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Cheap isn't always good! Clearly, there are many options for the self publishing printing of your book. One type is a kind of press called the Cameron Belt Press. Large publishers may use this type of press to print cheap, mass-market paperbacks.
*Cameron Belt Press is the cheapest form of printing, and is not recommended for self publishing printing at all.
I am slightly biased; I am the manager of Banta's belt department. I would argue that we provide a very reasonable alternative to web or digital printing. Our run lengths do vary and can be in the low hundreds. You do sacrifice on some quality aspets (no half-tones, 85 line screen), but for the budding author, we do providing a compelling solution.
The Cameron press is almost extinct in the USA. The last of these machines for book printing is at Banta Company in WI, now owned by RRD. Cheap on labor but expensive pre press for short run.
Again, my biase coming through. If you are looking at a single printing, it is more expensive. If you are looking at multiple printings the properties of belt printing make costs significantly less than offset.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|