Self-Publishing with Printing Partners


Self-publishing is a great option for authors who:

  • know the audience to whom their book will be distributed (ie. clubs, family, friends, etc.)
  • have an established, visible platform to reach their target audience and do not need a publisher to market or distribute books through bookstores
  • have time-sensitive material that can’t wait for the methods of a traditional publisher
  • want to see their work in print to fulfill a personal goal, or view writing as a hobby

Self-publishers rarely get personalized attention. That’s not true when working with Printing Partners! We offer self-publishers some traditional publishing services not usually offered. Our publishing services include:

  • Converting tangible items into digital files (handwritten letters, journal entries, photographs, drawings, etc.)
  • Photograph editing and color enhancement
  • Editing for grammar and spelling
  • Page layout
  • Cover design
  • Assistance in choosing stock and binding
  • Digital short-run printing and offset long-run printing
  • Various coatings and varnishes
  • Copyright Registration
  • ISBN numbers and barcodes
  • Registration with Library of Congress for LCCN


To give you an understanding of some of the choices you can make while self-publishing your book through Printing Partners, we’ve detailed some things to consider below:

Digital vs. Conventional offset printing

Determining whether or not your book should be printed on a digital or conventional offset press depends on many different factors. Your book’s size, quantity, color usage and finishing techniques are all important specifications needed to determine the best production plan. A Printing Partners representative will take the time to sit down with you and discuss all of the different options to ensure that the final product is something you can distribute with pride.

Stock (Paper) Options

Printing Partners has an extensive list of paper options. The content and intended use of your book will help determine the type of stock you use.

Preservation/Shelf Life
While it was once of great concern for publishers to assure their books were printed on acid-free paper to avoid severe yellowing and deterioration, you don’t need to worry about it when self-publishing through Printing Partners. The mass majority of our stock is acid-free.

Books with many photos
Coated stocks are often used for books with lots of imagery such as photo books and magazines. The coating allows ink to sit on top of the paper rather than soak into the sheet, providing crisp, clear imagery and sharp text. Expectations of color, glare, fingerprinting and feel are all important when considering a coated stock. Gloss coating enhances image color and heightens the perceived value of a book, however, a glossy stock should not be used with large amounts of text, as the reflected light may lead to fatigue. Coated stocks are available in multiple levels of gloss and dull finishes to best complement the content of your book.

Text-heavy or text-only books
Many traditional books are printed on off-white (or “natural”) uncoated stock. Since these books are often text-heavy, avoiding eye strain and fatigue is the primary motivator in selecting this type of stock. Uncoated stock reflects significantly less light than coated stock and causes less eye strain with large amounts of text. Uncoated stocks are porous and absorb traditional inks, usually leading to a softer and less-crisp text and imagery. However, with the option of UV ink, you can have the best of both worlds. Because UV ink is dried instantly on press, the paper does not have the opportunity to soak in the ink, allowing images and text to remain crisp and sharp.

Trim Size

Your trim size can have a significant effect on your overall cost. It is wise to have a conversation with a representative about all aspects of your job so that they can make recommendations about which trim sizes will be most cost-effective given how your job will be printed. It’s not uncommon that a client comes to us with a specific book size to find out that if they reduced it by 0.125” or 0.25” that they could benefit from significant savings.

Printing Partners is a full-service commercial printer and specialize in custom projects. We aren’t limited to only producing certain-sized books like many online book manufacturers. This provides you the flexibility to have your book at a common trim size or to break standards and have your book produced in its own unique trim size to stand out in your reader’s bookshelf.

Binding Options


Photo Bind Features
SaddleStitch Saddle Stitch
  • Economical binding
  • Simple format
  • Flexible sizes
 PlasticCoil Spiral/Plastic Coil
  • Available in many colors
  • Compatible with mixed stocks
  • Lays flat
  • Pages flip 180 degrees
 Wire-O Wire-O
  • Available in many colors
  • Compatible with mixed stocks
  • Lays flat
  • Pages flip 180 degrees
 Perfect Bind Perfect Bind
  • Professional and clean look
  • Spine can be easily printed
  • PUR glue has superior flexibility, which prevents spine from cracking when book is opened and pressed down flat
BindingCircles-CaseSmythSewn Case Bind
(Smyth Sewn)
  • Hard, protective cover
  • Pages are sewn-in and further reinforced with adhesive
  • Highest-quality bind available on market today
  • Lay flat
  • Durable
  • High perceived value


Other options available to you through Printing Partners

Printed End Papers


Want a captivating, seamless image to be the first and last things your reader experiences?  Smyth sewn books can include printed end papers that are adhered to the interior of each cover and serve as the first and last sheets of the internal text pages.

French Flaps


Paperback books can have covers with flaps that can be both functional and decorative. Flaps can contain images or information, hide a CD or DVD in a tamper-proof pouch or the reader can use the flap to save their place.

Coatings and Varnishes


Different coatings and varnishes can be applied to the cover or internal pages of your book to add visual and tactile effects. The cover in the image shows flood red ink with a flood soft-touch coating and spot UV gloss coating applied on top of it. The soft-touch coating gives the piece a velvety feel and mutes the red ink underneath. Applying spot UV gloss coating over top of the soft-touch coating creates such a contrast that makes the design really pop.

There are many different types of coatings and varnishes. Representatives have access to physical samples of different options that you can look at and feel in-person to decide which would best enhance your book.

Digital Dimensional Ink


Digitally-printed books can have clear-raised ink printed over text and/or images to create a unique tactile effect. In the above photo, you can see the dimensional ink over the sliced lime when viewed at an angle under direct light. This ink can also be used as a spot gloss on digitally-printed pages.

ISBN Numbers & Bar codes


Printing Partners can assist you in getting an ISBN (International Book Standard Number) assigned to your book to uniquely identify it in the marketplace as well as print a correlating bar code on your book. The price can also be imbedded within the barcode.



If you’re interested in protecting your work with via copyright, we can submit your book to the Library of Congress to copyright your work.


About Mallory MacDermott

Marketing Manager at Printing Partners, Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana.
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