before you request an estimate for either the page layout or the printing and binding of your book, you will need to have the following information:

Finished Size: Check out the books at the bookstore or the library and decide what size would be most appropriate for your project. The most economical sizes for softcover books are 5.5 x 8.5 inches or 6 x 9 inches.

Page Count: Find a book that is a similar size and typeface to what you would like for your book and count the characters per page. Then count the characters in your manuscript (the word processing program will do this) and divide by the characters per page. Then add 7 pages for preliminaries (title, copyright, table of contents, etc.). Finally, estimate how many pages will be taken up with photographs or other graphics and add these to the total.

Is the text on disk? If the text for your book is not yet on a disk, you will have to pay for keyboarding or scanning.

Number of photographs or images and will they need to be scanned: Images can be supplied as digital files or we can scan them but in either case we need to know the approximate number of images because there will be a small charge for image enhancement. Scanned images will need to be enhanced to compensate for quality lost during scanning. Including colour images inside the book will be more costly than including greyscale images. Note that colour photos can be turned into greyscale images when they are scanned. If you are planning to scan your own images please contact us first so we can give you the correct specifications.

Inside ink: Printing the insides in black ink only will be much less expensive than using colour inside. If you want to include colour images in the book, the most economical way is to group them together into 4- 8- or 16-page groupings so that only those pages need to be printed in colour.

Cover: Covers are usually full colour unless you want to have a black-and-white cover. It used to be that using two or three colours instead of full colour would cost less money, but these days the difference in cost is minimal for offset printing and non-existent if you choose digital printing.

Binding: Softcover binding is called perfect binding. Otherwise, specify hardcover with or without a dust jacket.

Quantity to be printed: The more books you print the lower the cost per book, but try to estimate how many books you can sell. These days, by using digital printing, it is possible and not too expensive to print only a few books at a time. With traditional offset printing, the smallest paperback print run that is economical is usually 400 books.

Other printing options include Print on Demand where a book is printed only when an order comes in, a PDF version of the book that can be downloaded and printed out by the buyer, and various e-book formats that can be read on special readers. With these options it is not necessary to know the quantity of books in order to get an estimate for layout and design.

See Printing and Binding for more information on printing options.

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This website is brought to you by the Vancouver Desktop Publishing Centre,
now with an office in Moncton, New Brunswick. 

Our Moncton office is now up and running and able to serve you in both English and French.

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