Offset Printing  vs. On Demand Printing

anatomy of a custom exam

Self-Publishing authors have many options for book printing services and fulfillment compared to authors in the past who needed support from a traditional publisher. On Demand and Offset printing are two extremely different methods of printing and binding.

Benefits to Print On Demand:

  • On Demand printing offer a quick turn-around. Once the order is placed the book can be produced in 48 hours.
  • If an error is found at a later date, the book pages can be adjusted for the further printings.
  • There is no need to order a bulk run, since the books are produced quickly on demand.
  • Great for producing smaller runs

Downsides to printing On Demand:

  • Constricted book sizes.
  • Small selection of papers.
  • Binding options are limited.
  • Even though digital print is evolving, digital printing uses standard inks that cannot exactly match all colors.

Advantages to Offset Printing:

  • Better for producing large format book sizes, along with odd sized books.
  • Variety of paper selections.
  • Cost savings for high volume books, quantities 500 and over.
  • Enhanced color. Offset book printers can mix custom color inks.

Downsides to Offset Printing:

  • Offset printing has a longer turn-around time.
  • High cost of low-volume print & binding.
  • If a type error wasn’t caught at proofing, you cannot go back and fix the thousands of books already printed.
  • Added waste of ink and paper.

Little lessons comparing these book printing methods:  Print on Demand is the same as an oversize house hold printer using laser or inkjet, while offset printing is typically computer to plate.

(Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) inks. Regarding the inks, offset offers further inks such as five or six color presses, which can provide extra special inks and colors added to the book design.

PRC Book Printing offers offset book printing services. Typically, quantities starting from 500 units will provide cost effective pricing producing with PRC’s amenities. Please call us at 888.659.8320 or email us at

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