Custom Publishing Services

Butler Books produces books for a wide variety of clients: museums, corporations, trade associations, universities, civic and charitable organizations, churches, private entrepreneurs, even other publishers. In most cases we are hired to provide complete publishing services and deliver finished books, but each service on our publishing menu is also available individually. Those services include:

  • Manuscript editing

    Nonfiction: We edit for substance as well as expression, shaping entire sections or simply correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and sentence structure (line editing).
    Fiction: We offer developmental evaluations as well as complete copy/line edits.
  • Book design and layout

    Cover and interior page design and production for trade nonfiction, fiction, and illustrated books.
  • Digital mechanicals

    Creation of print-ready mechanicals for offset and digital book printers.
  • Manufacturing and print supervision

    Printer selection, printing, binding, and delivery. Want a short run paperback on a digital press? No problem. How about a long run using 4-color web offset printers, case binding, foil stamping and a cloth slipcase? Sure. We will match your specific printing needs with the best printers across North America, including many that New York's "Big Five" publishers use.
  • Ebook creation and conversion

    Books you publish through Butler Books can be made into ebooks. We can also convert your previously-published books into ebooks, or publish your manuscript solely as an ebook if you want to forgo printing. We can also make your ebook available in the Amazon Kindle Store so readers can instantly find and purchase it from their Kindle devices and reading apps.
  • Reprints

    We've handled reprints for many clients whose original book editions went out of stock. If you'd like to have your existing book reprinted, we can manage that process for you.
  • Sales, storage, distribution, and order fulfillment

    We handle sales and order fulfillment for all Butler Books titles, including distribution to Barnes & Noble and other physical bookstores and specialty stores. We also sell books online through,, and our own website, and fulfill orders direct-to-customer. We do this simply as an added service for our authors; if you'd prefer to handle these things yourself, that's fine too.


Printing FAQs

  • Q: Do you offer traditional offset printing?
    A: Yes. We work with several major book printers in the United States and Canada to produce professional offset-printed books that can be customized to your liking. We can handle a wide range of trim sizes, paper types, binding styles including hardcover and spiral-bound, ink choices including full CMYK and Pantones, extras like foil stamping and matte gloss, and more.
  • Q: Do you offer POD (print-on-demand) services?
    A: Yes, we accept print-on-demand projects. POD is a great option for authors who want to lessen their initial publishing costs by not doing a major print run of the book up front. We provide the same level of editing, design, and pre-press work for POD titles as we do for all of our books. We then set the title up with our POD printer, which only prints physical books when they are ordered by customers or by us in any quantity (including a single copy).
  • Q: How is the print quality of a POD book?
    A: POD quality has improved dramatically in the last few years. We still don't recommend POD for heavily illustrated, full-color, or higher-end books, but for a text-based novel, biography, or other nonfiction work that maybe has a few charts or black-and-white photos, the POD printer we use can produce books that look and feel nearly identical to offset printing.
  • Q: What is a "short" versus a "long" print run? Does it refer to time?
    A: This refers not to the length of time but to the number of copies of your book you are printing in any single batch. The exact number varies by printer, but the dividing line between short and long print runs is generally around 1,000 units. Also, printers will recommend (some even insist) that short print runs be printed on digital printers, while long runs are typically printed using sheet-fed offset or web offset methods (traditional printing methods using ink and metal plates).
  • Q: Does digital printing happen faster than offset printing?
    A: That's the promise, but offset printing has become a pretty fast process too. Other factors that can make digital faster are that the print run itself is often smaller, and that the printer has fewer steps (such as creating the plates) to "set up" the book for printing. Still, the timing difference between digital and offset printing is likely to be measured in days, not weeks.
  • Q: Does offset printing look different than digital printing?
    A: We prefer the look and feel of offset printing to digital, particularly for higher-end illustrated books. Sharpness and ink density are the main reasons. But the differences have gotten smaller as digital technology advances. For text-based books, it's likely people won't notice much difference, so digital is a viable option.
  • Q: How much does printing cost?
    A: Printing cost is wildly variable based on a combination of quantity, page count, trim size, paper type, printing method, binding style, "bound-books" deadline, transportation cost (all books have to transport from the printer to us), and a host of other things. Because of this, we cannot give you even a "ballpark" figure until we know a lot of things about your book and then request a quote from an appropriate printer using those specs.

Ebook FAQs

  • Q: Do you offer ebook services?
    A: Yes. We can create reflowable ebooks that are native/readable on Amazon Kindle devices, Apple iPhones and iPads, Nooks, and all the other e-reading devices and apps. We can create ebooks in addition to a printed option for your book, or as a stand-alone service.
  • Q: Can you make my ebook available for sale in Amazon's Kindle Store, Apple's iBookstore, B&N's Nook Store, or another e-bookstore?
    A: Yes. Our experience has been that Amazon Kindle provides – by far – the most sales for our ebooks, but we can also make your ebook available in the other e-bookstores.

Selling FAQs

  • Q: Will you sell my book for me?
    A: Yes. We can sell your book here on our website, and we personally handle processing those orders and mailing your books to your customers in quality, padded shipping mailers.
  • Q: Will you sell my book on
    A: Yes. We have a dedicated publisher account with Amazon that will enable your book to show up prominently and professionally on Amazon. Note, Amazon keeps a significant percentage of each sale for themselves, so to maximize royalties we encourage our authors to direct their buyers to this website instead of Amazon's. Of course, Amazon is a much more popular source for book buying, so it makes sense for your book to be available there too. If you don't want your book sold on Amazon, that's fine too.
  • Q: Can you get my book into Barnes & Noble?
    A: It depends. We do have longstanding, active relationships with Barnes & Noble and a number of independent bookstores, and many of our books do sell in brick-and-mortar stores. Depending on your book's suitability, we may be able to make your book available in some physical bookstores and other retailers, but there are no guarantees.
  • Q: Can I sell my book myself?
    A: Absolutely! We are happy to supply you with as many copies of your book as you want to sell yourself. It's your book! You can request copies anytime.
  • Q: When will I get paid for my book sales?
    A: We do sales accounting quarterly and pay out author royalties four times per year.

About our work

Since 1989 we have produced hundreds of titles in the categories of biography, history, art, business, politics, law, cooking, self-improvement, travel, memoir, children's, current events, science, architecture, interior design, military history, commemorative editions and more. Today our books are known and respected for their superior quality, both inside and out. Our clients have included Simon and Schuster, William Morrow, Crown Publishers, Viking Studio, ReganBooks, the Summit Group, and Lebhar-Friedman, as well as the City of Louisville, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Greater Louisville Inc, and the Kentucky Derby Festival, among others. We have also published many books both officially and unofficially for individual authors, whose great stories, expert advice, important research, and beautiful collections we've been happy to help share with the world.

If you have a book project you'd like us to consider, we'd be happy to consult with you. Simply contact us to set up an appointment.

Butler Books • P.O. Box 7311 Louisville, KY 40257 • (502) 897-9393