Tell Your Story with Wholesale Book Binding and Printing
There’s something special about holding a book in your hands. This isn’t the first place you’ve read something to that effect, and it won’t be the last. Most of the reading that many of us do is digital —we’re surrounded by blogs, tweets, and emails— but analog texts have an undeniable charm.
They’re like information al-dente, words with texture and bite. That’s why handwritten letters are more exciting than emails, and why ebook sales will never put all the physical bookstores out of business.
The digital age has also removed almost all barriers to entry for publishing. It’s incredibly simple to put your thoughts on the internet, and nearly everyone does it in one form or another. Posting online is certainly the easiest way to get information out into the world, to make it accessible to a wide audience, but what do you do if you want to give it more character and class?
For artists and authors, designers, and those with a love of printing, digital publishing isn’t enough. You need to put that feeling of a sturdy book into people’s hands, and there’s no better way to do that than with quality wholesale printing.
How Does Wholesale Bindery Printing Work?
For a trade bindery like us, the first step is to take your order through the pre-press phases, getting the text ready to go on the page. The text is then printed, and organized into book blocks, which are structured differently depending on the binding method. This is where you have the most choices.
We offer both hard and softcover bindings and both have their advantages and disadvantages. You’ve almost definitely read both kinds of books, so you already know their superficial differences, but there’s more to both than meets the eye.
Hardcover books carry a certain prestige, and not without good reason. They provide more options for customization, and their sturdy bindings can survive years of wear and tear. (The St. Cuthbert Gospel is over one thousand three hundred years old, and its goatskin cover and binding are still in good condition. We can’t guarantee your book will survive quite that long, but we do our best.)
Our hardcover book printing options include covers made of leather, more affordable bonded leather, cloth, or laminate. Dust jackets are, of course, also available. On the inside of the front and back covers of your book, there are end-leaves.
These are often left blank, or made with paper of a single, solid color, but we provide the option to customize them with any text or image you want displayed there. Customized end-leaves are the first thing that a reader will see when they open your book, and it’s important to make a good first impression.
We also offer customization options for your book’s page edges, which can be speckled, stained, or gilded. Speckling involves applying a spray of dye that will produce a random pattern of dots along all three edges of your book, giving them more character than plain white.
Edge staining is a similar process, but it produces a solid color rather than a pattern. Gilded edges are the flashiest option, and involve affixing a thin metal foil to the edges of a book’s pages. Gilded edges aren’t purely aesthetic, though. They also protect the paper from the oils that coat our fingers, making a sort of thin metal shield around the book while it’s closed. This method is popular with bibles, perhaps most famously applied to the Gutenberg bibles.
Paperback, or softcover books, are a less expensive option than hardcover and account for a significant chunk of global book sales. They are lighter, more portable, and for a wholesale bindery, easier to make, but they don’t have all of the customization options as their hardcover kin. We offer paperbacks with a variety of different binding methods.
The toughest paperback books largely use smythe signatures, which are booklets of pages sewn together with thread, then glued to the spine of the cover. This makes it much less likely for an individual page to fall out when the book starts to show its age.
We offer two kinds of glues paperback bindings, the first using EVA glue, which is the most common method for softcover books, and the second using PUR glue. PUR glue is the more expensive option, but the added cost is well worth it. PUR glue produces a stronger, more flexible bond that will give your paperbacks a longer lifespan and allow them to stand up to more use.
Which Wholesale Bindery Option is Better for You?
Both methods have their strengths. Paperback book printing is less expensive, which makes it the preferred option for most indie publishers and self-publishing authors. Because they are lighter, paperback books are inexpensive to ship and to hand-deliver if necessary.
Hardcover book printing, on the other hand, will give you a product with longevity. If it’s important that your book can be passed down for decades, then hardcover will make that possible. Yearbooks, photo albums, and books with sentimental importance are best printed in hardcover.
Large runs of hardcover books aren’t cheap, but they have more of a commanding presence in a bookstore, which can help them sell. Hardcover books also generally have wider sales margins than their paperback equivalents.
Books are printed in runs, which can contain very few books, or tens of thousands. As a wholesale bindery, we specialize in mid to large size runs, rather than short runs, which might only contain ten pieces. Our equipment is suitable for quickly processing a large volume of books, and the more books you order, the less expensive each individual copy will be.
If you already have an idea of the size of run you need, for a yearbook which most students are expected to buy, for example, then you’re well on your way. If not, for example, if you’re a self-publishing author, and don’t know how well your book will sell, then it might be a good idea to start with a smaller run, then move on to a larger run if the first one sees success.
Extremely small runs will be the least expensive overall, but when you’re working with a trade bindery, you should look for the perfect run size to minimize risk while getting the most for your money. We can help you find that number.