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Monday, January 11, 2016

Need A Commercial Printer? Meet Your Assistant: Printer Seeker!

is now open!

While discussing with friends online, and chatting with fellow artists in comics conventions, I came to realize that many people are puzzled as to how they can get their books (or poster, postcards...) manufactured in bulk via a commercial printer. They just turn to print on demand without considering other avenues.

Most artist turn to these 'low cost' on-demand printing because it seems easier and, well, cheaper. Of course, print on demand has its advantages, but one thing I don't agree with is that it's cheaper. The total bill may be lower than a commercial print run, but the cost per book definitely isn't. And the cost per book / cover price ratio is the profit margin for the publisher (or self-published artist). Before turning to print on demand, it's worth the effort of looking into commercial offset printing. You may very well find the deal to be more attractive!

But the term 'commercial printer' scares a lot of young artists and small publishers, who see them as large production lines that's only suitable for hundreds of thousands runs.

They're not! Commercial printers aren't industrial monsters who will turn down smaller customers. They're friendly people who will be glad to take a look into any project, big and small. And they will help you find the best deal for your project. How can they be competitive with short run print on demand? For example, if you compare with digital print on demand service, your 28 pages comic book may cost you less when a commercial printer fits all the pages of your book on a single, large 28 X 40" sheet instead of printing 14 sheets two sides. Your production price will go dramatically down.

Now, how to find a commercial printer in your area? Google did help, but when visiting their sites you found the quote request submission form full of technical stuff, and that intimidating image of the monster business thing resurfaces.

That's why I designed that friendly tool that I called Printer Seeker.

It's a simple web page where you enter all the basic informations about your project (book, poster, packaging, or anything else), and when hitting the Send Quote Request, your message is forwarded to the many commercial printers listed in the site's database. From there, look out for a response from some of them. They will guide you thru the steps to make your project come to life.

Before going print on demand for your project, take a look into commercial printers and compare!

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