PAPERBACKS. Perfect bound or section sewn

Paperback books

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Paperback options

Paperback books with digitally printed pages can contain any number of pages provided there is enough bulk in th spine to ensure a strong binding. Pages with colour content can be inserted at any position within the book. Our minimum print run is 50 copies.

For print runs above 500 copies, litho printing is often more economical, but the page count must necessarily be a multipe of 16 pages. Colour pages are more economically positioned as either sections or as one side of one or more printed sections, the fall of the colour pages being determined by the imposition. We can advise on the most economical use of colour at the book planning stage.

Binding formats

Perfect bound is the simplest form of binding: the collated book blocks are milled on the binding edge and glued directly to the spine with hot-melt or PUR (Poly Urethane Reactive) glue. This is our standard binding for digitally printed paperback books up to 500 copies and is suitable for books that will be read "in the hand". It should be noted that the pages do not lie flat, however, by gluing the book blocks to the front and back covers and not at the spine a "lay-flat" result can be achieved. The more durable PUR glue is used to bind pages with an all over varnish or full colour bleeds as the hot-melt glue does not fully penetrate varnish or ink.

Burst Binding is used when the pages of the book have been printed as sections. Once folded, notches or perforations are cut into the spine by the machine to allow glue to penetrate into the spine and then the cover is glued on.

Machine sewing (also called Smythe Sewing) is the process in which the folded signatures of the book are sewn together through the fold in the signature, using a sewing machine specifically designed for the purpose; it is generally referred to as "Smyth Sewing" after the inventor of the machine. The sewn book blocks are then glued directly to covers to form the paperback books. For longer runs of books, machine sewing is the preferred binding option as the cost of set-up is more than compensated for by the more durable and open-flat result provided by sewing.