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What is digital printing?

Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly onto paper or other media. It is ideal for small- to medium-run jobs, using either large-format or high-volume laser or inkjet printers, avoiding the cost of all the technical steps required to make printing plates. It also allows for on-demand printing and short turnaround time. The savings in labour and the ever-increasing capability of digital presses means that digital printing is reaching the point where it can match or supersede offset printing technology’s ability to produce larger print runs of several thousand sheets at a low price.

What is the best format to send my file?

Converting your file to PDF is the most foolproof way to give us a file that is ready to print. Always check your pdf after saving, to ensure everything is as you expect it.

What is resolution and DPI?

See our How to Guide.

What is bleed?

See our How to Guide.

How do I place an order?

You can send us an email at with your files, the quantity you need, the paper you require, and your deadline. It’s always a good idea to follow up with a phonecall! For complicated projects give us a call or send an email enquiry first, to discuss specifications and timeframes.

How long will my order take?

That depends on the sort of order it is, and how busy we are. Let us know what your timeframe is when you get your quote, and we’ll let you know how long it will take.

Can you print fancy stuff like gold foil and spot UV?

Unfortunately, no, this is a specialist service that we’re not able to provide in-house but we are happy to discuss outsourcing or alternatives. We do have a spot overgloss facility on our digital printers – ask us about that to see if it’s suitable for your project.

What different paper options do you offer?

We have many different types and weights of paper and card – too many to list! We are happy to recommend a stock type for your project or if you’ve got a particular stock in mind, just let us know. If we don’t have it, we’ll do our best to source it.

What paper is best for writing on?

Generally speaking, uncoated and matt coated stocks are better for writing on.

What file types do you accept?

Adobe – PDF, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator. Microsoft – Word, Excel, Publisher. For print-ready files, we always recommend PDF.

What if I’m not happy with what you’ve printed?

Let us know! We’ll do what we can to put things right. You are protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).


What is an ISBN?

A unique number assigned to books and other print, electronic, or multimedia publications. A number is issued for each format of a publication (eg. paperback, hardback, cd-rom, or online pdf). Journals, serials, and newspapers use International Standard Serial numbers (ISSNs) instead. The National Library of New Zealand is responsible for allocating International Standard Numbers to publishers who are publishing in New Zealand. We are happy to apply to them for an ISBN for you.

What is a barcode?

This is created from your ISBN and placed on the back cover of your book. It is used by bookshops when selling your book. The barcode we produce includes the ISBN only and does not usually show a retail price.

What is indie publishing?

Indie publishing is another word for self-publishing. It means that you publish your book under your own name, rather than under the name of an existing publisher like Penguin or HarperCollins. Being indie means that you are in control of your creative work, and are able to reap the benefits of its success to the fullest extent. It also means that you have to do more of the work yourself, or pay professionals to help you. Click here to find out more.

How much will my book cost?

That depends on a variety of factors, including how much work you have already put into the book. Factors such as how much editing, design, and formatting are required will all influence the price. Contact us for a quote – it may not be as expensive as you think!

When do I pay?

Generally, payment consists of a deposit at the start of the project, and completion of payment when your books are ready for dispatch.

How do I get paid for books you sell?

You get paid in royalties for any of your books that The CopyPress sells and distributes. You are paid monthly for books sold in that period. The royalty payment applies to all books sold to bookshops, other retail outlets, and through our online shop.

What are royalties?

Our aim is to return you a royalty amount to 20% of the price of each book sold to a bookshop – that’s 20% of the price we sell to them, rather than the price they sell on to their customer. Bear in mind that you don’t have to pay for the printing or storage costs for any books that we distribute. You still have the option of buying a print run at our author discount and selling the books yourself. This means that you get to keep all of the money after deducting the cost of printing. We do find that with our travelling book representatives we tend to sell more copies than an author can, as they cover the whole of New Zealand.

What will you do to promote my book?

We can list your book on our website, include it in an email newsletter to our bookshops, and put it in our catalogue that goes with our reps. If you are interested in a more intensive and tailored marketing plan, we can arrange that too. Click here to learn more about our marketing services.

Do I have to have my book available on your bookshop?

No. Some of our authors decide not to have their books available through our channels. You can still sell your books directly, even if you are listed on our website. Just buy a stack of your book (with author discount), and sell them on when and where you like.

What is your minimum print run for a book?

We are a digital printer, and use a print-on-demand model, so we don’t have a minimum order number. In general, the price per unit decreases with the more you order, but we could print you a single copy if necessary.

What is typesetting?

Typesetting is the art of arranging words and images on a page so that they are easy to read and understand, and attractively presented. It is a complicated and detailed art that often goes unnoticed. It’s really an invisible art form: when it’s done properly it can’t be seen. A badly typeset page is awkward and difficult to read. Often the reader won’t be able to tell what’s wrong and will blame the difficulty they’re having on the text itself, which is unfair when you have put so much time, effort and money into writing and editing your book.

Can I do the typesetting myself?

This depends on the purpose of your book. If it’s just for friends and family, it might not be so important to have the typesetting done professionally. However, if you want to make money with your book and get it into bookshops, we suggest that you let us do it. Our designers are incredibly skilled, and can do an amazing job with your manuscript.

Why do I need a printed proof?

A proof copy allows you to see what your book looks like in print. It will give you a sense of the weight of the paper, how it feels to hold and read, and how the typesetting looks. A proof also allows you to review your book for errors and make any changes before going to print. It’s never a good feeling to get 100 copies printed, only to realise that there’s an error on the cover.

How long does the publishing process take?

This depends on a number of factors, including where you are with editing, if you need a cover design, and how long the book is. The months coming up to Christmas are always very busy, so if you’re aiming to have your book in the shops by then, or are giving it as a gift, it is best to plan far ahead. Each project is very individual, have a chat to us about a timeframe, particularly before committing to any launch dates.

What extra services can you provide?

We do almost everything that a traditional publisher does. So if you need help with anything from editing, to marketing and event management, let us know.

Why should I come to you and not to another self-publishing service?

All of our design work and the vast majority of our print and finishing work is done in at our Nelson site, by a team who are happy to work with you one-to-one. Our editors are all based in NZ, as are our consultants.

Can you help me to make my book available overseas?

Yes. Our main focus is on New Zealand distribution, but we can also help you to get physical and digital copies of your book to the rest of the world. We have an agreement with an overseas distributor for physical books that allows us to get your book onto sites like Book Depository. We can also arrange for your book to be converted to eBook and listed in New Zealand and internationally.

How do I learn more?

Send us an email at, and let us know what your specifications are. We can set up a meeting or call with one of our team to discuss your project.

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