When I finish a novel, I'd like to get just one copy printed to give to my parents. Would a publisher do this? How would I get a publisher to do this?

Note that I am not going through any people to edit it, I literally just want one copy published when I finish it (I ask now as I'm at the halfway point). Also, would it be too long at 56k words at the halfway point? I think I'll split it into two parts, or acts.

3 Answers 3


I don't think you could get a traditional publisher to do it, but plenty of print-on-demand companies will do it for you. Here's one in the UK, for a start.

  • Thanks, this answered the question. I've looked at a few print-on-demand companies. How do you know I'm in the UK? Mar 24, 2016 at 15:20
  • Ah, I didn't, it's just a coincidence! I'm in the UK too, so Google returned results from here. I actually said 'in the UK' mostly as a warning in case of the statistical likelihood that you weren't ;)
    – Charamei
    Mar 24, 2016 at 22:00
  • Print-on-demand printers are often of medium to low quality. Depending on how much money you are willing and able to spend, you can pay a traditional typesetter and printer and book binder (or a vanity publisher to handle it all for you, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_press) to create a high quality, valuable single book (though I would always create at least a second copy for my own collection).
    – user5645
    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:45
  • @Charamei So will these print-on-demand companies proofread your entire book? Or just print it right away? I'd like to edit and proofread it myself, to be honest Mar 25, 2016 at 14:12
  • @DanielCann As far as I'm aware, the vast majority of them don't proofread or edit the book at all.
    – Charamei
    Mar 26, 2016 at 9:35

Yes, there are print-on-demand publishers who will do this no problem. Here in the U.S., I know of CreateSpace and Lulu. If you live somewhere else, try doing a google/bing/whatever search for "print on demand publishers". Check out their terms. You want someone who doesn't charge any non-trivial one-time fee to get started. (Like in the U.S., Lightning Source is the other big POD publisher, but they'd be a poor choice for one copy as they charge a one-time setup fee, I think it was $75 last time I checked but that was years ago.)

I do this every year. I like a calendar/appointment book in a certain format. I used to search office supply stores every year to find something resembling what I want. Now I just make my own. CreateSpace charges me something like $7 to print and ship it. I've done this for, I don't know, 5 or 6 years now, and they've never complained about me printing just 1 or 2 copies.


Yes. At FastPencil.com, if you select the "Private Publishing" option to get a single copy of your book for $9.99, plus shipping and handling. There are a variety of customization options available, including the option to have back-of-the-book and/or front cover text and cover art. There are a variety of pre-packaged formats FastPencil offers to customize the feel of the text itself, with various fonts and font sizes and margin widths that change the way your text will appear on paper.

In my experience FastPencil has been quick and efficient, and generally the quality is good. I have had one issue with them---a book that was bound improperly so that the paper became mostly detached from the binding pretty much upon taking it out of the box. I haven't had a chance to contact FastPencil yet, as this was quite recent, but in the past they have had good customer service, so assuming this is a fluke and that it will be fixed, this shouldn't be seen as a major strike against them.

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