Last updated on 25th April 2018
Given below is the relevant extract from https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/
E-book version (NOT ideal for printing on paper to create a paper book); A5 size (5.8″ x 8.3″); 125 pages; Version/date 24th April 2018
PAPER BOOK PRINT VERSION
Print version ideal for printing on paper to create a paper book; Version/date 24th April 2018
Book print size – A5 (5.8″ x 8.3″) – Black & White PDF and Word documents – 123 pages + Colour Cover page pics
--- end extract from https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/ ----
The task of printing of the book is running into some serious issues as I DO NOT want to print many copies, at least to start with.
The self-publishing company route is not working out as all self-publishing companies (in India) seem to have a clause in the agreement that author(s) have to sign with them which opens up the author to pay for legal costs of the self-publishing company if the self-publishing company has to face legal challenges/issues related to the author's book. I am NOT willing to sign such an agreement which makes me vulnerable to paying unexpected legal costs of the publisher (in relation to my book)! I am certainly willing to face any legal challenges (e.g. copyright infringement complaint) about my book directly as I have taken due care to stay well within Indian copyright, freedom of speech and defamation laws, to the best of my knowledge, and so am confident of defeating any such challenges in Indian courts. But I don't want to take on legal costs burden of self-publishing company in this regard!
So that forces me to directly use a printer to print my books.
Offset printing which is cheap per copy seems to need a minimum order of 500 copies! That's too much for me.
To start with, I want to print only around 20 copies of this book version within a budget of Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000. This low number of copies order is a problem with professional digital printers. One Bangalore based established printer said his minimum order would be 50 copies for digital printing (and 500 copies for offset printing). For the previous version of the iami1 blog book of 108 pages, he quoted Rs. 150 per copy with decent quality paper and binding (with minimum order of 50 copies). I am not prepared to spend Rs. 7000 to Rs. 8000 on this as I don't know whether people will be really interested in buying the book (which will have to be priced at higher than Rs. 150 to cover the seller's profit margin).
The offset printing quote from the same Bangalore based printer for the 108 pages A5 book, for 500 copies was Rs. 20,000, which comes to Rs 40 per book copy which is a low and superb price per copy. But both the Rs. 20,000 upfront cost as well as 500 copies to store, is way too much for me.
So I am having to jump through some hoops by exploring other options like using online printing services or using Puttaparthi laser printer services for printing the pages, and hopefully doing some reasonable cutting & trimming of the pages, and then using a small Puttaparthi shop which offers hand-stitched binding services. Digital colour printing (for cover pages) seems to NOT be available in Puttaparthi. I think that seems to be available in Anantapur. Note that inkjet colour printing quality is poorer than digital (laser?) printer colour printing quality. [I don't know what exactly is a 'digital' printer. But that seems to be the term used by local Puttaparthi printer(s) for higher quality printer machines.]
I think I am some weeks or perhaps even a month or two away from having my 20 printed copies of the stable version iami1 blog book whose soft copy I released today.
Eventually when I get the 20 copies, I plan to provide a few of them to bookshop(s) in outside ashram Puttaparthi. If the book sells then I hope to be able to have a mechanism by which the bookshop owner can order additional copies from a printer (with me NOT being involved in the financial transaction part of it). Now any such order from the bookshop will be for a few copies and may even be a single copy. So ideally I need to have some mechanism for the bookshop guy to order a single copy with a printer or a combo of printer and book-binder.
Essentially I am trying to organize a Print-On-Demand mechanism with facility to order even 1 copy only, for my iami1 blog book. Self-publishing companies provide that. But as explained earlier, I have some issues with their legal agreement and so cannot use self-publishing companies.
The following online printing services both based in Delhi, printster.in and printonweb.in, seem promising for my Print-On-Demand needs. I have placed a mix of single copy and two copies orders of different binding types (stapled, Soft Cover/Perfect binding and no binding) of previous versions of iami1 blog book, over the past few days with these two websites but have not yet received delivery from them. The upsides of their services are a low 35 paisa per page for black-and-white A5 printing (inner pages of book) and around Rs. 10 for colour cover pages. The downsides are that they charge Rs. 90 for Soft Cover/Perfect binding for a single book copy, and they have a significant shipping (courier) charge to deliver to Puttaparthi (around Rs. 45 to Rs. 55 for a single book copy shipping).
A silver lining to some extent is that at least one of the above two online printing service providers seem to be willing to consider significant discount for order of 20 books of Soft Cover/Perfect binding. Also the shipping/courier charges is expected to come down significantly per copy, when 20 copies are shipped together.
So things are not clear yet on the printing of the iami1 blog book side. I expect to be muddling through this by continuing to explore various options/mechanisms, over the next month or two.