really only want to deal with one printer for all my projects, so I
need a printer that will be able print all these sizes. After
scrounging around, I managed to find 4 printers that met my need. These
are the usually suspects (Lulu
, and Comixpress
) plus a new find that I came across from a webcomics.com post (360 Digital Books
the 4 were able to meet my size requirements within reason. Lulu's
square size was 7.5" x 7.5" or 8.5" x 8.5" (for this I chose the 8.5"
size) and Landspace is 9" x 7". ComixPress and Ka-Blam offer a maximum
size of 8" x 10". 360 Digital was the only place that could match all
the sizes as I desired.
Lulu uses 2 types of paper for
interiors, publisher grade and standard. Publisher grade is a 50# white
text stock. Standard varies based upon size and binding. For square
(7.5"), it's 60# cream text stock and for 8.5" it's 60# white text. For
Letter and landscape, it's 60# white text. The cream paper at 7.5" is
why I opted to use the larger 8.5" square with Lulu. Covers are 100#
Ka-Blam uses 50# bright paper for interiors and 80# glossy cardstock cover.
ComixPress uses 50# paper for interiors and index stock.
Digital offers more variety in paper stocks for interior and covers.
For my quotes, I chose 60# white interior and 12pt C1S. These are
thicker than the stocks offered by the usual suspects, but these are my
choices with given a preference.
With all this information, I
began to price the different options. For pricing, I'm only interested
in the unit cost. I figure the other costs as the cost of doing
business. However, note that ComixPress and 360 Digital have additional
one time set-up costs. Since I plan to keep these books in with the
chosen printer, I amortize these additional costs across the entire
With the letter size, 360 Digital had the best price
at $4.89 followed by ComixPress ($5.53), Lulu (publisher grade) at
$5.91 and Ka-Blam ($6.90).
With the landscape size, 360 Digital
had the best price at $3.59 followed by ComixPress ($4.63),Ka-Blam
($5.34), and Lulu (8.5"x 8.5") at $7.18.
With the square size,
360 Digital had the best price at $3.27 followed by ComixPress
($4.42),Ka-Blam ($4.97), and Lulu (9"x 7") at $5.94.
the unit prices for ComixPress and 360 Digital are the best, however
remember they have extra set-up fees. ComixPress fee starts at $25, so
if your print run is ony 25 copies that adds and additional $1 to each
unit. 360 Digital fees are much more starting at about $120.
me, it's more about quality and service than price. I plan to sell
these books myself, so any benefit of having that the usual suspects
gain for having a storefront is lost on me. Time between order and
shipping as well as customer service is important to me, so that really
nixes ComixPress and Ka-Blam which I've had customer service problems
with in the past.
Right now, even with the large fee, I'm
leaning towards 360 Digital. These books are $10-$15 books, so selling
out of an initial print run of 25 at full retail would pay for the
entire printing costs (including fees).
I've seen sample
printing from all the printers, except for 360 Digital, so as of right
now, i'm waiting for printing samples for 360 Digital.