Children’s Book Printing FAQs

Are you an independent author or self-publisher looking for help printing your Children’s Book? Download our “Children’s Book Printing 101 Guide”.


Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about Children’s Book printing.

Do Children’s Books have to be 32 pages long?

Not at all! Children’s books are often 32 pages because the printing process requires books be printed in multiples of 4 pages (with the exception being board books). However, children’s books can be any multiple of 4 pages so 16, 24, 32, 40 or 48+ pages are all possible.

What’s the best type of ink for Children’s Books?

MCRL only uses soy-based ink as opposed to traditional petroleum-based ink for all our book printing. Soy-based ink is safer on little hands, environmentally friendly, provides brighter colors and is a renewable, sustainable resource.

Do you help with typesetting Children’s Books?

We recommend you work with a designer/production person who is familiar with preparing files for print. However, having printed thousands of children’s books, we’ll work hand-in-hand with you to ensure your layout is optimized for an outstanding reader experience.

What kind of paper is best for Children’s Books?

The kind of paper chosen depends on the type of Children’s Book you are printing. The most common paper selected for hardcover children’s books is 80lb or 100lb gloss or matte paper. Board books are typically 40pt and 80pt.

We offer coated and uncoated paper in matte or gloss finish in various weights/thicknesses. We recommend FSC approved papers and Bamboo paper stock which is comparable in strength, brightness and printability to paper made from wood pulp.

What size should I print my Children’s Book?

Trim size in printing or publishing terms refers to the book size. A book is trimmed before it is bound. Trim size is usually measured in terms of width x height; inches in the North America and millimeters in the UK.

The standard trim sizes for Children’s Books are:

  • 8 inches x 8 inches
  • 8.5 inches x 11 inches
  • 9 inches x 8 inches

The most common board book sizes are:

  • 5 inches x 5 inches
  • 6 inches x 6 inches
  • 7 inches x 7 inches
  • 8 inches x 8 inches

Want to publish a non-standard book size? No problem. MCRL specializes in custom printing. Our pricing is similiar to the closest standard trim size.

How much does it cost to self-publish a Children’s Book?

The cost to print a Children’s Book depends on a number of factors:

  • Number of Copies (cost-per-book is lower the more copies you print)
  • Type of Book (hard cover, paperback or board book)
  • Colour Printing vs Black & White Printing
  • Trim Size
  • Paper Coating, Weight and Opacity
  • Custom Features (gold foil, glitter, textures and unique cover treatments often not possible with POD and KDP)
  • Delivery Location

Keep in mind, book stores and customers will judge your book based on its quality and illustrations. Be wary of the lowest cost printers as the money saved in printing could prove quite costly later.

To get a quote on your Children’s Book, click here.

How many copies of my Children’s Book should I initially print?

In general, cost-per-book pricing goes down the more copies you print in the production run. MCRL’s minimum order quantity is 300 books but most clients print at least 500 books. Why? Having a higher per-book cost (the result of printing fewer than 500 copies) bumps up the retail price making your book less attractive to customers.

What’s included in a Children’s Book quote?

This short blog outlines what we include in our Children’s Book quotes.

Are there taxes when printing Children’s Books?

Taxes are based on your delivery location. There are no taxes for US deliveries. Applicable tax (GST/HST) is added to Canadian deliveries.

What type of file format is required for printing a Children’s Book?

You’ll need press ready PDFs with all fonts/images embedded or InDesign CS6 packaged files with all supporting links and fonts included. Note: make sure all images are saved as high resolution 300dpi.

We’ll work hand-in-hand with you to ensure your layout is optimized for an outstanding reader experience.

What are the steps involved in printing a Children’s Book?

MCRL has an easy 3 step process to ensure your Children’s Book printing experience is simple, straightforward, and stress-free.

  1. After you place your order, we’ll review your layout/artwork files.
    Depending on the specifications of your order, we can provide templates into which you can place your artwork/story. This saves time for everyone!
  2. Once print-ready files are approved, we’ll print your book on a digital press.
    A physical bound proof of your children’s book will be sent to you within 2 weeks (complex orders may take more time). The bound proof is a sample of the final product to ensure accuracy. This is a critical step that not all printers provide in their quote.
  3. Your offset printing production will begin after you approve the bound proof.
    Production generally takes 2 – 3 weeks depending on the size and specifications of the order.

How long will it take to print my Children’s Book?

You can expect a 8-9 week turnaround (sea transit) OR about 4 weeks (air transit – for smaller orders) after approval of proofs. Once your shipment has left our plant, our Operations Manager will advise when you can expect delivery.

Note: In 2021, overseas lead times are longer due to container shortages and shipping congestion. To avoid disappointment, we recommend clients take these factors into consideration when planning.

What eco-friendly options are available when printing my Children’s Book?

Great question! MCRL is a socially and environmentally responsible printer. As such, we always encourage clients to choose the following eco-friendly materials when printing with us:

Through our sponsorship, MCRL Overseas Group plants 10,000 trees in some of the world’s poorest communities.

When you print your Children’s Book with MCRL, we’ll include an optional, free badge on the copyright page. This is a visible sign you chose a printer committed to helping people and the planet. Many clients who sell direct-to-readers or through Amazon include this line in their online product description.
“Our printer is a proud sponsor of Trees for the Future