Сelebrate your accomplishment – your book is ready to go to print! Before you ask yourself, “Where can I print a book?” feel it: all the late nights and long hours of writing have brought you here.

It won’t take long for your printed work to arrive as the culmination of your creative efforts and perseverance. Before the big day, follow this checklist to speed up the process of getting a polished, professional book you can share with the world.

How to print pages like a book

Your first port of call is choosing a size for arranging your pages. As a self-publisher, you usually can’t go wrong with: 

  • A6 size (pocket size)
  • A5 size (regular size)
  • A4 size (full size)

For a standard paperback novel, go ahead with an A5 size. This versatile, portable size works for most genres and printing budgets. However, if illustrations are a big part of your work, a larger format may do the trick.

Select your paper type and weight

The right paper is to a book what a breathable fabric is to a summer dress – it’s everything. The paper type and weight determine how durable and riveting your volume is and how much it costs to print a book.

When choosing paper, think about the tone you want to convey and your budget. That’s where you will select from:

  • Glossy paper and its lovable surface, which is excellent for books full of illustrations
  • Matte paper and its eggshell-style texture, which is perfect for text-heavy books
  • Recycled options and the powerful impression they can leave on the eco-conscious audience

Paper weight is how thick and sturdy your pages are. Higher weights are more substantial and durable, while lower weights are more budget-friendly but can seem flimsy. For most books, 70gsm-100gsm weights strike just the right balance of usability, readability, and page-flipping resistance.

Focus on binding

Still confused about how to print pages like a book? It’s binding that makes a volume out of individual pages. The perfect binding type is one of the most popular options for paperback books. It’s flexible and gives your work a professional look as pages are gathered and glued together at the spine. This may work for you, whether you’re printing fiction or nonfiction literature.

Case binding is more durable but also more expensive. It means that pages are put together by a heavy connector and sewn in between. This is an ideal binding option for your hard cover books.

Come up with presentation ideas

Step by step, you’re getting to the stage where you can get a book printed. But before rushing to a print shop, it’s time to design your manuscript. This is your chance to make a stellar first impression by:

  • Putting in your best effort to dream up a compelling cover
  • Testing the most readable interior font
  • Shaking up your text with visual elements
  • Determining the best layout for your pages
  • And asking our designer’s help to make your book the winner on the visual front

Obtain an ISBN

Before sending your manuscript to the printer and evaluating the best place to print books online, there’s one step left – getting an ISBN. It’s a unique identifier assigned to each book version or format. Without one, retailers and distributors won’t accept your creation for sale.

Find your local ISBN agency and apply for the identifier for your book. Then, place it on the cover.

Collect all your files

You can’t overlook anything here. Remember to insert page numbers in the header or footer and include:

  • Copyright page
  • Title page
  • Dedication
  • Table of contents
  • Bibliography (if applicable)

Save your final files as print-ready PDFs. They should have all fonts embedded, layers flattened, and color profiles attached. 

How much does it cost to print your own book?

This will depend on several factors, like the number of pages, binding style, trim size, and number of copies. You can print as few as 1-25 books to use as review pieces or sell at local events, or an even bigger run of 1000s.

Remember: the more you print, the lower the per-unit cost. Besides, some printers may have MOQ requirements for books, so be sure to check this.

How long does it take to get a book printed?

Shop around to compare terms. Some printers like Print It ZA can roll up their sleeves immediately, so you can start sharing photos of your creation on social media to build excitement. Print It ZA has the lowest manuscript-to-print time for authors in Johannesburg and nationwide. Try them out for a speedy quote and fast service. Print It ZA a leader in book printing in South Africa.