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How much will it cost to get my book printed and published in the UK?

The cost of getting your book printed in the UK is much less than it used to be. With Print on demand (POD), printing is largely automated and less risky as there is no need to store large amount of books to supply possible future demand. Each book is only printed when it is ordered from a site like Amazon KDP.

The cost of your book will still vary depending on a number of factors. These include the number of pages, type of paper, type of binding and whether you require black and white or colour pages. The two most important factors being the page count and whether the book is printed in colour vs black and white.

Paperback vs Hardback

Assuming your book contains 200 pages and is just a regular perfect bound paperback with black and white ink the cost of printing your book should be anywhere between £2.50 and £4 depending on who prints your book.

For example, if you decide to go with Amazon print on demand a 200 page paperback book with black and white ink will cost £2.70 to print. For a hardback book you can expect to pay £6.00.

You can use their Kindle Printing Cost & Royalty Calculator. Just enter your book type, interior & paper type and page count and it will calculate the print cost and estimated royalty (profit) based on your list price.

Page size

According to Kindle direct publishing Trim size doesn’t affect printing cost. The trim size is the page size of the book after it is trimmed.  For Kindle direct publishing you can enter your own custom trim size. Some printers will charge different rates depending on the book size or if you want a non-standard size.

Standard book sizes for the UK include:

  • A6 (148 x 105mm)
  • A Format (178 x 111mm)
  • B Format (UK) (198 x 129mm)
  • B Format (US) (203 x 127mm)
  • A5 (210 x 148mm)
  • Demy (216 x 138mm)
  • American Royal (229 x 152mm)
  • Royal (234 x 156mm)
  • Pinched Crown Quarto (up to 248 x 171mm)
  • Crown Quarto (246 x 189)
  • A4 (297 x 210mm)

Printing Paperweight and Quality

The paperweight and quality can effect the cost of printing with the thickness of the pages costing more. For children’s books or books where images are in colour you generally want thicker paper of a higher quality. For educational workbooks or academic books the standard 80gsm paper is fine and will save you money.

Colour vs black and white.

Colour pages will cost you significantly more than black and white ink. For example, a 200 page paperback premium colour interior will cost £9.70 compared to £2.70 for black and white. Expect to pay over three times more.

Dust jacket

The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Dust jackets can be added for a premium finish. A dust jacket will wrap around the book and is usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations.

Foil Plates and Embossing

Embossing is the process of creating a raised image, design, or text on a material, such as leather, paper or metal sheets.

Foil printing is the process of adding shiny metallic colours to your book. It adds a luxurious finish that can make your book stand out. To add foil plates to your book, the price can range from £15 to £20 as it involves a manual process, and it is costly to order the plates.

Other factors you need to consider

When publishing your book you shouldn’t overlook other costs. These can include the cost of an ISBN number, barcodes and print proofs. For Kindle print on demand you can obtain an ISBN number free of charge.


The average cost of an ISBN number is around £80 and usually doesn’t include the image of the barcode itself. The barcode can be purchased separately, and you can get greater discounts for purchasing multiple barcode images.

If you plan to exclusively publish independently, you can get an ISBN from the UK Independent Publishing Network with barcode images for £40.00 or without barcode images for £30.00.

Proof print

When you order proof copies through your KDP account, you pay the printing cost for each copy in your selected marketplace. The trim size, interior type, and page count determines this price. It doesn’t include shipping charges or taxes. 

Cover Design and Typesetting

A well designed professional cover can really help your work to stand out and it promotes your brand as an author. It can help reflect the style and tone of your book and it can be a deciding factor as to whether your book is purchased or not.

Prices for cover design can vary significantly and will depend on the designer’s experience and the complexity of the artwork. As a general rule you can expect to pay around £100 for a novice designer and over £400 for an experienced professional.

Typesetting can make the difference between a book that is enjoyable to read and is easy on the eyes to a book that gives the reader a headache. When it comes to typesetting you want to include correct margins, alignment, letter spacing, line spacing and paragraph spacing. All the “rules” of typesetting make the text more readable, help to focus the readers attention and provide a higher quality book.

For both professional cover design and typesetting I provide professional work at very affordable rates. For an instant price quote and to see samples of my work please click here.

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