Is it possible to print a a chldren's book 4.25 x 5.5 color children's book by yourself?
I noticed that McDonalds is giving small children's books away with their happy meals. Their books are 4.5 x 5.5, but I'm wondering why a person couldn't print a children's book on 8.5 x 11 glossy paper laid out in 4 quarters front and back, with a heavier glossy cover. My original book published by bookbaby cost $6.00/ea for a 6 x 9 (paperback cover) 24 colored pages. With retail stores needing 50% wholesale price, it means if I sell them my book for $7 (making a dollar at the most), they in turn have to sell it for $14 (soft cover!) I'm thinking a "small" book like McD might be an answer.
I would suggest you look into create space, while the size of the book may not be available,You might check out pricing there. You are looking to do a color book, and for paperback that is expensive, but it is worth checking out.
If you want to print it yourself, first you need to lay it out in book form. The best way to do this is to use a desk top publishing application and you don't need to go to the hyper expensive like Quark. For Windows, Page Plus will do the job, for Mac, iStudio Publisher, both sub £$100. The main requirement is that they output PDF and its not as difficult to do as you might think. The key is that everything is done in boxes, the same as using word or picture boxes in word but with greater capability.
Next, get yourself a good colour laser printer. It doesn't have to be expensive but consider per page print costs. Here's the rub. You'll get good colour on plain paper but some glossy papers can be problematic. I can go into the technical details but it would take time. An alternative would be an inkjet type printer that uses solid ink but even here, a good colour laser, on good quality 100 gsm plain paper, will give better output.
Then its a matter of binding and depending on the number of pages, you could get away with using a long arm stapler. Going up a stage, a low cost desk top heat binder will do.
Then you'll need to trim, which requires a guillotine. Or you could go to your local printer, print shop, as I have done in the past, and ask them to trim to size. Expect a small charge but in short, the answer is that you can do it yourself and if you invest what you might pay someone to produce one title in the tools you need and the time it takes to learn how, you can, in the future, produce as many books and as many titles as you want, all by yourself.
PS. I'm working on a book on just how to do it all.
Radical Rog, Very helpful, especially since you have experience! I should try to figure out the cost per page of printing at home. I have used Microsoft Publisher. I didn't realize a person could get a heat binder! Looking forward to your book!!!!
I recommend checking out CreateSpace.com if you're interested in independently publishing your book.
Thanks, Ana. I did have it published with Bookbaby. I signed into CreateSpace last night to see if it would be cheaper. The cost of printing is my biggest obstacle for the second printing since I have few sales. Thanks for your suggestion!
You could try using MS Publisher to convert your existing book into 4.25 x 5.5 format. From there, you could try the standard publishing sites the others suggested.
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