Softcover Book Printing: Comprehensive Guide

You’ve probably heard terms such as paperback, softcover, softback and perfect bound. They may each sound unique, but they’re all essentially the same thing. 

Softcover book binding is a budget-friendly book printing method that can yield impressive results. If you’re trying to publish your first book on your own, softcover book printing may be the perfect choice for you.

Introduction to Softcover Book Printing

Unlike hardcover books, softcover book covers are flexible, made from a thicker stock or paperboard than the pages inside, which themselves are held to the binding with glue. Paperback book printing, when done properly, is quick, long-lasting and attractive.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Softcover Book Printing Service

Reputable paperback book printers do more than just print softcover books. They also aid in design, consult with authors about paper and cover choices and generally work to provide an exemplary printing experience. Keep the following in mind when choosing a paperback book printing company to partner with.

1. Quality

Low-quality softcover book printing will result in misaligned pages, poor margin widths, inferior adhesive between the spine and pages and other issues. Search for a printing company that excels at providing consistent, professional paperback book printing.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Softcover book printing is already a more inexpensive option than hardcover printing, but there are other ways your printer can save you money, such as printing large batches at once, shipping a specific number of books to avoid mostly empty boxes and working with you to keep page counts to a minimum.

3. Types of Printing Options 

Many factors impact the quality and cost of your softcover books, such as paper stock, matte or glossy finishes, color or black-and-white printing and the printing process itself. For example, offset printing burns images onto plates, which are then offset to a rubber blanket, followed by the printing surface. It’s an economical method that makes small orders even more budget-friendly, and offset book printers specialize in short runs and print-on-demand services. 

When you trust Print Bind Ship as your printing partner, we’ll work directly with you to meet your specific needs and collaborate on the layout, design, printing process and shipping.

4. Customer Service

Because you put a significant portion of your waking hours into crafting your book, you should expect responsive, effective customer service. At Print Bind Ship, our customer service team is on your side. We won’t ignore your calls or leave messages unanswered. You’ll get the care and treatment you deserve.

5. Reviews

Read what real customers are saying about the printing company you’re interested in using. See whether they are complimentary or have valid complaints. 

Print Bind Ship is proud of our many positive reviews, with kind words such as these from Tyler Bramlett: “Offering physical products instead of just digital downloads had decreased our refund and chargeback rates dramatically. Plus, they are pleasant to deal with and always have the best prices on everything we’ve ever printed.”

Steps to Softcover Book Printing

When you’re ready to bring your work into the world as a softcover book, here’s how.

1. Designing Your Soft Cover Book and Layout

Starting with the cover, choose graphics, fonts and text that give an accurate sense of the content inside. Remember, people do judge books by their covers, so yours needs to be attention-grabbing. 

Plan your inside layout with the correct margins — the words near the spine can disappear if they’re too close to the edge — font, font size, letter spacing and pictures.

2. Preparing Your Book for Printing

For the best results, your books should be specially formatted for softcover book printing. If you’re having difficulty figuring out the parameters or aren’t sure what type of paper or weight you need, you can rely on Print Bind Ship to guide you in the right direction.

3. Send Your Files to Print Bind Ship

Once we have your files, we’ll transform them into softcover books. Printing is one of our primary services, and we work with authors around the world to create consistent, high-quality books. 

4. Receive and Review Your Printed Books

We do detailed checks to make sure the books you order arrive in ready-to-sell condition. You should still open the boxes and see them for yourself — what author wouldn’t be excited to see their own freshly printed book?

5. Consider How You’ll Market Your Book

Now it’s time to get your book into the hands of your readers. You can sell directly from your website, through Amazon, in person or through physical retailers. 

Marketing your book will require social media advertising, finding readers via online forums and taking out ads in traditional spaces, such as TV, radio and magazines, as well as on YouTube and podcasts. 

Printing Softcover Books Isn’t Hard with Print Bind Ship

Whether you call them softcover books, perfect-bound books or paperback books, they all provide a fantastic cost-to-quality ratio. Hardcover books may be glamorous, but you can print far more softcover books with the same money. To guarantee your softcover books have the quality you’re looking for, turn to the experienced, expert printers at Print Bind Ship today.


What is the minimum number of softcover books I can print?

You can print a single book if you like, but larger quantities drive down the per-unit price. Talk to Print Bind Ship about our unit/cost thresholds.

What are the standard sizes available for softcover books?

Softcovers are typically printed as 5” x 8” and 6” x 9”, though uncommon sizes such as 8” x 10” are also becoming popular.

Can I add images or photos to my softcover book?

Yes. If it’s a novel, the pictures may be rendered in black and white, but for art books or photography books, color images are available.

How long does it take to print softcover books?

Our turnaround time can be as little as a few days but can extend beyond a week for books with more detailed images and higher page counts.

Can I opt for eco-friendly options like recycled paper for softcover book printing?

Yes. For clients who want to leave behind a low carbon footprint, we can provide environmentally friendly paper options.