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Choosing a cookbook printer can be as daunting a task as writing the cookbook itself. There are a bewildering number of choices, and it is very difficult to discern which is best for your cookbook project. The choices include traditional commercial book printers, short run specialist printers, vanity press printers, and print on demand printers to name a few. Each of these printers specialize in certain segments of the market and have various strengths and limitations. The success of your cookbook project is likely to depend on how carefully
Increasing the difficulty of your choice, there is no consistency in the array of services provided by the different type of printers, or even in the finished product. Many cookbook printers play down the fact that they provide little help in organizing your cookbook for printing. The Cooks Palate cookbook software, for example is an excellent tool for organizing your recipes for any printing process. The cookbooks created in The Cook's Palate can be opened in The Cook's Palate Publishing program, a combination of software and services that prepare a finished, print ready, manuscript. The Publisher automatically creates a table of contents, index, chapters, and automatically numbers the pages.
All of these printers will charge a set-up fee. This can vary greatly, but should not be considered alone. Some printers charge a relatively small set-up fee, but hit you with a dizzying array of other fees and charges. Others charge a hefty fee but it is mostly all inclusive. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating fees.
After you get past set-up fees you are faced with minimum orders. Author, Inc. includes the first printed book free with The Cook's Palate Publishing service. Books can be priced with the online cookbook price calculator.
Print-on-demand, per book pricing is changing the printing industry, since until recently, printers demanded large minimum orders that required the purchase of at least 5,000 books and often as many as 20,000 books. Print-on-demand technology has put pressure on most printers to reduce their minimum orders. The trade off with print-on-demand printing and traditional offset printing is that you pay a little more per book, but you can buy them as you need them.
The bottom line is that when choosing cookbook printers it is probably wise to add up the charges for a minimum number of books to get an accurate comparison of costs.