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Hardcover Book Binding and Book Publication

Smyth sewn binding is just one of the methods involved in hardcover book binding.

Once you have written a manuscript and have a book accepted for publication, what comes next? There is the traditional route to publication, in which a publishing company prepares your manuscript for conversion into a hardcover or softcover book, and the unconventional route of self-publishing. If you plan on following the path of self-publishing, there are some things you should know about the components of hardcover book binding and book publication first.

The Case for Casebound Books

Although they are commonly called hardcover or hardback books, manufacturers refer to them as casebound books. The pages inside are held together by glue. A hard case is then used to keep the bound pages together. What is this case made of?

  • Two solid boards
  • Some kraft paper
  • And some softer material, such as humble paper or cloth

Book Jackets

Book jackets are another important part of hardcover book binding. Jackets for books protect them from dust and wear and tear. Hardcover book jackets will be made of paper. This paper will have some sort of lamination or a coating applied to it. You can tell a book jacket is laminated if it is shinier than non-laminated jackets, especially if those jackets are coated. If a jacket is not laminated, it might have a different coating on it. This coating, known as UV (ultraviolet) coating is meant to improve the overall quality of the printing and ensure it lasts longer. Spot coating is another possibility. In spot coating, only certain parts of the jacket’s design are meant to draw the eye.

More About Cases

Cases will either be a single piece or be three pieces. The spine counts as one piece. But three piece cases are formed from the spine and the front and back pieces, which are thus known as casesides. These so-called pieces all start from the same material before being cut apart during manufacture. How can you distinguish a single piece case from a three piece case? If the book’s spine piece and the casesides are not separated, then it is considered a single piece case. Single piece cases are less expensive to produce than three piece cases; this is because less material is needed to create a single piece case.

One other element of the book’s case is the stamping on the spine. Examples of stamping could be words and possibly symbols that represent the book’s title. The author’s name can also be included on the spine. The stamping was applied by a heated die, often made of brass and covered with gold or silver foil, and pressed against the spine.

Some Other Elements of Hardcover Book Binding

What’s Inside: The first page inside the book on both the front and back covers are known as endsheets. Endsheets tend to be thicker than the pages used for the book’s text. This is meant to improve the durability of the pages. Adhesive binding is also used to hold the pages on.

Headbands: Sometimes, a small piece of cloth will protrude out from the pages of the book. These are known as headbands and tailbands. Most casebound books contain some sort of headband, but there are exceptions.

Pages for Text: The pages used for endsheets and the pages used for actual text are different. The pages can be different colors, although most books will be on creamy white pages because they are easier to produce. Pages are combined into units called signatures, or sigs for short. These sigs can be 64 pages, 32 pages, and so on. Blank pages are used to help align sig counts with the actual page count of the book. Again, adhesive binding is another method employed to keep pages bound inside.

Smyth Sewn Binding: When Smyth sewn binding is used, it provides the strongest possible form of binding. This style of binding also allows the printed book to lay flat after it is completed.

Advantage Book Binding Can Help You Create the Printed Book You’ve Always Wanted!

Are you interested in having a bound novel?  Are you entering the workforce, interested in a bound portfolio to showcase your work?  Advantage Book Binding offers plenty of services and binding types that are perfect for suiting your needs. We also offer specialty binding options for those of you looking for something extra special.

Advantage Book Binding can advise you as to what kind of binding style will work best for your specific project, taking into consideration budget requirements to provide you with the most cost-effective and project-specific solution for you. Please contact us today for more information, and keep up with us on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and LinkedIn.