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Tips on how to get your Book Printed

You’ve finally finished that novel you’ve been working on for what seems like forever and now you just need to get it printed. Well, there is a whole lot more to the story than just printing black ink on white paper. Here are some things to consider when printing a book.

Chapter 1 - Sizes Books come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Here are the most common sizes that you can choose from along with the type of book that is typically printed in each size.

4-1/4" x 7"....Mass Market
5-1/2" x 8-1/2"....Tradebook, Handbook or Fiction
6" x 9"....Handbook, Tradebook, or Fiction
7" x 9"....Manual, Textbook
7-1/2" x 9"....Giftbook, Art Book, Manual
8-1/2" x 11"....Manual, Textbook
9" x 12"....Coffee Table Book

Chapter 2 – Printing Methods Most books are printed using either lithograph printing or digital printing. Here is a brief description of each method. Be sure to discuss each option with your printer before deciding which one to choose for your book. Remember, you’ll be printing hundreds or thousands of copies, so it is important to use the most cost effective and visually appealing option.

Lithograph Printing - This method uses a printing plate made of a thin flexible metal or plastic sheet mounted to a cylinder. Lithograph printing using metal plates yields extremely high quality results for both text and images, but this quality comes at a premium price. Plastic plates are considerably less expensive, however this method does not produce the same quality of results.

Digital Printing - This printing method uses a digital printing press to produce a printed piece. Digital printing is a good option for printing text-heavy books, but does to work as well for images. A few advantages of digital printing are that it is less expensive than lithograph printing and printing additional copies is much easier and more convenient.

Chapter Three – Binding
Now that you’ve figured out what size book you want and what method of printing to use, it is time to choose a method of keeping all the pages together. Here are some of the most common binding options:

Perfect book binding - The outside edges of each page are glued together to creat a flat edge. This method works best for books, corporate reports, manuals, brochures and annual reports.
Saddle-stitch book binding - This method uses one or more staples on the fold. Saddle-stitch binding is ideal for booklets, brochures, newsletters, pamphlets, direct mailers and catalogs.
Side-stitch book binding - Similar to saddle-stitch binding, except that pages are stapled together on the side rather than the fold. This method is great for booklets, brochures, direct mailers, and pamphlets.
Casebook binding - This is as good as it gets. Pages are sewn together and adhered to a hard cover.
Double wire binding - This method uses a continuous hinge of double looped wire to hold the book together. Works great for upscale brochures, reference manuals, cookbooks, and calendars.

Chapter Four – The Cover
Go to any bookstore and observe the customers as they browse the shelves and you will realize very quickly just how important a great cover design can be to the success of a book. Your book will be competing for attention with the hundreds of others on the shelf and if your design compels a customer to pick up and examine your book rather than the other books on the shelf, you will obviously have a much better chance of making a sale.

The most effective way of attracting a potential reader’s attention is using a combination of graphics and text. However, it is very important to strike the correct balance of the two. Too many graphics or too much text can easily turn the customer off and make them put your book back on the shelf.

Tip: Images with people, and/or yourself work well, but after time the images appear dated due to hairstyles, clothing, and setting.

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