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Ocean Reeve - Book Printing - Publishing.jpg

Book Printing is often a challenge for authors. Several questions come to mind that can confuse and leave authors unsure if they have made the right decisions. Usually those questions are:

  • How many books should you print?

  • What interior paper stock is right for your book?

  • What cover stock is right for your book?

  • Should your cover have a gloss or matte cello finish?

  • What about special features like foiling or embossing?

  • What type of binding should your book be?

  • How long does it take to print your books?


Now most of these questions are best answered with a ZOOM meeting or phone call because while certain genres have a set style, every author has a different take on how they want their book to be presented. Hence a chat with your publishing specialist to see if those needs can be met.  However, below we have given some explanations below around the various print methods available in book printing. So keep reading and as mentioned, reach out if you want to discuss further.


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Offset book printing is often used for a high quantity of books being produced (usually 1000+). This is because the economies of scale at this quantity are far more economical than the other two print options - digital or print-on-demand (POD). Also worth noting is that more often than not, offset book printing is likely to occur overseas. This is also due to price however there are extended timelines in this case. 

Ocean Reeve Publishing has print partners in Australia and New Zealand, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, India, United States, France and the United Kingdom. With offset production we tend to look more towards India, Malaysia Taiwana or China. From a timeline perspective, once the author has approved the physical proof copy of their book then we need to allow 2-3 weeks in production then 12-14 weeks in packaging, shipping, customs clearance and delivery to Ocean Reeve Publishing for checking. Then an additional 7-10 days for domestic delivery.
PLEASE NOTE: these timelines are estimates as since COVID, there have been unexpected delays in customs clearance processes.

One of the major benefits in offset production is obviously price. However, offset book printing does offer other benefits such as many options in paper stock, special finishing options such as foiling and embossing covers, and most importantly, quality hardcover case bound books. So, if you are looking at a hardcover children's book - for paper quality, economics, colour reproduction, and binding - offset production is definitely the way to go.


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Digital book printing has become the go-to option for so many new and established authors. With huge technological advancements, digital production presses can now produce many of the specialty processes usually only limited to offset. Paper stock, high-quality colour, foiling on covers, and much more. Even more attractive is that you can print from 50 to almost 1000 books quite economically. 

There are some drawbacks that authors need to be aware of with digital production. The main one being hardcover casebound production. Whilst it is achievable to produce quality hardcovers through digital print, cost is much, much higher than offset. The reason being the manual process in binding. Unlike offset hardcover production where there are huge computerised machinery making the books, or print-on-demand (more on this below), small run quality hardcover production requires a more manual operation. We usually only recommend low quantity hardcover books to authors as a special limited-edition or personalised product. 

Digital book printing, once the proof copy has been approved, will take between 2-3 weeks to print and 7-10 days for domestic delivery. When it comes to softcover, paperback book printing, digital production is the recommended option. With over two decades of experience in printing and publishing, Ocean Reeve Publishing only partners with the best in the business when it comes to printing our authors books.


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The newest and often, most convenient option for authors, print-on-demand (POD) has now met a global need in both service and book printing. Whilst not the most economical method, POD has enabled authors to print single copies of their books and have them delivered to customers from anywhere in the world. This has saved authors in immensely high postage costs and opened up the market in ways never before imagined.

POD does come with some restrictions. First, paper stock. As it stands the paper stock used is limited to 75 and 105gsm uncoated matte paper. There is no option for gloss in the interior of POD books. Also worth noting is that the colour reproduction is not as superior as digital or offset book printing. There are limited size options for published books through POD however the most common trade book sizes are provided. Finally, cost, the single book is expensive and most authors through POD will either break even or make $2-3 per copy sold. This is on par with trade publishing and while not offering the return-on-investment that digital or offset printing offers, POD has enabled authors to meet global markets.

POD timelines are much like digital. 2-3 weeks in production with less than a week in shipping. Having the choice of these three print options has now made it much easier for authors to publish and ensure they can provide their books to a market here in Australia and internationally at a moment's notice. Whilst there are differences between POD, digital and offset - all book printing options on offer meet industry standards and have always given the customer a quality book to read and enjoy.

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