First impressions matter immensely in the publishing world. People may claim that they don’t judge books by their covers, but a reader is more likely to pick up a copy that looks professionally published and has an eye-catching design.
Knowing this, an author’s responsibility is to be part of the book printing process, including choosing the materials used to print the book. Omnibook Co. has created this guide to assist aspiring authors with book printing services in the USA.
Your Book Cover Options
The cover is the book’s foundation, safeguarding the content from potential damage. For some readers, it also catalyzes their decision to purchase or pass on a book, meaning you must carefully decide the type of book cover you want for your published piece. Most book printing services in the USA offer two options on the cover type, which are:
Paperback copies, also known as softbound books, feature a thin cover typically made of paperboard or thick stock. Publishers bind the book’s pages and cover using perfect binding, which involves gluing the cover’s spine to the interior pages.
This book cover is ideal for first-time authors or those working with a smaller budget since it is the most cost-effective type to print. However, this comes with a downside. Because of its flimsy material, a paperback book is more susceptible to wear and tear, so it might not last as long as its hardcover counterparts.
It’s worth noting that you can opt for a different cover type and still release paperback copies later on. Doing so gives readers variety and allows people to bring their books on long trips or commutes since paperbacks are lighter than hardcover ones.
On the other hand, hardcover books have sturdier builds thanks to their thicker, more durable covers, often made from bookbinder boards covered in cloth, acid-free paper, or leatherette. The binding process also contributes to the book’s sturdiness, as pages are first sewn before glued to the spine.
These types of books are still sought after, despite costing more than paperbacks, since they represent quality. It shows potential readers that much care has been put into publishing the book. In addition, literary professionals, collectors, and avid readers tend to prefer hardcover books as they can often stand the test of time. They also typically draw more attention to the shelf due to their sizes, which is why many look for hardcover book printing services.
Select a Book Binding Option for Your Work
A well-crafted cover is meaningless without the pages. As much as possible, you want to find book printing services in the USA that offer different binding types, especially if you’re publishing your first work. Binding keeps the book together, and subpar quality can risk its contents, not to mention your reputation as an author.
Some binding options you can opt for when self-publishing include the following:
Perfect binding is a frequently used method of binding paperbacks and some magazines. The process involves gluing the pages to the cover with a strong adhesive, like polyurethane reactive (PUR) glue.
In the past, perfect binding was challenging to perform on thicker works, but recent technological advancements have changed this. Book printing services in the USA now mill the pages first, allowing the hot glue to penetrate through the pages and create a stronger bond. This type of binding also has a clean, sleek look that’s perfect for modern books.
Case lamination is a process unique to hardcover books, featuring a rigid cover with the design directly printed on it. You can choose a glossy or matte finish for the print. As for the binding method, it varies, but some commonly used ones are case binding, oversewing, and stab binding.
Case sewing is similar to perfect binding in that the pages are compiled and glued together to make a text block, which is then attached to the book cover. Meanwhile, oversewing involves stitching the pages to the spine, much like a notebook. The main difference is that oversewing can accommodate a higher page count per book.
Stab binding is more traditional compared to the first two methods. It involves punching holes in the pages and spine, then using a needle and thread to tie everything together. Book printing services in the USA don’t use this method often, but some clients prefer it for its rustic look.
Jacketed Case Laminate
Jacketed case lamination is closely related to case lamination binding, except this binding option comes with a dust jacket for the books. Opting for this allows you to print your cover design on the jacket, leaving the actual cover blank or with a different design.
Ink Qualities You Can Consider for Your Book
The ink quality is another crucial consideration when looking for reliable book printing services in the USA. If a printing company doesn’t use high-quality ink, your book will look dull and unappealing. The text may even fade over time. Aside from the general quality of the ink, you also need to find color options, more so if your work features illustrations.
Ink qualities offered at Omnibook Co. include:
Black-and-white printing features two augmented colors and various shades of gray. This type of ink quality is best suited for books with a lot of text and minimal graphics. It is also more affordable than color printing but, by no means, of lesser quality.
Standard Color Printing
Meanwhile, standard color printing features a four-color (CMYK) process that produces a wide range of hues. It’s possible to use this printing method on books that feature mostly text, but you get the most out of it if your work features a few illustrations.
Premium Color Printing
Lastly, you have premium color printing, which also uses the four-color process, except it produces printed illustrations and images that are sharper than those made by standard color printing. Suppose your book leans toward pictures, like a children’s book or a cookbook. In that case, this is the printing method that benefits you the most.
Choose From Different Paper Colors and Weights
Once you have decided on the previous elements, you move on to the paper color and weight, both of which can drastically affect how your book looks and feels. Online book printing services offer several color options, and the variation you choose significantly impacts the print quality.
On the other hand, the paper weights entail different thicknesses, opacity, and feel. It’s measured in grams per square meter (gsm). Finding the right thickness is crucial since printing paper that is too thick may result in binding errors.
Standard options for self-publishing include:
You should note that many printing papers are chemically pulped, but groundwood paper is not. As its name suggests, this option is made from grounded wood, which gives it good bulk and opacity. It works well for pieces with plenty of text and little illustrations.
One downside to groundwood is that it isn’t as long-lasting as paper meant for archiving. It turns yellow and brittle much faster than other paper types, which is why it’s typically used to publish works for quick reading, such as newspapers and journals.
For versatility, you want crème paper for your book. It offers the right thickness that supports heavy ink without bleeding. In addition, binding this paper won’t pose an issue since it’s stocky enough to withstand various binding styles.
However, remember that crème isn’t best suited for colored printing since it would alter the hues, resulting in inaccurate shades.
If you’re publishing a content-heavy piece, crème paper is an excellent choice since black and white prints don’t look dull on their surface. In addition, crème causes less eye strain since it has no glare, unlike white paper.
Lastly, you have white paper, considered the best option for publishing works that feature many illustrations or require color accuracy. The neutral shade produces excellent print quality, making it the preferred paper type for pieces with images and graphics.
Like crème paper, some white paper has a thickness of 74 gsm and is versatile enough to support various ink types without bleeding or show-through. It can also withstand the rigors of bookbinding.
The thicker option is around 104 gsm, and it’s more suitable for photo-based works. Photographers use this to print their photo books, and some artists use it to publish their portfolios and other illustrated pieces.
It can also hold more ink without bleeding, which is essential for works requiring accurate color reproduction. However, keep in mind that this paper type is not as flexible as the standard white option, making it harder to bind.
One thing to note about white paper is that it can be harsh on the eyes since it reflects a lot of light. If you’re printing a book that people will read for an extended period, consider using another shade like crème instead.
Find Reliable Book Printing Services in the USA
Omnibook Co. offers quality book printing services in the USA. Our years in the publishing industry have given us the experience and expertise needed to produce high-quality prints.
We use the latest printing technology to ensure that your book looks its best. In addition, we offer other online book printing services that help budding writers, such as copyediting, book cover design, and digital formatting. Reach out to us today to get your work self-published.
Self-publishing can be complicated if one pursues it without proper preparation. From choosing the right paper type to finding reliable book printing services in the USA, take your time with each step so you can end up with a high-quality product that readers will be sure to appreciate.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our book printing services in the USA. Our team at Omnibook Co. would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help you achieve your publishing goals.