Tips for Publishing a Beautiful Coffee-Table Book: How to Save Time and Money

Jun 2, 2016
We created this timeless, stunning coffee-table book – designed by Peter Cocking – for the Embassy of Qatar in the United States, celebrating their significant relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
We created this timeless, stunning coffee-table book – designed by Peter Cocking – for the Embassy of Qatar in the United States.

Publishing coffee-table books with photographs and illustrations can be a complicated and costly endeavour especially if you’re creating an edition with high production values. Here are some insider tips from our brilliant art director, Peter Cocking, on how to save time and money when producing high-end books:

Use your designer wisely

If you have the budget, hire an experienced designer to design your book. An experienced designer can not only produce a high-end result, but she can also help you cut down on other costs. For example, knowledgeable designers can help you save money on stock photography by sourcing strong images from inexpensive photo banks. If an experienced designer is out of your budget range, ask your designer if she’d consider splitting the design service: the experienced designer can create the look and feel of the book, and then a junior designer can execute the layout. Don’t be afraid to tell someone what your budget is, but be prepared to negotiate. Designers are often good at finding creative solutions.

IMG_8256Standardize as much as possible

Inquire with your printer or designer about using standard book trim sizes and house paper stocks. Printing within commercially standard sizes, on paper that’s readily available and used regularly by other publishers, can dramatically reduce the cost of producing your book.


Explore a wide variety of printing options

Some printing bells and whistles can be very costly but some are surprisingly cheap. For example, if you’re producing a paperback, it costs very little to print the inside cover in colour. This is a small feature that can have a big impact, at a very low cost. Ribbon markers are also an elegant feature that look expensive but are often quite affordable. Take the time to review the range of options your printer can offer you.


If you’re publishing a coffee table book, you’ve probably got a strong vision for how you want it to look. If you stay open to exploring a range of possibilities and to obtaining expert guidance, the result could even exceed your expectations. Let us know how we can help make your book’s vision a reality.