While digital books have increased in popularity, book lovers still enjoy holding a physical copy.
Bookbinding refers to the physical act of binding the pages of your book together in a way that’s both functional and visually pleasing. But can you offer multiple bindings of your book? Traditionally, it depends on your publisher. But self-published authors can select from as many book binding options as they want.
Here is your definitive guide to the different types of modern bookbinding as well as the pros and cons of each.
Types of Bookbinding
There are many methods for binding printed pages together, and it’s easy for authors to feel overwhelmed by the technical vocabulary and the sheer number of choices. The following is a breakdown of the major types of bookbinding and the types of books that each method works best for.
You might be more familiar with the term “hard-cover binding.” Once upon a time, this was the method by which all books were published. Case binding allows your book to remain open when lying flat on the table.
- Gives your work a classy presentation
- Case-bound books are weighty and durable
- More expensive than other binding methods
- The weight of case-bound books can increase shipping costs
Case binding is an ideal way to bind printed pages for nonfiction books, though it can also bring a classy presentation to novels and other works.
Perfect binding is more commonly known as softcover binding. While there’s some variation in the quality of the cardstock that composes the cover, most perfect-bound books are held together with glue. The pages are later trimmed to give the finished product a polished look.
- Cost-efficient compared to other methods
- Consumers are accustomed to purchasing paperbacks
- Less durable than hardcover books
- Don’t lay flat on the table when open
The affordability of perfect binding makes it an excellent solution for novels. It’s also a great way to lower costs to generate more interest in your book.
Saddle Stitch Binding
Saddle stitching is a simple, cost-effective binding method for books used in the short term. With saddle stitching, the pages are folded to form a booklet, then the spine is stapled to hold them together. This may or may not involve a cover.
- Allows books to lay flat when opened
- Not very durable
- Not ideal for multiple-page printing because the book may be too thick
This method is useful for short brochures or content printed for distribution at conferences, church events or learning institutions.
Comb Book Binding
Comb bookbinding offers a happy medium between the affordability of saddle stitching and the resilience of case and perfect binding.
With comb binding, a series of slots are cut into the printed pages of the book, then the pages are bound together with a comb. Any size of paper can be used, but unlike saddle stitching, the pages are not folded prior to being bound.
- Can be used for thicker publications
- Not generally acceptable for major publications
- Less durable than case or perfect binding
This can be a great method for publications that aren’t necessarily permanent but are too thick for a saddle stitch. Training manuals, educational curricula and book prototypes can be bound with a comb, providing a balance between durability and economy.
Spiral binding is similar to comb binding. When binding multiple pages together, a series of holes is created along the edge of the finished book. A spiral is then inserted, creating a spiral-bound book.
- Can be opened more easily than comb-bound books
- Cost-effective and easy to produce
- Less durable than case or perfect binding
- Some cheaper spirals can break or become tangled
Like comb-bound books, spiral binding is ideal for short-run publications, internal manuals, directories and other documents. Spiral-bound books have the advantage of being easier to open than comb-bound books.
Thermal binding is another multiple-page printing option. For this method, the pages are glued together by heating the book’s spine.
- Can be performed cheaply and quickly
- Slightly stronger than spiral or comb binding
- Not acceptable for retail
- Less durable than other methods
The finished product can look very similar to professional softcover and hardcover works, though it can be produced for less cost. Still, this method is not as durable or professional as other methods, meaning it’s best for short-run publications or internal manuals.
Quality Book Binding Services
If you’re a self-published author, a professional book binding service can give your work that finished look you’re after. Print Bind Ship (PBS) offers bookbinding and print-on-demand services to help you create custom publications worth collecting.
Can you offer multiple bindings of your book? You can with PBS. Many authors choose to offer both a softcover (perfect-bound) and hardcover (case-bound) version of their work, though we can help with binding printed pages of any publication, large or small.
Shipping Your Book
If you self-publish, can you offer multiple bindings of your book? Not only can PBS help you bind your work, but we can also assist with shipping and fulfillment services to help you reach more readers.
Contact us today and let us help you write your success story.