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AALBC Prints Books, Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between on-demand and short run printing?

Typically, on-demand printing is used to fill an immediate need for a very small quantity of books—think one, two or three books. Short run printing, on the other hand, is used to fill inventory. Books are ordered in larger amounts at a lower cost per unit, and turnaround times are a bit longer. AALBC.com offers short run printing services to authors and publishers.


How long will it take for my book to be printed?

Within 48 hours, we will have a proof ready for your review—either hard copy or soft copy, depending on your preference. (Pricing is the same for both.) Once the proof is approved for printing, the normal turnaround time is three to five days. Expedited service is available at an additional cost.


Are reprints of my book cheaper than the first printing?

They can be; it depends on the quantity. If your first run was 200 books and now you’re ordering 50, the cost per unit might be higher for the shorter run. However, with reprints there are no set-up costs. Ultimately, it makes sense to order only what you know you can sell, even at a higher per-unit cost, because the sale is guaranteed.  


What trim size should I use?

While the size of your book is based on your own style and preference, there’s one important point to consider: How will the book be used by the reader? For example, most novels are printed at a size that readers can comfortably hold in their hands, 5.5" x 8.5" is a very popular size. Textbooks are larger, making room for illustrations, more elaborate layouts and larger text.


How many books should I print?

We encourage authors and publishers to print as many books as they believe they can sell in a short period of time—and no more. Short run printing makes reprints easier than ever, so there’s no reason to have inventory collecting dust.  Selling your book in advance makes a lot of sense too: If readers preorder your book, you’ll know exactly how many to print for your first run.  Currently, 200 copies offers the best bang for the buck in terms of unit price; after 200 copies the unit cost does not decrease as rapidly.


What are the paper choices for printing my book?

While many printers offer 50# text as a standard, and charge extra for 60# text, we use high-grade 60# text for all of its print jobs. For full-color books or books that feature photography, we use 80# gloss or matte finish