If you are an aspiring author looking to learn how you can finally get your manuscript published, it’s important for you to familiarize yourself with the process of printing books because it’s a hurdle you will need to jump. In this article, we are going to look at the 3 main methods of printing books to give you an idea of how this process has evolved over time.
#1 The letterpress printing method
The letterpress method of printing was the preferred method that was used for over 400 years from the 15th to the mid-20th century. The printing method involves using the photographic originals to make metal plates which are then inked and pressed on paper thereby transferring the image and the text engraved on the metal plate onto the paper. It’s this printing technology that actually gave birth to the large automated printing presses that were in use after the mid-20th century.This method is still used mostly in the production of limited edition books particularly in areas with unreliable electricity.
#2 The offset printing method
The offset printing method was an innovation at the start of the 20th century that proved to be a better alternative to the letterpress method. The materials used to make the printing plates used in offset printing allowed for sharper images when transferred on paper. Offset printing also made it possible for printing to be done one sheet at a time or in rolls of paper which would then be cut into individual sheets. This is the most commonly used printing method today.
#3 The digital printing method
Digital printing which is mainly computer driven is quickly gaining today. It’s essentially the merging of a computer with a high-speed copying machine and a binding machine, and the entire process is automated and very fast. Some high-end digital printers have the capability of producing a whole book including the cover and binding in under seven minutes.
What is the key difference between offset and letterpress printing on one side, and digital printing on the other side is that whereas the latter will allow you to print single copies of your book at a time, the two other methods enable you to do the printing of your books in stages therefore they are only practical if you are planning to print multiple copies at once.
If you are an author looking for an alternative bookstore in New York City to carry your book, or you are an avid reader looking to access interesting books to read, feel free to reach out to us.