Have you ever wondered what the best binding is for your self-published book? While there are no hard and fast rules, there are some binding options available to you that will help you improve the quality of your book. Of course, the type of book you are looking to publish will help determine what kind of binding is best for your project.
Here are some common options, and some things you should consider while making your choice:
Hardcover binding is the most common bookbinding method. It was developed over 150 years ago when improved industrial tables began allowing automated book production while still producing high-quality workmanship. The hardcover rebinding process has remained largely unchanged since, with machines improving speed and precision while also allowing the binding of more books in a shorter period.
Hardcover binding involves physically joining together the pages, usually with “perfect” (section sewn) or “signature” (section stitched) bindings to form a text-block that is then glued into place, gathered using linen tapes, and clamped to prevent warping as it dries. In a perfect binding method, the pages are cut as normal and gilded (traditionally on three sides only) before being printed and folded to form a sewn text-block that is then cased into a further cover of heavy paper or lightweight cardboard.
You can select one of the book printing companies online for signature binding. Here, the pages are sewn together into sections, called “signatures”, which are then gathered using linen tape. The sections are therefore not cut as normal until all are complete, allowing text blocks to be of approximately the same thickness and page count regardless of sewing method.
As a result, if the book’s cover is lightweight enough it can simply be pasted to the text block with no further reinforcement. For very thick books, a thin board is often glued for extra strength between the regular cover and text-block, resulting in a sandwich of boards and paper layers. If the book’s cover is made from fabric or other materials too heavy for paste adhesion, it can also be sewn to the text-block edge or laced into channels cut in the cover boards.
Paperback bindings are generally used for paperback books that use lower-cost materials, such as pulp paper and paperback covers. The pages and cover are printed and bound together in a process that allows them to lie flat when the book is open, thus allowing easier reading of the text. There are several methods for binding mass-market paperbacks:
Perfect bind, or adhesive binding, is probably the most common method used in North America and is widely found in large commercial printing companies producing self-published books. Each sheet is printed and folded, and adhesive glue is applied to the spine side of the page block (the glue will be covered by a wrapper at this point).
After allowing time for the glue to dry, the book block is then gathered with “tape” (a stronger paper than the cover stock). A hot stamper then stamps the spine into a groove cut into the glue. The pages are then trimmed to size and inserted into the cover, which is then heat-sealed around all three sides for extra strength.
Tape binding is a bookbinding technique where a strong paper tape is adhered to the spine edge of folded sheets of paper, then bound with a high-speed automated machine. After being folded and gathered, each sheet is passed through an inline die-cutting station where the spine edge is trimmed to create a clean edge. A roll of strong paper tape is fed into the die cutter and cut to the correct length needed for the size of the book being bound.
The sheet is then advanced to a binding machine where it is stacked onto a spine. The folded edge of the sheaf is placed against the center line of an open roller die mounted on the spindle of the machine, which has cut into its lower face numerous vertical slits which are spaced slightly apart from each other.
The spine of the stack is lowered onto this, and an upper roller die is applied on top of the book block. The adhesive on the tape is then softened by a jet of hot air so it melts slightly and seeps into the paper, after which a pressure roll presses the tape firmly onto the spine to produce a strong joint.
Screw Post Binding
It is a modern alternative to hardcover binding. Like the hardcover process, the pages are printed one-sided and glued to a piece of cardstock. Then that assembly is wrapped around itself until it forms a spine, and metal posts hold it all together. Screw post bindings lay mostly flat when opened, but they feel stiffer than other bookbinding options.
Side Saddle Stitch Binding
This is a cheap alternative to perfect binding and coil binding. Like the side staple process, the pages are printed one-sided and glued to a paperback book cover that’s wrapped around each signature. However, every signature is stapled on one side so it opens like a notebook instead of a book; the pages still look like they’re in order and it’s a good option for brochures and catalogs with many pages.
Wire-O binding is ideal for catalogs with lots of pictures because it lays flat when opened. The pages are printed one-sided and glued to a piece of cardstock, then that assembly is wrapped around itself until it forms a spine. Wire binding uses metal spirals to secure the book, so it’s very durable!
Plastic Coil Binding
Plastic coil binding is a cheap alternative to the wire-O binding. The pages are printed one-sided and glued together in signatures, then the book block gets wrapped around itself until it forms a spine. Plastic coils have a plastic tip at the end of each signature (the spines) so you can see where you’re opening your book. This is the best option for children’s textbooks, cookbooks, and catalogs with many pictures.
is a form of perfect binding that’s ideal for photo books and children’s books. The pages are printed one-sided and glued to a paperback book cover that is wrapped around each signature. Then, layers of padding material (like foam or cotton) are used between the signatures to give the book an extra level of protection and durability.
is a beautiful form of perfect binding that’s ideal for photo books, children’s books, and cookbooks. The pages are printed one-sided and glued to a paperback book cover that is wrapped around each signature. Then, the front and back books covers are laminated over the assembly so they’re protected from getting dirty, oily, or damaged.
Bookbinding can be a beautiful way to save memories and share stories with friends and family! It’s also a great marketing technique: more people will stop and look at your book because it looks professional and stands out from the crowd.