Authentic book printing and binding.
Book printing and binding at Star Print Brokers is traditional, authentic book printing. Our company prints books on sheet-fed offset presses, printing on large sheets (signatures.) We do not print on web presses. This is a press that prints on huge rolls of paper continuously fed to the press. Web press printing is not as accurate as sheet-fed printing. It is for printing newspapers, magazines, or long runs of direct mail — high-quantity but not high-quality.
We do not offer print-on-demand (POD) either. Our self-publish book printing is excellent, as are our binding materials for our hardcover books. There are many options at our company that are hard to find elsewhere.
Soft cover books with an average spine width is not a bad choice at print-on-demand services, if you need just a few copies. Two-page spreads are a problem. The spread can clip off in the gutter which will never happen when printing on press. It only happens with books that are output. The on-demand problem of toner instead of ink is a problem because toner can smear.
To print books on offset press
We manufacture high-quality books; therefore, our books print on sheetfed presses. Large sheets of paper have 4, 8, 12, or 16 pages printing on both sides.
The sheets then fold three times into signatures. Think of a signature as a booklet. The signatures bind together to form a book block.
The designer does not set-up the imposition to print, or rather the placement of pages on the larger sheet that becomes a signature. Most process color sheet-fed presses for book printing are 6-color and have six ink trays for inks. Ink is used when printing on press. Print-on-demand books that are digitally output, use toner. The toner can smear when lightly wiped with a moist finger.
High-quality or high page count soft cover books should print on press. Output book pages reproduce a page or two at a time, just like from a desktop printer. A book with many pages should print in signatures and be Smyth Sewn so pages do not fall out.
We consider the binding of books that are printing on press to be an art. They bind after the entire run prints. However, depending on the facility’s equipment, soft covers may bind at the same time as they are printing.
Binding types consist of hardcover, soft cover, Wire-O, spiral, coil, and board books. Wire-O books can be hardcover or soft cover. They may have no spine, or a spine that will semi-conceal, or fully conceal the wire.
Read about the options to become more familiar with them. This might be something to explore with a representative. It is our pleasure to listen to your needs and make suggestions. This is precisely the reason that everything we do custom manufacturing. We have come up with some interesting solutions to book binding problems over the decades.
There are binding variations for hardcover books. These include square spine, round spine, and hollow spine books. There are also lay-flat books, journals, Wire-O, coil, spiral, and more. We quite often Smyth sew signatures of hardcover books, especially for higher-page count books. Star Print Brokers will always Smyth sew higher page count books.
The cover wrap is the material that covers the boards of a hardcover book. Options are cloth such as linen or other fabrics, bonded leather, faux leather, faux cloth, and printed paper. The last is the least costly and in wide use.
All hardcover books have endpapers. They may have printing or not. They then paste to the inside front and back covers. Dust jackets are the loose paper that covers a book. It prints with the book designer’s design and is an option. There is also the choice of a standard dust jacket or a French fold dust jacket. Both types of dust jackets have flaps that usually contain with a book summary and author biography with their photo.
A book is case bound if it has endpapers. Sometimes the binding boards are deliberately very thin, to be flexible. Otherwise, the thickness of the board depends on the number of pages in a book, the book’s size and the thickness of the paper.
Cloth covered books most often have foil stamping or a blind stamp on the cover and spine. They may also have tip-on images, a bumper box, and more.
We add head and tail bands to all the books we print. They are customarily on all high-quality books. See in Chapter 7.
There are options for soft cover books as well. The physical version of this book is a soft cover book with French flaps. The flaps are an extension of the front and back covers. A book may have a flap extending from either the front or back cover. The width of a flap must make sense. If it is too narrow, it has no function. But, a flap also needs to be less than the width of the cover. That is because the flap must is score and fold behind the cover.
Soft cover books have signatures that may Smyth sew and / or glue together to form the book block.
It is a common option to have the title and author emboss and foil on the cover and spine of a soft cover book. It is not mandatory. Foil embossing is harder to view on Amazon than it is in a bookstore. If books will be sold in a bookstore where they can easily be compared to other books,
the emboss foil title makes a strong impression.
Traditionally bound vs. print-on-demand
Binding is incredibly important. Hardcover books with binding by book printers are completely different than hardcover binding at a POD provider.
Smyth Sewn signatures with collating marks are often used in traditional hardcover book binding. Side-sewn signatures are in use in print-on-demand hardcover book binding, because they are not printing in signatures.
Print-on-demand providers side-sew or glue single pages. Side sewn books not only look different, but if there are crossover graphics or a two-page spread, the middle on the image is cut off in the gutter. Traditional printers Smyth sew books avoiding cut off images and awkward endpaper issues.
Hardcover books have endpapers. If using a traditional printer, ends are the width of two pages. Because of the way POD hardcover books assemble, the endpapers may be the width of a single page. When this happens, it is because the book block is side-sewn instead of Smyth Sewn.