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How to Print a Board Book?

How to Print a Board Book?

Board books are a popular format for young children, but getting them professionally printed can be a challenge. As a professional board book printing manufacturer, I’ve helped many authors navigate the board book printing process. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from writing and illustrating to finding the right printer and getting your book in readers’ hands.

How to Print a Board Book?

Why Print Board Books?

Board books are meant to withstand rough treatment from babies and toddlers. Their thick, sturdy pages are perfect for little hands. Board books introduce infants to the joy of reading during important early development years.

But traditional printers rarely offer board book printing services. The special binding techniques require specific machinery that most avoid investing in. That eliminates mainstream printing solutions like print-on-demand services.

Self-publishing a board book takes extra effort. But taking the right steps will get your book printed beautifully and affordably.

How to Print a Board Book

Write and Illustrate An Exceptional Book

Creating an extraordinary board book starts with the writing. Keep things very simple – a sentence or two per page works well. Rhyming text helps make it more engaging and easier to memorize.

Work with a professional illustrator if possible. Vivid, playful artwork makes or breaks board books geared towards the youngest readers. Pay extra attention to diversity and representation to create something truly special.

Once your manuscript and artwork is complete, you may choose to hire developmental and copy editors. An objective set of eyes helps polish things to perfection.

Find The Right Board Book Printer

Now it’s time to locate a printer equipped to produce board books. I recommend exploring the following options:

Specialty Board Book Printers

A small number of printing companies like Pint Size Productions cater specifically to board books. They have the right machinery and expertise. But specialty printers often have high minimum order quantities, like 1,000+ copies.

Offset Printers

Full-service offset printers can print board books. Offsetting allows printing directly onto thick paperboard. Order quantities may start around 500 copies. Offset printed board books have exceptional quality and durability.

Book Manufacturers

Some book manufacturers like IAPC print and distribute board books for indie authors. They handle printing, storage, shipping, and even getting your book stocked on Amazon. But such comprehensive services come at a premium cost.

Key Specifications

As you evaluate printers, provide them with precise specifications so you get accurate quotes. Here are key details to have on-hand:

  • Page Count: Most board books range from 10 to 30 pages
  • Trim sizes: Standard sizes are 5 x 5 in., 6 x 6 in., and 7 x 7 in.
  • Paper: 12 pt. paperboard with aqueous coating works well
  • Binding: Saddle stitch or case binding are common

Also confirm whether you or the printer will purchase an ISBN barcode. Board book ISBN requirements are the same as other books.

Funding Your Board Book Print Run

Most board book printers require 500+ copies as a minimum print run. And manufacturing even that many thick paperboard books gets pricey. Here are smart ways to raise funds:


Crowdfunding campaigns help cover printing costs. And they build an eager audience excited to buy your book once printed!

Apply For Grants

Research publishing grants and children’s literacy foundations offering financial assistance. Include marketing plans showing how you will fulfill their vision through your book.

Save And Budget

Publishing a children’s book is an expensive endeavor. Evaluate if you can pay for a minimum print run through your personal savings. Create a budget and stick to it.

Get Print-Ready Files

Your chosen printer will require professionally formatted files ready for offset printing presses or digital printers. Here’s a checklist of print-ready requirements:

  • High resolution PDF
  • Bleed area on all sides
  • CMYK color profiles
  • No residual spot colors
  • Outlined fonts

Having the printer create a physical color proof is worth the small added fee. You get assurance the interior pages look perfect before full printing.

Sign Distribution Deals

Once printed, you’ll need agreements in place to sell your board book. Consider setting up consignment arrangements with local toy stores, children’s museums, hospital gift shops, and independent book stores.

Opening an Amazon Seller account makes your book purchasable to millions globally. Use Fulfillment By Amazon so you don’t have to store and ship books yourself as orders come in.

Market Your Board Book Smartly

Launching your book successfully requires an integrated marketing strategy:

  • Send out ARCs to book reviewers at major outlets
  • Run an engaging social media campaign
  • Organize book signings and readings
  • Distribute press releases announcing your book’s availability
  • Invest in online advertisements directing people to purchase pages

In Conclusion

With the right preparation and partnerships, self-publishing an incredible board book is an achievable goal. You’ll make a positive impact on little ones just beginning their reading journeys.

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