Pressbooks offers book printing service

Publishing platform Pressbooks is adding book printing to its range of services.

The company offers online themes designed to produce ebooks and print books and now users of the service can also opt to have soft-cover copies of their book printed.

There are four print sizes available at present:

  • 5.5 × 8.5 ins
  • 6 × 9 ins
  • 4.25 × 7 ins
  • 5 × 8 ins

Books are soft-cover, perfect-bound, with black and white interiors printed on white paper and gloss or matte covers.

To get a book printed, you’ll need:

  • A final Pressbooks PDF export in one of the four sizes specified above.
  • A cover designed for print-on-demand, to the correct specifications.

Print-ready book covers should be high-resolution and include the back cover, front cover and spine. The dimensions are based on the trim size and number of pages in the final book export.

The cost varies according to trim size and page count and you can get a quote from Pressbooks through its book printing interest form. There is a minimum order of 25 copies. There is no set-up fee but a charge of $25 will be made for changes made after submission of the PDF file.

A digital proof is issued within three business days after payment and once the proof is approved, the order will ship within five business days. Orders can be shipped internationally.

The standard Pressbooks’ service, which offers an online platform for publishing ebooks and print books, costs $99 for exporting to mobi, epub and PDF formats. The service is WordPress-based and there’s plenty of choice with 52 themes (named after authors) to prepare, edit and publish your books using well-designed templates with some interesting typefaces.

If you sign up with Pressbooks, they’ll often send you an offer cutting about 35% off the usual ebook + PDF price and if you’re not ready to publish all you have to do to take the deal is set up a file which you can change at any time later.

The company isn’t a distributor for ebooks or print books. You download your converted files and distribute them either direct or though a firm such as ebook distributors Smashwords and Draft2digital. Pressbooks doesn’t take any cut of your royalties and you can revise your book any time without further charge.

An ISBN for print books is not strictly necessary, particularly if the books are for your own use, but if you are going to distribute the books to libraries or bookstores, then you should get an ISBN  from the usual suspects — Bowker in the US or Nielsen in the UK. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Pressbooks’ home country of Canada you can get free ISBNs from the Library and Archives Canada.

Pressbooks points out that the new printing service may be of particular use to organizations that want to print a short run of books but may not be able to do print-on-demand due to restrictions on accepting payments via Amazon or other distributors. The Pressbooks’ print deal can be used without those issues, as it does not need your bank account or tax information.