Many authors use print marketing materials to spread the word about their books. These items should be eye-catching and align with the author’s brand and the book’s content and purpose.
Most general printers will say they can produce books. However, the details of their capabilities vary widely. Consult with printing service providers like Disc Pro Graphics to understand your options.
Putting your words into print is an exciting venture. It also takes a lot of work, and the cover is one of the most critical steps in this process. A well-designed cover can pique readers’ interest and give them a sense of what the book is about. It can also help them find the book in a stack of books on a shelf.
When you work with a designer, ensure they have all the necessary information to create an engaging book cover. Include the title, tagline (if applicable), author name, publisher imprint logo, and trim size. Your designer will also need your book’s page count and spine width to ensure the design is accurate for printing.
Fonts are another critical factor when designing a book cover. They can say as much about the book as the image and should match the tone of the genre. For example, Chick-Lit books typically use curly, girly fonts; Historical Romance usually uses script fonts; Action and thrillers use solid, impact-style fonts; and Literary Fiction tends to lean towards classic serifs or light sans-serifs.
Other elements that can help your book stand out are contrast and a pop of color. Intense colors, incredibly dark on light, can add dimension to the cover. Foiling and embossing can add a special touch, while lamination gives your book a rich, luxurious feel and protects it against wear and tear.
While some people claim that they don’t judge books by their cover, the fact is that a book’s cover plays an enormous role in whether or not someone will pick it up. Even if it’s just for a quick look, a potential reader is likelier to open a book that looks professionally printed and designed than one that doesn’t.
The paper used to print your book is another essential factor in its quality. The most common types of paper are uncoated and coated, with the latter typically being used for higher-quality books that include images or more detailed text. Uncoated paper has a rough surface that supports the ink stand out, while coated paper has a shiny finish that makes it more attractive.
Paper color is also essential, as it can affect how vibrant or dull the printing is. While white is the obvious choice for most printed books, it’s worth noting that wood pulp doesn’t naturally come in white; bleaching is required to turn it that color. The bleaching process can alter the color of the paper, and the result may impact how well the ink dries on the page.
Then there’s the paper’s weight, which can be measured in grams per square meter (gsm). Some authors choose only to use uncoated paper because it’s environmentally friendly. Others prefer coated paper with a higher gsm because it can make the pages feel thicker and more sturdy.
A well-crafted cover is nothing without quality binding, so it’s essential to find a book printing services company that offers various binding options. Some companies use a process known as perfect binding, in which the interior pages are glued to the cover using a high-quality adhesive, like polyurethane reactive glue. Others offer case lamination, in which a dust jacket is placed over the book’s cover. Choosing the wrong binding type can damage the integrity of your manuscript and make the book look less appealing to readers.
Another aspect to remember when choosing a book printer is whether or not they offer distribution services. Some companies, such as IngramSpark and Draft2Digital, do this for authors, allowing them to list their titles with significant retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. This can guide authors to reach a wider audience and sell more copies of their work.
If you’re looking for a POD company that offers distribution, Reedsy recommends choosing IngramSpark, connected to over 40,000 libraries, retailers, and e-commerce sites. It also allows authors to upload their books in any trim size and binding type and features color options for black-and-white and hardcover books. They’ll also provide an ISBN for free, a bonus. However, the company’s file review and distribution processes can take five business days, and customer support could be better.
The final stage of book printing involves the finishing process. This is the point at which your book’s text and illustrations are printed. During this stage, your flats (32 or 64-page sections) will be collated and examined to ensure that the pages are arranged in the intended order and that all the details are correct. Afterward, the negatives from each flat are melded onto plates that will be used to print the book on the press. The plates are covered with a chemical that attracts ink, and the pages of your book are printed on them. If your book is being published in more than one color, the plates must pass through the press multiple times.
The finishing options available for books include lamination, which adds a thin layer of film to the cover or selected pages, and UV coating, cured with ultraviolet light to produce an extremely high-gloss finish that enriches the colors and offers added protection. Foil stamping and embossing are also possible to create a customized look.
Choosing the suitable materials and printing options for your book is more important than you think. Not only will the material choice influence the book’s physical appearance and perceived value, but it will also affect how easily it can be read, whether or not it matches the author’s vision, and how durable it is.