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Printing and Publishing FAQ

Is Trafford a traditional or non-traditional publisher?
What is Print on Demand publishing?
Offset Printing FAQs

Is Trafford a traditional or non-traditional publisher?

No, Trafford is a supported self-publishing service provider. There are many advantages to self-publishing. You remain in complete control of the finished product because you get to decide what text, images, illustrations, fonts, etc. to use in your book. You retain the rights over your manuscript, unlike publishing traditionally where your publisher usually becomes the copyright owner. The timeline for self-publishing can also much quicker compared to traditional publishing where it often takes 2 years or more for your book to get published.


You have the ability and control to set the price of your book including how much royalty you earn per copy sold. Additionally, you do not need an agent, eating into potential profits, in order to get your manuscript noticed, accepted and published. Also, unlike traditional publishers who only market their most promising titles, we offer marketing materials and promotional services for you to market your book.

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What is Print on Demand publishing?

Print on Demand publishing, or POD, is a method of book printing using digital technology that makes it easy and cost-effective to produce books as they are ordered, either one at a time or in larger numbers. Instead of a more traditional mode of printing, which only prints a large number at one time, POD is an "as needed" printing model so there are no wasted books, no need to store them and no wasted costs. This also means that the book can be available for an extended period of time, instead of the book being "out of print" after one print run.

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Offset Printing FAQs



What is offset printing?

Offset printing is a method of mass-production printing in which digital book files are converted into film negatives that are used to etch the pages of a book into custom metal plates. After ink is added to the plates, large rollers pick up the ink from the plates and then transfer it to paper. Offset printing is commonly used in traditional publishing, allowing authors to print their books in bulk. Typically we use Print-On-Demand (POD) fulfillment, where books are printed one at a time after each book order is placed.

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What are the benefits of offset printing?

  • More design and print flexibility. You’ll have more options than what is supported through POD printing, such as the following:
    • The ability to print at a higher resolution, meaning sharper and cleaner book covers and interior type than POD because of the printing tools used.
    • Additional cover and paper stock options, such as gloss- or matte-coated paper stock.
    • Additional trim size and design options (example: embossed text on the front cover).
  • Lower author price. Each book costs less for the author to print when compared to POD. The cost to print each offset is individually quoted depending on volume and the book’s specs.

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Why would I want to do offset printing?

There are several reasons why some of our authors choose offset printing. If you’re considering offset printing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have special print requirements—such as unique formats, paper options, binding or cover treatments—that are not supported or available through POD?
  • Do you have a large reach and ability to process a large number of orders? Do you want the opportunity to sell a large number of books directly to customers?
  • Do you want to lower your print cost to maximize your return on books you sell?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, offset printing might be right for you. Call your Book Consultant to discuss your options.

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What are the disadvantages of offset publishing?

Offset publishing is certainly not for all authors, as most are satisfied with the POD advantages. Offset publishing requires a large upfront investment that authors may not wish to spend, and it does not guarantee that bookstores will pick up your book.

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Is there a minimum print run that offset is available for?

Yes. To benefit financially from your offset investment, we suggest that you plan to print a minimum of 1,500 units. Please contact your Book Consultant for more information.

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How much does it cost to do offset printing?

The cost of offset printing is quoted on a case-by-case basis, depending on your book’s format and the volume you wish to print. Please contact your Book Consultant for more information.

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Prepare for Publication

Call a publishing consultant today at 1.888.232.4444 or e-mail sales@trafford.com. Your publishing consultant will assist you along the publishing process, make sure you read the terms and conditions, and take your payment. (We accept credit card, check, or money order). After the submission of your materials, you’ll be on your way to having your book published. Are you looking to sign up for additional marketing services? Call your Marketing Consultant today at 1.888.232.4444 to get a free consultation on the services that would work best for your marketing campaign. You may also send an e-mail to sales@trafford.com.