Printing A Book

Written by Christopher Ransom
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Recall, if you will, holding a new fiction paperback book, a hardback book, or cookbook, and a photography book and you can't help but notice the variety of types of paper used for printing a book. When you are ready to talk with a book printer, you will likely have some choices to make-binding type, trim size, page count, ink and paper type. All of these will impact the cost of printing your book, not to mention the way your book looks and feels.

With that in mind, we'll take a closer look at the common types of paper used when printing a book. In doing so, you'll hopefully have a much better chance of getting the most from your book printing experience and the most value for your dollar.

Types of Paper Used for Printing a Book

Some of the common types of paper used for printing include BOND, a thick and attractive paper used for letterheads and stationary; TEXT paper, which is used for a variety of textures and is desirable for brochures, announcements and small booklets; COATED, which is used for high-quality print jobs where a glossy finish is desired; COVER, a stock of heavier weight but still flexible and color-sensitive, commonly used for book covers; NEWSPRINT, as is used for newspapers, pulpy and cheap as they need to be; and finally BOOK paper, used for printing the pages inside of a book. Book paper is available in a variety of weights and stocks, some recycled or acid-free, as well as in different tints (off-white, egg shell, etc ... ). All of these but the cheapest are designed to last for years and hold up to the usual reading treatment or abuse.

Other factors to consider when selecting the paper that's right for printing a book are the ink, which may appear differently on different paper stock, the total number of pages in your book, which will affect the cost, and the binding method. The binding method you choose for printing a book must accommodate your paper stock. Saddle-stitched biding, for instance, relies on folding and stapling the pages of your book, so lighter stock should be used here. A good printer should help you choose the ink, binding, cover and text paper to create a book that looks and feels like a professionally printed book. Before printing a book, find a few samples of books you think will make good models for your own book, and send them to your printer for his or her advice.


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