I know that you want to say "It depends on the company, the quantity, the quality, the publisher, the time of the year, etc. etc." and yes, that is the correct answer.

However, I am interested in a very rough estimate. Is it about the same? Twice more expensive? Ten times more expensive?

If your answer would be easier with an example, let's consider this book:


As you see, there is only a very modest usage of color.

  • 2
    I removed the spam/tracker ID in your link. – wetcircuit Apr 2 '20 at 21:18

It depends on the company, the quantity, the quality, the publisher, the time of the year, etc. etc.

I've seen some companies charge as if the whole book is color. And others charge as if only select pages that needed to be colored are color. And of course, your paper quality is very important. What might be alright for a manga would not work for a cookbook.

I often use Lulu's pricing calculator to get my estimates: https://xpress.lulu.com/pricing

The book you linked to, when printed in black and white is $11.42. In low-quality color, which would work in that particular instance (few to no pictures, just color for your code): $16.43 About 44% more expensive to print.

The price will rise substantially if you change your paper quality and print quality to include pictures. Coated paper is now $18.10. And high-quality ("premium") color with coated paper is $58.18.

Part of the cost of printing is setting up the book, glue, cover, and overhead. Due to the higher paper quality and ink and the same initial costs for the set-up, the price difference can actually increase the more pages you add to your book.

All in all, expect to pay at least roughly 30% of the printing cost at a minimum to add color for short books (around 100 pages) up to around 55% more for large books (500 pages).

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