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Silver Spring, MD
United States


Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

Do You Need a Publisher or a Printer?

Nan Barnes

We work with a lot of authors who want to produce a limited number of copies of their memoir or family history book for family members and friends. At some point early in our conversations with them, most of them say, "I need to find a publisher for my book."

The statement demonstrates a common confusion about what publishers do. Publishers are companies which are involved in both production and commercial distribution of a book. They are involved with the writer from the development of the idea for the book through its writing, editing design, production and sales.

What our clients are really looking for is someone to print their book. If you are planning on only a handful of copies marketing and distribution aren't things you should be concerned about. Nor should you have to pay for distribution services.

Publishers, both traditional publishers and digital self publishers like CreateSpace, XLibris, or iUniverse, sell you distribution services whether you need them or not.

If you deal with a printer you will pay only the cost of producing your book. You must prepare your manuscript to the printer's specifications. This often means employing the services of an editor and a book designer. But the printer - particularly on-demand printers - will take the files you submit and print exactly the number of copies you want. You will pay only the costs of printing.

Understanding the difference between printing and publishing can save a self-publishing author a lot of money.