Considering having a book printed? Before searching for a book printing company take a look below at some valuable information to help you become a wiser consumer.
First – What is book printing?
Book printing is not just the act of putting ink to paper; it is the decisions you will make when it comes to printing your book. Many decisions are involved in the process of getting your book printed, from your book size, to types of printing, to binding, to designing your cover.
The first step is deciding what size will you book will be. Here are some standard sizes that will help you decide.
- 4 1/4″ x 7″ – Mass Market
- 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ – Tradebook, Handbook or Fiction
- 6″ x 9″ – Handbook, Tradebook, or Fiction
- 7″ x 9″ – Manual, Textbook
- 7 1/2″ x 9″ – Giftbook, Art Book, Manual
- 8 1/2″ x 11″ – Manual, Textbook
- 9″ x 12″ – Coffee Table Book
Tip: If deciding to use a hard cover, laminate it. A glossy finish is a great way to enhance the overall look of any book.
Now that you know what size you need, the next step is deciding what type of printing method is best for you.
Second – Book Printing methods.
There are two main ways to have your book printed, lithograph printing, or digital printing.
Lithograph Printing uses a printing plate made of a thin flexible metal or plastic sheet mounted to a cylinder. The type of printing using metal plates is great for text and photos with an outstanding quality. However, it does cost more than the use of plastic plates that do not produce as good of quality.
Digital Printing uses a digital printing press to produce a printed piece. This book printing method is great for text but images will not be as sharp as the lithograph press. On the positive side, digital printing is less expensive, is variable, and additional print runs are easy and convenient.
It is best to ask your printer about these options and they will be able to give you good advice. ThePrintGuide has a list of Recommended Book Printing Suppliers that can help.
Third – Book Binding
There are many types of bindings available for your book; here are some standard types.
- Perfect book binding – Gluing the outside edge to create a flat edge; excellent for books, corporate reports, manuals, brochures, and annual reports.
- Saddle-stitch book binding – Using one or more staples on the fold; excellent for booklets, brochures, newsletters, pamphlets, direct mailers and catalogs.
- Side-stitch book binding – Stapling your book together on the side rather than the fold; excellent for booklets, brochures, direct mailers, and pamphlets.
- Casebook binding – Your sewn book adhered to a hard cover to create the highest quality hard cover binding for books.
- Double wire binding – A continuous hinge of double looped wire hold the book together; excellent for upscale brochures, reference manuals, cookbooks, and calendars.
Now that you know what kind of binding is best for you the next step is designing your book cover.
Fourth – Designing your book cover.
The cover is one of the most important pieces to a successful book. “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover” is a nice cliche but doesn’t represent how consumers buy. A book’s cover and spine will have a great deal to do with whether potential buyers investigate a particular title further. As a result, a good cover design can be critical to the ultimate sale of a your book.
To grab the consumer’s attention use a combination of carefully balanced graphics and text that in design terms is called symmetry, or balance. This balance allows the viewer’s eyes to flow from one point to another on the book cover causing movement.
Tip: Images with people, and/or yourself work well, but after time the images appear dated due to hairstyles, clothing, and setting.
A good design will contribute balance and movement in order to direct the consumer subconsciously to read and react thereby picking up your book.
Book Printing FAQ
- What size should the cover of my book be?
- Why should I laminate my book?
- What does the gutter refer to in book printing?
- What are some typical book binding techniques?