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A Beginner’s Guide to Finishing Processes

For any newcomers to the process of bookbinding, it can be overwhelming to learn about all of the tasks that are part of it. Here is a beginner’s guide to the finishing process.

For any newcomers to the process of bookbinding, it can be overwhelming to learn about all of the tasks that are part of it. Here is a beginner’s guide to the finishing process, so when you need a new book bound, you will understand how a book is produced before it is ready to be sold.


After the book is printed, it must be finished. What this means is that the sheets need to be bound together and the cover needs to be assembled and made to look even more beautiful than it did with the original cover image. In-line finishing is completed by attachments on the printing press itself, however, the offline process means that printing and finishing are kept separate.

Cutting and Trimming

Occasionally, the paper stock used for the book needs to be cut and trimmed. This is one of the most essential finishing processes to ensure that a book is ready. For instance, it’s possible that the sheets used for the book are too large. Signatures also need to be cut if more than one set are combined at a time. Also, sheets must be neatly trimmed before they can be inserted in folding machines that ensure the best possible folds.


Magazines and books are two of the most commonly-produced bound items. The signatures that make up these products need to be folded properly. One sheet equals four pages, two sheets equal eight, and so on. Common types of folds include the half fold, the accordion fold, the French fold, and the letter fold.


Once folded, the sheets need to be arranged into the correct sequence. This is what collating means: when the sheets are arranged into the proper sets. Gathering is similar to collating, but uses signatures instead of sheets.


Many different binding options are available to writers who want a professional-looking final product. Here are just a few examples of what you can achieve through the binding process:

Perfect: The pages are bound to spines and covers using adhesives.

Comb Binding: The pages are held together with a plastic comb into holes that have been made in the sides of the pages.

Spiral: Wire or plastic is used to bind the pages together in the same holes that would otherwise hold the comb.

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, and need 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. Also, don’t hesitate to visit us at our Baltimore headquarters.