Half-coloured books

Colour printing is more expensive. Sure. However, I suggest to offer not only black/white or coloured but also an intermediate. Many children's books/picture books have one picture page and one text page opposite. I am happy to pay the price. However, if I have to pay for half the pages of colour print, although it is only black/white text, I am not so happy...

It seems to me that I once saw the possibility of specifying the number of colour pages for a competitor. That would be nice! Furthermore, I believe that today's technology can do this automatically.


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  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    It's more economical to use one Print On Demand machine for each job, so if even if just 1 coloured letter is required in a book it has to be selected as Full Colour and put through a full colour POD machine. I think that the main reason for the extra cost is not simply for the coloured content, but because the machines are much slower than pure black printers, so you are also charged for run time. I don't think there's currently an auto POD machine that will compile pages from a colour printer and a black one at the same time. The pages would have to be picked and compiled by hand, which would be even more costly. It's a shame.
  • benzigerbenziger Author
    Hello, Kevin. Yes, that's what I was thinking too. But in the meantime I know better. A competitor of Lulu (not Amazon) offers exactly that: Only the (automatically recognized) colour pages are charged in colour.
    Example: Children Book, ISBN, 20 pages, A5 landscape, 12 pages colour, 8 pages text only:
    Competitor Saddle Stitch 4.24 / Soft 5.91 / Perfect 11.07 (incl. legal deposit)
    Lulu Saddle Stich 7.80 / Soft n/a / Perfect n/a

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Interesting. Who are they? That sounds expensive though.
  • It's a technology restriction paired with our volume. At the moment we print so many books that introducing either a new work flow to allow for both color and b&w printing or a new machine would be costly and disruptive.
    Of course, as we move forward we will continue to work with our printers to find new and better ways to offer book products/formats that authors want. I can easily imagine a world in which we offer color on a per-page basis, but I don't see it happening in the near term. 
  • potetjppotetjp Teacher
    Obviously, at the moment, the colour pages of a book have to be printed separately, then placed individually by a worker in the assigned positions among the black-and-white pages before binding. You'll have to pay the worker doing this task. The additional cost will depend on the time the worker spends to do it. The result can't be cheap.
  • benzigerbenziger Author
    potetjp schrieb:
    Obviously, at the moment, the colour pages of a book have to be printed separately, then placed individually by a worker in the assigned positions among the black-and-white pages before binding. You'll have to pay the worker doing this task. The additional cost will depend on the time the worker spends to do it. The result can't be cheap.
    If it is offered by the largest book-on-demand provider in Germany and only 40% cheaper than Lulu, then I doubt that a worker will line up every coloured sheet by hand. This can only be done so cheaply fully automatically.
  • benzigerbenziger Author
    Just Kevin schrieb:
    Interesting. Who are they? That sounds expensive though.
    Yes, really interesting. I also see advantages in the formats (all formats in all variants). On the other hand, there are one (for you probably two) weak points:
    1. it only works with an ISBN from them. Own ISBN are not possible.
    2. the page is only in German
    It's a service of the German publisher Droemer Knaur: Epubli (Holtzbrinck Publishing Group).
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