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Self Published Book Printing

Take control and self-publish your book directly with us. Skip a publishing house to retain the decision-making, save money and get your book delivered in a few days.
We Are Here to Help.
Enjoy this page first, then

You can always judge an Ex Why Zed book by its cover.

Books are great!

You can write them, collect them, sniff them, stroke them, discuss them, ban them, put them on your bedside table or lend them to your friends.

Have you ever tried to sniff a pdf?!

There are no illogical restrictions on quantity or size – it’s your book printing, your decision! You didn’t work through the night fine tuning and tweaking it to then send it off to the printer and for him to tell you “Nope, you can’t do that, we’re going to print it at A4 onto a really shiny glossy stock that makes all of your words illegible”.

Thankfully, we’re not that printer. Ex Why Zed have a forward thinking attitude to print and we will always try to find a print solution to even the most bespoke request – we’ve printed some challenging publications in the past!

Winning ideas for styling a self-published book

We have compiled a feature-length, definitive video to methodically guide you through the entire process.  Labelled a zine printing guide but all of the decisions on sizing, paper choices and finish apply to self-published books too. This super informative video highlights how publications have proved the perfect solution for artists, small presses and independent publishers to promote their creative work. We showcase illustrated, photography, poetry, skate and music zines and dissect the winning combinations.


Our goal is to get your creative idea into print

Have a look through the images below depicting a wide selection of recent books we are proud to have printed.

Books. You’ll have seen them by now? They have them all over the place these days! At Ex Why Zed, the generous souls we are, have made it really easy for you to self-publish a book with your name on it. Literally.

For layout ideas our Pinterest boards are packed with further designs to inspire and consider. If that wasn’t enough, our Portfolio digs deeper into a selection of our favourite and most unique self published books. So have a browse and then choose a spec that suits your project.


What options do I have?

There are almost infinite possibilities on size, finishing and papers so we offer expert knowledge and advice before your job goes to
press, a competitive zine print quote to stretch your budget and ahigh  quality standard of printing delivered nationally throughout the UK and worldwide too.

We charge fair prices and want to save you money so here are some tips to help reduce your costs:

• Choosing one of our ‘house’ stocks which come in an uncoated, silk or gloss finish will keep your price down. Each each come in a wide selection of weights from 120gsm (which is great for your text pages) through to 300gsm and even 350gsm which are perfect for your covers. Branded papers (GF Smith, Antalis and Fedrigoni) do look great but cost more so save these for the bigger budget jobs.

• The three factors that affect the cost most significantly are size, number of pages and quantity. The bigger the book, the more pages or the more copies you need – the higher the cost! Simple and obvious. Sometimes less is more – is there any scope for further editing your project to help reduce your price?

To make your publication stand out from the crowd a range of bespoke and eye catching papers from GF Smith, Fedrigoni and Antalis.


Crowdfunding your project.

An increasing number of our clients have successfully used Kickstarter, indiegogo or Crowdfunder to raise funds, increase awareness and interest in their books. Art books seem to do particularly well on Kickstarter. How great would it be to have your book fully funded before you go to print?! By offering a range of incentives to backers it can provide invaluable funds which could ultimately mean you are able to print more books than originally planned.

Also do have a look at securing financial help through The Arts Council. They also regularly support many of our clients.

We have compiled a super helpful blog post about these ideas and many more.

Get your print quote

Have a look through the images below depicting a wide selection of recent books we are proud to have printed.

Another Kickstarter success story

The print spec of Confluence coffee table book:

260x210mm Books
Unprinted Napura Canvas (NAC8052) Cover
White foiling to outer cover
Wrapped over greyboard case

2x4pp Unprinted Endpapers
onto 135gsm GF Smith Colorplan Ebony

192pp Text onto 160gsm Uncoated 100% Recycled
Four colour print throughout
Trimmed, collated and case bound


This is an exceptional 192 page hard back book that you really need to read and enjoy.



When printing books with Ex Why Zed you get all of the following as standard:
The best customer service
We are proud of our beyond-the-call-of-duty levels of customer service. We care about your printing and take a keen interest in your project from the outset – whether you require a one-off proof or a long run of self-published printing for national distribution.
A free print quote
You won't ever get a hard sale from us. It's not our style. But if your project sounds intriguing and something we are really keen to print, you might get a follow-up email politely asking if you need any further help toy get your work onto paper.
Super Helpful Set Up Guides
You will become a file set-up expert with our comprehensive illustrated and video guides. When it is time to start artworking, take 5 minutes to read through. We have made them as user-friendly as possible but if you have any questions do give us a call or email for a quick answer.
Free Paper Samples
While we’ve done our best on our paper choices page to make one sheet of white paper look different to another sheet of white paper, there’s nothing better than seeing them in reality so you can stroke, sniff and examine them in close up. Jump on our form and we will send out a pack out asap.
No Minimum Order
At Ex Why Zed you can print any quantity from 1 upwards and the exact number you need. If you'd like 71 books then we'll print 71 books!. If your publication is in its infancy then a long print run might be out of reach for the first edition. Our digital presses offer the perfect solution with low unit prices so you can test the market first.
UK & Worldwide delivery
Delivery within the UK is Free. We don't charge for it. If you are further afield and need international shipping, then we will just charge you our cost price from the cheapest courier on the day.
An impressive array of bespoke options
We are creatives too so offer foiling, embossing, debossing, spot varnishing, die-cutting, motion cutting, fold out pages, GF Smith papers and many more solutions to make your project unique (all these options are premium and do jump the cost up so might not be ideal if you’re on a budget)
See your artwork on paper
It is a special moment when the courier arrives and delivers you a set of boxes containing your own book! It is magical and makes all the hard work really worth it.


Our helpful section of FAQs to guide in the final stages of your print journey

We have done our best to give you a huge wealth of information on this page and in our guides but if here are some frequently asked questions to help you get your work into print.

View all our FAQ's
How much does it cost to self-publish a book?

The bottom line is we want to get your book into print so we charge very competitive rates that enable you to sell at a price your readership is willing to pay.

So how much will it cost? Well, printing offers a huge number of variables and as a result it would be impossible to price up every eventuality online, so jump, on our intuitive Project Builder or email us with your spec taking into account the following factors and we will get a quote back to you asap:

Book size, number of pages, cover paper, inside page paper, full colour or b&w and the number of copioes you would like to print.

How long does the printing take?

This does depend on the print spec and how many copies you are print but the general rule is we will aim to deliver the finished books in 4/5 working days after receiving your print-ready artwork.  If you are working to a crucial hand in deadline then we strongly advise leaving more time in case there are any artwork issues with your files or courier problems with delivery. For larger litho printed job, best to allow 8-10 working days.

Additionally there can be a day or two of amends required to the artwork before it’s print ready which we’re more than happy to help with but you’ll need to factor that in to timings.

Remember, we’ll need a hi res pdf file with 3mm bleed and crop marks on each edge to go ahead please. Sending it over correctly first time means we can go straight to print. Do have a last check through our file set up guides to make sure all the boxes are ticked. <link>

What paper can I print onto?

‘A’ sizes are great and fit neatly into ‘C’ size envelopes but why not mix it up and rebel against convention by choosing a bespoke and custom size for your zine.

Do you print hardback and softback books?
Can I have foiling, embossing or spot varnishing on the cover?

You absolutely can.  All of these options really an add eye-catching extra dimension to a book.  Jump over to premium extras page for more ideas and pictures.

Is it possible to perfect bind less than 32 pages?

No, sorry. 32 pages is the minimum thickness we can bind otherwsie there is simply not enough surface area to glue. If you have less than 32 pages then we will staple bind your work.

What sizes do you print?

The max portrait size will be 420mm high x 297mm wide.  The maximum square size is 297x297mm.  The maximum landscape size is 210mm high x 297mm wide.

What is cover lamination?

Matt Lamination works best with silk and uncoated covers. We would suggest using gloss lamination if you are aiming for a super shiny, high impact cover. Soft-touch has a velvet, illustrious feel but does attract finger marks REALLY quickly so best not eat your lunch before reading!

Do you supply ISBNs?

We don’t but you can go direct to https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com/ who are the UK distributor.  They have a very simple system for buying the ISBN and generating a barcode which you then add to your back cover artwork.

Why do you call it ‘text’ pages? Can I have images?

Yes, ‘text’ pages is our common term for the inside pages of your publication. They can be filled with illustrations, photography, full colour artwork…or just text if it’s a poetry book.

What is a page?

For the purposes of our quoting, we call a page one side of content.  So, a sheet of paper has two pages – a front and a back.  If you ask for a quote for 40 inside pages, that will be 40 pages of content, 40 pages in your artwork file / pdf and in the book 20 leaves printed on both sides.

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