Read@Home Cost Calculator

Estimating printing costs for textbooks, teacher’s guides, and books for reading practice

Introduction

The Read@Home cost calculator has been designed to estimate the costs of printing books (textbooks, teacher’s guides, and books for reading practice) for foundational literacy programs serving schools, children, and their families.

Technical specifications and definitions have been provided below based on the Read@Home Guidance Note on the Technical Specifications for the Production of Textbooks and Reading Books.

Please note:

  • The costs provided are based on 2022/23 international print costs. They will be updated every six months. Costs last updated July 2023.
  • All costs are in United States Dollars (USD).
  • Print costs fluctuate based on the costs of paper and other materials and will vary by region.
  • These estimates do not include shipping and transportation costs, import or customs duties, or tax.
  • International shipping should be estimated at 7-10% of the total production cost.

Cost calculator

Note that when you print 50,000 or more titles, the unit cost remains constant

Definitions and technical specifications

Incoterm EXW (ExWorks)

The cost calculator uses the Incoterm ExWorks. This Incoterm means that the printer provides the books, in labelled boxes, ready to be loaded onto trucks or into containers provided by the buyer. The buyer picks up the goods at the production/storage site and is responsible for all onward transport. Export and import customs formalities are handled by the buyer. For final procurement documents, we recommend the Incoterm DPU (delivery at place, unloaded). This will add approximatively 10 to 15 percent to the costs provided by the cost calculator. See Incoterms and Insurance: Guidance for World Bank Procurement of Textbooks and Reading Books for more information on Incoterms.

Colour

The cost calculator costs are based on textbooks and books for reading practice printed in full colour (4/4) and teacher’s guides printed in black and white (1/1). See page 13 in the Read@Home Guidance Note Technical Specifications for the Production of Reading Books for more information on colour use in instructional materials.

Type of paper

The costs in the calculator are based on all books being printed with woodfree paper.

Woodfree paper should be used for books that need to be more durable, such as textbooks, reading books, read-aloud books, big books, library books, and teacher’s guides. Chemical or woodfree paper does not yellow over time.

For more information on paper type, see page 7 in the Read@Home Guidance Note Technical Specifications for the Production of Reading Books .

Cover coating

The cost calculator is based on all covers being printed on C1S (coated on one side) paper and all interior pages being printed on C2S (coated on both sides) paper. See page 16 in the Read@Home Guidance Note Technical Specifications for the Production of Reading Books for more details.

Paper weight

The calculator is based on cover paper weight of 250 gsm and the inside pages at 80 gsm for all books. These are the recommended weights for teacher’s guides, textbooks, and readers. The cost of books will increase if the gsm is increased.

Cover coating

UV coating should be used for the covers of books that need to be durable, such as textbooks, reading books, big books/read-aloud books, library books, and teacher guides. This cost is included in the cost calculator.

For more information on cover protection, see page 16 in the Read@Home Guidance Note Technical Specifications for the Production of Reading Books .

Book size and number of pages

The cost calculator lets you choose from three size options:

  • 210 mm x 270 mm (recommended for textbooks and readers)
  • 176 mm x 250 mm (recommended for textbooks and readers)
  • 210 mm x 297 mm (recommended for textbooks and teacher’s guides)

Binding

This calculator bases the costs of binding on books being perfect bound with polyolefin (PO) glue, except reading books with 96 pages or fewer interior pages, which should be saddle stitched. For more information, see page 17 in the Read@Home Guidance Note Technical Specifications for the Production of Reading Books.

Packaging and labelling

For the costs calculated here, books are packaged in cartons with a maximum weight of 15 kg and labelled with A5 labels.