Looking for printer recommendations for printing a book

Nov 25, 2020
Hello all! I’m new, and I am an ignoramus of the printing world, so I have come to the experts here for advice.

Background: I have recently written and published a book, and I want to offer an option for spiral-bound copies. The publisher does not offer this as an option, so I decided to pursure it independently. I contacted local print shops, and they quoted me prices that would force the price point of the book 75% above where I want it to be. I started looking into manufacturing the spiral-bound copies myself, and price-wise the numbers work out.

Requirements: This book is 95 sheets, front and back, 8 1/2” x 11”, color, and heavily image-based. I expect an average of 10-20 orders per week, so that is roughly 4000-8000 sheets / month. (I may be optimistic with that number, but we’ll see.) My budget for the printer itself is around $1000. Ink/toner costs don’t really matter as they are worked into the price of the book. I would desire a printing speed of over 20 ppm for color dublex printing with images. Since the images are the main aspect of the book, I can’t have any noticeable banding or other issues in the images. 1200x1200 DPI is probably a good resolution requirement. Scanning/copying capabilities are not required, nor is WiFi capability.

Main question: What printers would you recommend that would fit these requirements?

The Xerox VersaLink C500/DN seems very promising, but some reviews call into question image print quality (slightly noticeable color banding) and durability issues. There are just so many options that I got lost in the weeds and barely found my way out.

As an aside, in the proof copy I received from the publisher, I noticed that high-resolution images were blurrier than lower-resolution images when both were made to be exact same size. What caused this, and how can it be avoided?

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