KDP Print Paper & Ink Options

KDP Print has always had Black & White versus Color ink interior as an option, but they recently have renamed their color interiors as “Premium Color” and created a new “Standard Color” ink option that works on the black & white printing presses.

In this bonus training, created as part of the Paperbacks Made Easy 2.0 course, we discuss the different options you can choose for both ink and paper for your next print book.


Click anywhere within this transcript to jump directly to that part of the training.

KDP Print Paper & Ink Options

In this training, we're going to talk about the different print options available with KDP Print, between the paper and the ink. Amazon has recently added some new options on there. So we're going to go through and discuss the differences between each one

So to start, you have to choose what kind of paper that you want.

You can have either white or cream. Now you can use the white paper for pretty much anything, whether it's black ink or coloring, but for cream, you only have the option for black and white books. You can't do color books on the cream paper, and it may also limit some of the availability that you have for expanded distribution.

If you are interested in using expanded distribution and you do want cream colored paper, then be sure to check the help files to make sure you know what restrictions may be in place.

Now, if you're choosing black ink, then it's going to be on 55# paper. And like I said, you can choose either the white or the cream and the books can be anywhere between 24 and 828 pages for most of the trim sizes.

Once you start getting up above eight inches wide for your trim size, then the maximum number of pages does go down a little bit, depending on the size of the book. But realistically you shouldn't be reaching that max anyways, first because the books can be a little more expensive to print, and the quality when you have somewhere near that max trim size does start to go down.

I haven't purchased a book through KDP Print that is quite that long in at least five or six years, but I know, at least 10 years ago, print on demand books; they just, that binding was not particularly strong. So you do want to stay a little bit lower than those 800 page ranges.

Now the cost structure is basically 85 cents per copy, and that's going to apply across all of the options that KDP Print offers. So it will be 85 cents per copy. And then they also charge 1.2 cents per page. Now they do have a minimum of $2.15 per book. So realistically, if your book is between 24 and 108 pages, you're going to be paying that $2.15 cent minimum, but for 110 pages on up, if you want to figure out what the cost is going to be, it's going to be 85 cents plus that 1.2 cents.

If you are printing in black and white now on cream paper, the pricing model is exactly the same. It's going to be that 85 cents plus 1.2 cents per page. Again with that minimum of $2.15 per book. So you're paying for at least 108 pages, no matter how many pages it is. But there are slightly lower maximum page counts for the cream.

You can have up to 776 pages. And again, if your book is over that eight inch wide trim size, then that maximum does tend to go down a little bit.

It used to be when you were getting a book printed in color, there was only one option and you didn't really have to think about it too much, but now they have this Premium Color option, which is printed on 60# white. That's going to be what you may be used to from years past. It's always been what the color printing was through KDP Print, but they now have a new option called Standard Color.

And this is going to print on the same 55# white paper that the black and white books are printed on. And it does offer a few differences in terms of the print quality and in the pricing. So for the Premium Color, again, there's enough 24 page minimum, and you can print update 128 pages for most trim sizes.

Just be aware it's going to be really expensive if you do more than that minimum of 40 pages, it's going to cost $3.65 per book. So the price will escalate really quickly after that, because you are paying the 85 cents plus 7 cents per page, over 40 pages. Now, if you were to try and get near those max sizes, not only do you have to worry about the binding, but no one is probably going to want to pay hundreds of dollars to print them.


Standard Color. The minimum page count is 72 pages and you can print between 72 and 600 pages. For pretty much all of the trim sizes. They don't offer the 8.27 inch by 11.69 inch trim size, which you can get in the other sizes. , but for the rest of the print sizes, it is available in 72 to 600 pages.

Now it's going to cost 85 cents plus 3.6 cents per page to print these books. So if you are going at the minimum of 72 pages, it is actually going to be slightly cheaper than if you'd gone with a premium color, a book up to 40 pages, because it will cost only $3.45 at that a 72 page minimum.

But if you're comparing a hundred page book across black and white, then you're looking at a $1.20 plus the 85 cents. So you're looking at a $2.15 because it doesn't hit that 108 page minimum for a premium color book. You're looking at a hundred pages times, 7 cents per page. That would be $7.85.

Once you factor in that per unit cost and for the standard color, that same hundred page book would cost $4 and 45 cents. So it is a little bit cheaper now. What do you want to choose when you are deciding what book you want to. If you are printing a children's book or a cookbook, photo books, something that's primarily image-based where you need to really have colors that pop and where those illustrations are going to be front and center, what people are looking at, then you want to go with the premium ink on the heavier paper.

They're going to look much better. The colors will be much more bright and vibrant. But if you're printing just a regular chapter book and you have color illustrations or color photos throughout the book, but it's not the primary focus, then you may want to have the standard color ink, because that'll allow you to still print in color, but without having quite as much of an expense.

It's going to be more than printing in black, but it isn't going to be anywhere close to what it costs to print using the premium ink. And it also allows you to have some slightly longer books if you are doing something that had a bunch of diagrams that would be difficult to see in black and white, you really wanted them to be in color, but your book was 75 or a hundred pages long.

You can still cost-effectively publish that book without it, the price of the book, getting up near the double digit. Now here's an example from the KDP website, you can see on the left side what the premium inks would look like versus the right side with the standard inks. And, they still look pretty good, but you can notice a distinct difference.

So this is the kind of difference that you would expect to see when you are comparing the two different inequalities. Now, if you want more information, there is plenty of info on the KDP help site. So here are some of the pages that are most relevant. You can find information about your print options at that first link and the cost at the second link.

And if you want to compare the color ink options specifically, then check out that third page and that will break down the exact differences between what you can expect from each of the options.

AI Transcription provided by Descript.com.

(return to top)



Discuss This Training
Paper & Ink Options (slides)
KDP Print Options
KDP Printing Costs
KDP Color Ink Options