Digital or litho book printing?
Biddles will always estimate for the most cost-effective method whilst achieving the best quality.
For colour book printing on short runs of between 20 and 500 copies it will be digital printing where the print quality will be excellent, and for over 500 copies the book will most probably be printed on offset litho presses.
On mono printing it will depend on the quantity, size, extent and the paper that is required. Printing text/tints on offset, bookwove and coated papers, quantities from 20 up to 500 will be printed digitally. For projects of over 500 copies, the book printing process – where there are a lot more options on available papers – will again be offset litho. If there is a paper that you specifically want please ask for it on our estimate request form.
We will base our prices on the most economical method based on your specification.
Production/turnaround time until delivery
If we are working from fully designed print-ready PDF files please allow:
- Short run (10 to 500 copies) digital paperbacks from 5 working days
- Short run (10 to 300 copies) digital hardbacks from 7 working days
- Offset litho (over 500 copies) paperbacks from 10 working days
- Offset litho (over 300 copies) hardbacks from 15 working days
These schedules will depend on the capacity available at the time an order is placed but these are our average turnaround times. If you are having a launch for the book please ensure to add this comment to your order and allow for the books to be delivered one week before the launch.
This is the amount of pages in the book. Prices often alter in increments of 4 pages. If the book requires a separate illustration section this can be produced as a 4-, 8-, 16 or 32-page section.
There are simply hundreds of different papers in the marketplace and so to get the most economical price for digital book printing we tend to limit the papers that we estimate on to those held in stock.
Mono digital can be printed on silk (coated) papers in 115/130/150/170gsm for the best quality and on uncoated papers, white or cream bookwove in 80gsm and offset (bond) papers in 80/90/100/120gsm weights for text, tints and reasonably reproduced pictures.
Colour digital can be printed on silk or gloss (coated) papers from 115/130/150/170gsm and uncoated papers from 90 to 140gsm.
For longer-run and offset litho reproduction we can offer a wide range of papers. If there is a specific stock that you would like, please ask for it in the Comments box when you ask for an estimate.
The books will be packed in shrink-wrapped parcels or boxes (cartons) and made to the door of a UK or Ireland address. Please note that the delivery agents will not be insured to come inside your property so if a large number of books are being delivered then please ensure that you have someone available to help you offload the boxes.
We require 50% of the order value with your order and print ready PDF files. The remainder must be paid within 15 days of receipt of the final invoice (generally sent after delivery). We can accept payment by BACS transfer, credit card or cheque.
If you wish to sell you books through any main retail outlets you will need an ISBN and a barcode on your product. The ISBN also provides access to Bibliographic Databases which are organised using ISBNs as references. These databases are used by booksellers and libraries to provide information to customers.
We can provide a single ISBN for your book for £55 which includes the creation of a barcode, registering your title with Nielsen UK ISBN Agency (so that it will appear on Amazon and other online retail outlets) and sending out the 6 obligatory copies to the copyright libraries (see below). Please note that these 6 copies will be taken out of the quantity that you order. You will be registered as the distributor so any orders placed for your book will be sent directly to you.
Alternatively you can purchase ISBNs online directly from Nielsen – a single ISBN costs £89 or a block of ten costs £159.
Contact details for Nielsen UK ISBN Agency:
Tel: +44 (0)1483 712 215
Fax: +44 (0)1483 712 214
Post: Nielsen UK ISBN Agency, 3rd Floor, Midas House, 62 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6LQ, United Kingdom
Legal Deposit Libraries
Books published and distributed in the United Kingdom and in Ireland are liable for deposit at the six legal deposit libraries regardless of whether they have an ISBN or not. There is no charge for depositing books. The requirement remains, irrespective of the number of copies in a published edition, the price of individual copies, or the size of the publishing body.
The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 (UK) and the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (Ireland) make it obligatory for publishers and distributors in the United Kingdom and Ireland to deposit their publications.
Legal Deposit Office
The British Library
Tel: 01937 546268 (books) or 01937 546267 (serials)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Other Legal Deposit libraries
The deposit regulations of the Copyright Acts apply also to the other five legal deposit libraries:
the Bodleian Library, Oxford
the University Library, Cambridge
the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
the Library of Trinity College, Dublin
the National Library of Wales
These libraries are entitled to receive, free of charge, and inclusive of postage and packing, a copy of every work published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Copies for these 5 libraries should be sent to:
Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
21 Marnin Way
There is a useful explanation about the system on the National Library of Scotland’s website.
Barcodes are created from an ISBN (either your own or we can provide one). We can create a barcode for you and they will be printed in black, in a white-out box, with an approximate size of 25 x 40mm. They can include the price of the book but don’t have to.
The digital files that you send us or that we create will be stored with us to enable you to order reprints in the future.
Details about copyright are available from The Patent Office’s website at:
Books are VAT zero-rated unless they are considered as stationery items.