A book is a wonderfully complicated thing. I believe that you should understand everything about a book before trying to have one printed, especially considering the investment in time and money. There is always the idea that if the book is interesting or beautiful enough people will naturally be drawn to it. I tried that myself, and found it wasn't true. Beyond the actual book itself you need to know who you are going to sell it to, and then you need a plan to market your book to that audience.
There's lots of help on the web for marketing; for without proper focus on marketing it would be like throwing a very fancy party that no one came to. It can be pretty emotionally devastating. It probably would mean postponing your book to address marketing, but that postponement might be the best thing you ever did, rather than have the book sitting in your garage gathering dust while you backtrack to make a place for it in the world.
But if you have a marketing plan, but are not really clear on your vision of the book itself, it helps to sit down and carefully look at both soft cover and hard cover books. Look at the dust jacket and take it off and look at the cover. Look at the endsheets. Are flaps appealing to you on soft cover books? Do you like the glossy paper inside some or the matt paper inside others? Which size makes you want your book to be that size? As you explore books you will see how many different ways there are to put them together, although overall they look very similar. The more you discover the different parts of books, the more you will be able to produce a book you will truly love.
I often ask my clients to go to a bookstore and find a book that represents aspects of the book they hope to produce. Buy the book and place a few post-it-notes throughout to recall what drew you to that book. Then, if needed, you can send that book to me so we can talk over the phone about the aspects you love. We will probably talk about branding, paper choices, color and texture along with other things you like about the book.
But even if you have already designed your book and made all those choices it may be that there are some printing issues or color issues you may not be aware of, and for those kinds of issues I can be of great help, since all things are fixable before final pdf files are uploaded. Experience counts. Thirty five years of producing books. I love books (and it shows).
If you are ready to find out what a book you might produce will cost, fill out my quick inquiry or my full quote request making sure to give me a range of quantities from the smallest you might want to a larger number so you can begin to understand why marketing is so important, that is, why quantity only equals profit when the quantities are larger.