How is my book going to be printed?

Generally, we use SDR Printing to print our books.

What is SDR Printing and how does it affect my book?

There are basically three methods of printing nowadays:

We don’t usually use web offset, unless a title warrants runs of 1000+.

We use POD after the initial release. As the years move on POD is becoming cheaper and better for authors and publishers.

The way that publishers print books is changing

Historically speaking, the size of the first print run has been a measure of the publishers’ confidence in the book. Your book launch was a big thing, and it was vital it went well, because your publisher will have printed a lot of books and needed to sell them otherwise they would lose a lot of money.

The ability to do small print runs has changed things. The big first print run and splashy launch is now only significant for a tiny number of already-bestselling authors.

Small, high quality print runs enable publishers to manage costs and print more if the demand increases. They reduce the pressure for a big launch and allow “slow burn” approaches to marketing.

How does Crystal Peake manage its print runs?

If you forecast higher demand for your title e.g. for launches, PR programmes etc.

How big will my first print run be?

It probably won’t be large. But if you anticipate high demand for your book on publication, for whatever reason, let us know on the Author Forum.

Remember, unless you’re announcing to the trade something like “£250,000 advance, 500,000 first printing and £500,000 marketing budget,” nobody in the bookselling industry is interested any more in whether you’re printing 10 or 100 or 1000 or 10,000.

Having an extra few thousand books in the warehouse doesn’t do anyone any good; most good-quality books in the USA/UK are printed in the hundreds rather than thousands. Most classic works over the last generation or more had still smaller first printings (the first printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for instance was 500 copies, and that was way back in the previous millennium, through a major publishing house), and in a few years’ time the vast majority of titles will be printed to fulfill orders rather than in hope of orders to come.

In the meantime, having small amounts of stock at the different points of the distribution chain is the norm rather than the exception, the important thing is that the channels are open, orders can be responded to, and it only takes days to shift stock from distributor to wholesaler to shop.

Help! My printed copies are faulty! What should I do?

All printers sometimes produce faulty books. Nineteen times out of twenty it only affects a few copies; let us know as soon as you can if you come across one. After a month or two it’s too late to seek remedy from the printer.