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Friday, March 26, 2010

Finding a Printer

With the popularity of self-publishing has come an increase in the number of business entities specializing in printing for this market. Their services and prices vary, so I spent several weeks researching companies I learned about in a self-publishing class I took, companies that run ads in Writer's Digest, and others that I "Googled."

The larger companies offer publishing packages that include editorial analysis, formatting, cover design, copyright registration, e-mail or phone support, ISBN and bar code registration and a limited number of sample copies. Some also provide retail and distribution. I learned not to ask simply for a printing quote, because some companies are strictly printers. You might be impressed with their price only to discover you would need to find and purchase the aforementioned services on your own.

Beware of "bait and switch" tactics. A publishing package price can sound good on the surface, but after you have paid for it, you may find the price only includes a basic cover or formatting of text but not graphics or images, meaning you will have to pay more if you want special services or higher quality. I originally chose my printer based on (1) price and (2) access to retail distribution. I will hold off on naming the company at this point because I am too early into the process to evaluate its performance. Below is a list of printers who specialize in self-publishing.

Important! This list is simply to help you get started in your search for a printer/publisher. After going it alone for my cover design and formatting, I ended up divorcing the online publishing company I chose and went with Maverick Publications, located right here in Bend, Oregon, as my printer. I can't speak for the self-publishing companies listed, but I highly recommend Maverick as a printer.

Maverick Publications (can provide cover design, formatting, bar code, marketing materials, etc., but not distribution)
Llumina Press

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