Offprints in printing refer to copies of works that have been printed separately for author or editor use; such offprints may even be the sole copy available, such as when proofreader copies are limited edition typeset.
Offprints may be created for various reasons. Sometimes, an author needs a personal copy, while others might like documents given out to family or friends as gifts or stored as future reference copies.
Offprints can also be produced for promotional reasons, with authors giving copies to potential publishers or agents as a means of hooking their attention on their work. Offprints may also be given out to reviewers or journalists to gain exposure to the book in question.
An offprint serves two primary purposes: firstly, it allows authors to have physical copies of their work to keep or distribute as they see fit, and secondly, it gives publishers an extra source of revenue through selling these copies – typically, their production costs are relatively low so there will be significant profit potential from selling these offprints.
Offprints can be an essential marketing strategy for publishers, helping to generate word-of-mouth buzz about specific books or articles and promote an upcoming book release. In essence, offprints act as an inexpensive form of promotion for upcoming book releases.
Offprinting is an integral component of book printing that ensures books are printed accurately and consistently and helps prevent potential printing errors that might otherwise arise without such diligence being exercised during production.