Book Printing Company Information

Understanding File Formats

A book printing company will usually only accept appropriate graphics programs. The graphics programs that are acceptable by book printing companies are among others, Quark, Page Maker, In Design and usually Coral and Illustrator, although most prefer a PDF file format. Those files that are usually not acceptable are, Word, Word Perfect and usually Publisher. These later programs are not only not available at the book printer, but they do not offer the same imposition abilities (page manipulation on the parent sheet) to allow to print a book properly  and many times there is copy flow from computer to computer and version to version. Publisher has a unique problem when used for the printing of books, with its text boxes and picture boxes. If you do not set them up perfectly, they will not only overlap and hide text, but you will not, in many cases see this on your screen. Providing you have created your file correctly, the PDF format is ideal. If you are stuck with the programs that generally are not acceptable, ask us for help in converting the files for you in the best and most cost effective fashion. Our commercial printing services are available for your assistance whenever it's needed, so please let us know if you have any questions.

Shorter Runs

For shorter runs of 1,000 books or less, the Docutech is ideal. Digital printing with a Docutech is used by almost every modern short run and best book printing company to print the text. This of course is ideal for those printing your own book. They will usually print (or hopefully) the covers on a small ink press or the iGen and UV coat or film laminate the covers so they are protected during the perfect binding process as well as protecting the actual use of the book. The Docutech quality is, quite honestly superior to the larger run web presses due to the higher screen values of the Docutech as well as the usually better paper quality used on the Docutech to print a book. This is the ideal medium for the short runs when perfect bound book printing and self publishing.

Longer Runs

For longer runs you will want to find a press such as PBD, who specialize in web printing services. The web press, used in the longer runs (1,000 and up depending on the book printer), is a rotary web press, which prints using large rolls of paper rather than individual sheets (sheet fed printing). While the company will provide you with better pricing for the longer runs, the quality will be less than the Docutech short run process or sheet fed, due to lower line screen and most times a lesser grade of paper (unless you specify otherwise).

Standard Paper Stocks

The usual paper stocks utilized to print a book are as follows: For the text (also referred to as the guts by the book printer) the two most common papers are 50# offset and 60# offset. The latter will have less show through of the ink to the other side due to being thicker. Sometimes if the page count is very low a 70# can be used, especially for short runs just so the spine is thick enough to perfect bind (paper back bind). If you want a printing press for books to use a better grade than normally used, then specify an "opaque" offset, which usually means whiter and brighter. The standard cover grade used is a point grade (either 10 pt or 12 pt C1S). The C stands for coated and the 1 refers to the coating on only one side, the two on both. Note: always specify a strong coating on the cover to protect it from scratching as a recommended book printing service. Use either film lamination or UV roll on liquid lamination.

Standard Sizes And Pages

The dimension are important, due to the fact that it affects the yield from the paper roll. Therefore when your press, as regarding book printing costs recommends how to print by using a suitable size in the quote: go with it, as it  can save you considerable amounts of money. The company will generally have a size to print a book or other item, that will fit their press, so while you might want a 5.5 x 8.5" book size (width is always the first dimension) you might be offered a 5 3/8 x 8 3/8" size. This is because at that  book printing and binding company, the larger size would cost you much more money due to the lower yield. The run becomes inefficient and your price becomes inflated due to this. Other "standard dimensions for book printing are 4.25 x 7",6 x 9", 7 x 10" and 8.5 x 11" for a workbook.

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Why Blank Pages Pages?

Have you ever wondered why there are blank pages and usually at the back? This is because, on a web press, the page count needed to print and how it affects the cost to print a book, must be divisible by 8. The 8 represents anywhere from half to a quarter usually and depending on press size, of a roll dimension. Producing anything on a web press with less than 8 pages as your final signature is more costly. Therefore supply your book printer with some extra pages marked "notes" or add any other information you deem appropriate. With short  run books, this is not a problem due to the fact that the Docutech press generally prints one sheet at a time. We want to hear from you and hear you say "print my book."

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