About Print-On-Demand Book Printing

Posted by   ROBERT TRIPP
Mar 29, 2023

Print-on-Demand (POD) books are becoming more common. They are a great way for new or aspiring authors to self-publish their work and get started in selling without a large financial commitment or the need for a place to store a pallet pf books.

Paradise Cay Publications now offers complete POD services for paperback and spiral-bound books. From design to layout, proof copies, small or large print runs, we can help you make your dreams a reality. 

This article is intended to help you make informed decisions when it comes to self-publishing. 


The cost of printing books is largely based on three factors:

  • Page Count (the number of pages)
  • Trim size (the final size of a book)
  • Quality of Paper (coated, uncoated, heavy or light)

In other words, the size of your book is a big factor in how much it will cost to produce. There are other costs that can add up:

  • Book Design & Layout
  • Lamination of cover (there are several choices that may affect price)
  • Corner Trim (rounded corners)

These additional factors are based on labor & time. In particular, the design and layout of your book is a time consuming process that must be done manually. If you decide to layout your book by yourself, it's important to educate yourself on the necessary specifications and requirements that a printer will require in order to produce your book properly.


Designing a book for print is not difficult, but there are specific requirements that must be kept in mind. Before you start laying out a book, reach out to your print provider to learn what those requirements will be. It's easier to start the job the correct way rather than have to fix it later. A poor layout may give you an incorrect page count, or not have properly sized margins. Both situations may require drastic changes in order to be print-ready, therefore increasing your costs and the time needed to reach completion.

Paradise Cay Publications offers complete design services at a fair price. We have professional in-house designers who can do the work for you, or provide the specs you'll need to layout your book yourself.


When it comes to photos and illustrations, there are also requirements that must be met in order to produce a quality book. Nowadays, it's easy to find images on the internet, but most of the images you'll find are not of a high enough quality to print well. Even photos taken on a digital camera or cell phone may not print as expected due to pixel resolution. An image that looks good on your screen is not necessarily up to the required spec for print. 

  • TV's, Computer monitors, and cell phones display images at 72 dpi (dots per inch)
  • Books and other print media requires images at 300 dpi
  • Images printed on large posters or large structures require an even higher dpi count

If you've ever seen a printed photo that looks grainy or pixelated, this is probably the reason why. Modern camers and cell phones are capable of capturing very high pixel count, so make sure to use the high qualiity settings when using such a device for your print photos. Remember, a large image can always be sized down and still look great, but a small image cannot be enlarged without losing quality.


When an image goes to the very edge of a page this is called, bleed. A printer cannot typically print to the edge of a page, so to achieve image bleed the paper is trimmed either before or after binding a book. This means that trim size must be kept in mind when designing cover art, as most covers feature bleed. 

If you want bleed on the cover or interior, your art must be created or sized with an extra 1/8 to 1/4 inch of print that extends beyond the trim size. Your print provider can help provide a template or specs to help you achieve this.


While it sounds great to have a well known publisher accept your book and give you a nice cash advance up front, the reality is that few aspring authors will have this experience. A publisher can offer distribution and possibly advertising, but that also means they keep a large portion of the profits. Remember, book publishing is a business, and even though you may think your book is good a publisher will want a product that they believe they can sell. So, most writers will do well to publish their book themselves.

With the advent of POD printing, it's easier than ever to do it yourself. No need to have 1,000 copies printed and a place to store them. No need to spend thousands of dollars just to get started. You keep all or most of the profits. 


There are many details and important considerations to keep in mind when preparing a book for print. With some research and dedication, you can learn about what it takes to do most of the work yourself. This can save a lot of money and headaches when it comes to finally producing your book. There are plenty of other resources out there that can help you gain an understanding of the process and get a handle on what you can do to ensure your dream of becoming an published author goes as smoothly and as cost effective as possible. I hope this article has been helpful.

Robert Tripp
Designer & Editor at Paradise Cay Publications


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