All about print-only

print only books

Wordzworth is a team of expert book designers. For years we have created fabulous print-ready files for books and covers. Increasingly our customers asked for help with printing so we decided to partner with Lightning Source printers to offer this as an add-on to our design services.

Purchase our print-only package to have our experts manage your files from design layout through to upload, changes, submission, printing and book orders. We make the process absolutely painless and you won’t have to become a design or print expert in the process – because we already are.


We do not print books ourselves, we use Lightning Source print factories across the US, UK and Australia.

Lightning Source is regarded as the global leader in digital book printing. When a book is ordered it is typically printed at the nearest factory location and shipped directly to the customer to fulfil the order. This is known as print-on-demand. This is a brilliant option if you just need a few copies of your book. You can simply place orders for as few as one book at a time and have them arrive on your doorstep.

Our calculator shows the cost of printing a book. All the trim sizes, paper choices, binding types and colors offered by Lightning Source are shown here. Volume discounts apply for larger orders, see book orders section for details.

Print options

Lightning Source can print books in a wide variety of trim sizes, paper types, binding and ink options which are all shown on our calculator. The printing is very affordable per copy and the fact they print books in a range of global locations keeps shipping costs down.

However, print-on-demand manufacture does not support custom printing. So unfortunately things like adding gold foils, spot UV and embossing covers, or selecting custom papers, inserting fold-out maps or image plates are not possible.

Print quality

Ingram provides the highest quality print-on-demand but there can still be small variations between books. A small shift of text on a spine or pages shifted up a fraction are both normal and unavoidable for POD. But because books are printed one at a time, there is no reason why the same shift would occur on the next copy. We have not seen any big issues with print quality but should one occur we would obviously take it up with the printer on your behalf.

Your file will include a barcode. Even if you do not intend to publish your title and sell it, a barcode will be placed on your back cover and the final book page. This is required by the printer in order for them to match your cover and book interior file together during manufacture. Your book may also include a couple of extra pages at the back depending on how the printer handles the book blocks.

Proofs and changes

Getting a printed proof is something most authors underestimate. This is the big opportunity to flick through the real pages, appreciate your paper and color choices, look at the quality of printing and binding, and inevitably spot those last few edits.

But a proof does take time to print and ship, typically at least one week. When reviewing your printed proof you might then spot changes you want made so you will need to mark them up and email them to us. Once our designers have made the changes you may want to see them in print and order another proof copy. And so the cycle starts again. Just be sure to allow enough time for all of this.

Our normal changes fees will apply for each file that needs updating. Changes marked on a review pdf are easier for our designers, so we charge less to make them. Edits listed in an email or scribbled in pencil on scanned pages are harder, so we charge more.

The cost of one printed proof is included in your package, further proofs are charged at a fixed rate of $48 USD/£30 GBP/$60 AUD. But this is the final stage of your book project, so it really is worth making sure everything is just right. Changes are still possible once the title is in distribution but they are more expensive as file re-submission fees from Ingram will also apply.

Book orders

Once your printed proof is approved your book will be available to buy from our site within 24 hours.

From the Authorzone. As the author you can buy your book here at cost price. Books are typically printed and shipped in 1–2 weeks. We provide express print and shipping speeds if you’re in a hurry. All books ordered via our site are printed to order. Once paid for, an order therefore cannot be cancelled or refunded.

Increasing levels of discount will apply for volume orders of more than 100 books. The exact discount varies depending on a number of factors including number of books, binding type, trim size and shipping location. They will be displayed to you automatically in our calculator once you have selected your options.

Other printers

For whatever reason you may decide to print a batch of books with another printer in future. Perhaps you want to run-off a batch of promo copies or if your book is flying off the shelves you might decide to invest in a print run in China.  From our perspective if you have this organised then it is no problem. However, it is important to be aware of a couple of things.

The book and cover files prepared for one printer cannot be sent to another. Each printer has their own specific setup requirements so a different interior and cover file will need to be prepared for each. For most interiors this is typically a case of adjusting bleed and color settings. For covers it is most likely that the layout template and spine width will need adjustment where a slightly different paper thickness is used by each printer.

If you have selected a second printer, please ask them for their specifications and send them to us. We will then ask our designers to review what amendments would need to be made in order to prepare these additional files.

Our contract

We have no old-fashioned printed contract for you to sign. We simply ask you to click to accept that you have read this page and our terms.

If for any reason you need to cancel, our agreement is not exclusive so that’s fine. We just need 90 days notice to sort out your royalties and any files that contain our details. Please note that where we have provided an ISBN this is assigned to our company and must not be used if the book is then published elsewhere.

In order to print a title we incur a number of costs from purchasing ISBNs, to file submission fees as well as administration charges for completing registrations. All print-only package fees are therefore non-refundable.