Tips For Saving Money

Comic printing can be really expensive and when self publishing it’s important to save money whenever you can. Here are some tips to save some cash without cutting corners in the process.

  • Request split binding when printing multiple cover types. (Offset printing only.) Split binding is when you reuse printing plates to print the same image on pages with different binding methods. This is great if you’re printing soft and hardcover copies of your book at the same time. Producing both together reuses plates and avoids duplicate work down the line.

  • Gang print your variant covers. (Offset printing only.) Gang printing is when you bundle multiple pages on the same printing plates to save space. This reduces the number of printing plates required, which is one of the most costly pieces of the process. Here’s a 30 second video on the topic. Sometimes a printer can even gang print your pages with other people’s pages if they have another order to fill. Each printer handles gang printing differently (and some don’t do it at all) so make sure to talk to them all individually.

  • Print your projects at the same time. If you bundle projects together, some printers will offer you a bulk discount (you can potentially take advantage of gang printing here too). This will also most likely end up saving you money in shipping costs. Alternatively, approach a printer with a friend and see if you can get a discount that way. As always, talk to your printer and be nice!

  • Look around for promotional deals. Many podcasts and YouTube channels are partnered with printing companies and can net you a discount on your purchase.

  • Get quotes from as many printers as possible. Prices can vary wildly from printer to printer and from job to job. A printer may be able to print your project for cheap but will cost a lot for someone else. There’s no harm in getting an estimate, you might be pleasantly surprised. Additionally, many printers will price match if you share estimates from other printers. It’s also nice to have backups in case a deal falls through. Play it smart and don’t go with a printer until you compare it with others.

  • Get quotes for multiple numbers of copies IN ADVANCE. Requesting a quote from a printer for a specific number of books locks them into that price until that quote expires (usually a couple months). Let’s say you expect to need 150 copies of your book printed for you Kickstarter campaign. You pick a printer, get a quote for 150 books, start the campaign and it WAY over funds. If you go back to your printer needing 500 copies instead of the requested 150, they don’t have to offer you that quoted price anymore. You’ll probably end up with a second, much higher costing quote. Instead, request a wide range of prices in your initial quote so you lock the printer into that price no matter what happens. I like to ask for estimates on 250, 500 and 1000 prints.