How Do I Know How Much To Print?

In today’s uncertain economic climate, it is understandable that publishers and content creators do not want to get stuck holding the bag. Effectively managing inventories is crucial for success.

You may have a book that you are sure will be a hot seller so you go ahead and print 5,000 copies and then only sell a fraction of them. On the other hand you may have a title on the backlist that you feel is about to go out of print when all of a sudden the market spikes and there is demand for large quantities.

How do you deal with these market conditions?

Print On Demand & Digital Short Run

Effectively managing inventories used to mean lower quality products because digital printing was involved. It was more expensive and quality was sacrificed for speed.

This is no longer accurate and many publishers and content creators are turning to P.O.D. as a preferred alternative.

Quality has vastly improved with digital printing and when considering the overall picture of cost, it can also be cheaper than traditional offset.

Digital Short Run Case Study

With short run printing, titles never have to go out of print, helping you make money on sales of slow-selling titles that would otherwise go out-of-print or never get printed in the first place.

You can also put out-of-print titles back into production so you never have to say no to an order in hand, whether it’s for one copy or several thousand. Edwards Brothers Malloy Life of Title® Philosophy is to print the right quantity at the right time on the print engine that offers the greatest efficiencies for us and you.

Check out the digital print case study below.


  • 6×9, 264-page book, soft bound, 4-color cover
  • Print quantities: 750 offset vs. 400 digital (two print runs of 200 each)
  • Quantity sold after 20 months: 400

The Comparison

  • Printing offset will cost $2.31 per unit vs. $3.60 per unit for digital, but when you factor in the unsold offset units, the offset per unit sold cost is actually $4.33, 20% higher than the digital sold cost per unit.
  • You also save $292 by printing two runs of 200 copies digitally vs. printing 750 offset units and scrapping 350 unsold units.
After 20 Months
Units Sold Units Unsold Total Cost Price Per Unit – Bought Price per Unit- Sold
Offset 400 350 $1,732 2.31 4.33
Digital 400 0 $1,440 3.60 3.60
Savings with Digital : $292

Edwards Brothers Malloy maintains 5 digital print centers throughout the U.S., Canada and U.K.  We offer print on demand solutions out of four of those locations including from Michigan and North Carolina.  Contact a customer service or sales representative today to learn more about Edwards Brothers Malloy digital print solutions.

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