Today, I'm submitting my digital files for proofs to PointOne Graphics, a printer in Etobicoke (just west of Toronto). It took a while to find a printer with the best price and the price varied by more than $1500.
Here are the quotes for my case. I recommend that you contact the printer directly if you want prices, but these should give you a rough idea.
Project Reference: Booklet, 32pp + Cover, 6.625 x 10.25, Cover 4/4 Process on 8pt Gloss C2S, Text: 4/4 Process on 70lb GLOSS text, Fold, Stitch, Trim, Carton
Quantity 2500 2000 3000
Signature - Interior Spreads 24pp x 1 Signatures $1491.00 $1400.00 $1583.00
Signature - Interior Spreads 8pp x 1 Signatures $804.00 $770.00 $838.00
Signature - Cover Spreads 4pp x 1 Signatures $682.00 $636.00 $728.00
Folding $248.00 $236.00 $261.00
Cutting $25.00 $25.00 $25.00
Saddle Stitching $176.00 $171.00 $182.00
Proofs $449.00 $449.00 $449.00
Plain Cartons $13.00 $10.00 $15.00
Unit Prices: $1.56 $1.85 $1.36
Total Before Taxes: $3888.00 $3697.00 $4081.00
All prices in Canadian Dollars .
What does this all mean to the uninitiated?
First the paperstock. I'm using a really thin 8pt Gloss C2S cardstock, the type you find for some night club flyers. The interiors are on 70lb gloss paper, so it's much thicker than what you would find on a typical Marvel book. The reason why I'm going with these premium papers is because I want the book to feel special. There should be some wieght when holding the book, and it shouldn't be flimsy. Also the underwater scenes in my book are fairly ink heavy, so I wanted a paper that you won't be able to see through the other side. Nothing ruins artwork more than the poorly chosen paper that it's printed on.
The book is 32 pages interior. So two signatures are needed to match that page count. A signature is essentially one large piece of paper where you print a number of pages on both sides. That paper is folded in a manner and cut so that you end up with sequential pages. It's alot more cost effective than to print each page on a side of paper.
Proofs are necessary because they are the last measure to spot errors such as common spelling and gramatical errors, colour variations, and technical issues such as corrupt fonts or postscript files. Also, what a proof will show you is how the overprint and knockout of inks is working out. Something a postscript laser printer won't show you. It is expensive though, $449 for 36 pages (including covers and interior covers). I'm going to see if I can get that price reduced. Anything to help bring the unit cost down would be good.