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What will be my book production costs?

Book Production Costs depend on many factors, most based on choices you will make to enhance the look and feel of your published book. This is your book and it should be what you want.

Naturally, those choices will be guided by your budget, your taste, and by your understanding of your audience: whom do you want to read your book and how will the design elements you choose ensure that your book appeals to them?

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself:


    • Is the manuscript as complete as you want it? In short, is it really finished?
    • Should your manuscript be edited before printing?
    • Has it been proofread?
    • Do you want to include photos and/or illustrations? What is the quality of your photos? Would you like restoration work done on them?


    • Will your book be a trade paperback or hard cover?
    • How complex is your projected cover (full color, black and white)? Is there a special design you are thinking of?
    • Will there be a dust jacket?
    • Do you have a preferred trim size (dimension)? 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ or 6″ by 9″ trim sizes are more economical than other sizes
    • Is there a paper quality or color (white, off-white, beige) you have in mind?
    • Will you print your book in quantity or will it be a print-on-demand?  How many books will you have printed? (There is no difference in our preparation time between either of these choices.)

When you work with us, we advise you every step of the way to publication.

We will share our experience about how these choices will affect not just your upfront costs, but your final product.

Although this may be your first or only book, our expertise from many successful projects will be available to inform your choices!

Think of us as your publication desk.

It was amazing to see the book getting better and better every time you sent a sample. I love the photos you prepped. The Memoir Network team did a marvelous job. —Jim Van Cott, So Go My Maine Reflections

How and when will I know what my specific book production costs will be?

We act as a general contractor for your book production project.

1. First, we consult with you and offer suggestions as you go through the process of making the above choices.

2. Then, we provide two estimates:

The Pre-Press Estimate covers the design and preparation work we will do to prepare technically viable electronic files for the printer based on your specifications.

The Printing and Binding Estimate are beyond our control. Printing and binding constitute the work done by the printer to turn the files we provide them into your finished book. We can procure these estimates for you, but they are not part of our costs.

3. You may accept our production estimates, or you may make changes to the specifications in order to alter the costs. We will re-work the estimate to match your choices.

4. When you accept the estimate, we ask for a deposit. While we are working on your project we will invoice you weekly for work to date. Payment may be made by check, electronic payment or credit card. We require a 3.5% surcharge, however, on credit card payments to handle fees imposed on us by the credit card companies.

5. We can establish a timeline and project schedule (often a family event or holiday is your ultimate deadline) and will do our utmost best to meet your deadline.

6. The printer’s costs are not finalized until the project is complete. In the case of a large print run, you will be asked by the printer to pay  a deposit based on the estimate we have procured. A final payment will be requested before the books are released. If you choose the print-on-demand option, you will pay for only the small quantity of books as you order. Note: the price per book is higher when you do print-on-demand publication but the financial risk is less than with large-scale publication.


Can I change my mind about the text font, the cover art, or the number of photos in my book?

Changes can be made at each and every stage to make sure that the finished book is exactly what you want.

However, the later we are in the process when changes occur, the more this requires undoing previous work. Inevitably, late changes will add to your costs.

We are always available to help you be thoroughly prepared ahead of time and to make choices early on. That is the best way to keep your costs down and get the book you want.

Will my final cost be exactly what the estimates predict?

Like any general contractor, we may encounter issues that will affect your final costs as we proceed with the work on your project. Our estimates are made in good faith and to the best of our ability to give you a clear picture of your projected book production cost.

However, we usually make those estimates before we have your manuscript and photos or illustrations in hand. Increases may be caused by changes you request, by unexpected problems we encounter with your manuscript or by photos which require more preparation time than estimated, or in the event of quantity publishing, from printing industry changes such as fluctuating paper prices when we go to press. (At no time are we responsible for estimates on printing.)

We will always update you about changes as your project proceeds. We will consult with you and advise you about the costs and benefits as necessary. The choice to proceed will always be your choice.

Give us a call today at 207-353-5454 to discuss the book production cost for preparing your manuscript for publication. You may be very close to have your book in hand!

For an overview on Wikipedia about how the big companies do book packaging in general (and more expensively than us), click here.