print run

In print publishing, a batch of book copies printed from a single set-up of the production equipment.

Because the set-up of the equipment carries a considerable fixed cost, print runs have an economy of scale. Larger print runs are preferred, and there is often a minimum print run.

In traditional publishing, when the expected market demand for a book does not meet the minimum print run, the book will typically go out of print.

With print-on-demand technology, print runs as few as 10 copies or less are possible. However, the economy of scale still exists, and larger runs have a much lower cost per book.

A print run should not be confused with an edition of a book. One edition might be printed in many print runs over time.

Also see: fixed cost, economy of scale, traditional publishing, market demand, out of print, print-on-demand, edition.