Understanding Books, Sizes & Finishing
Pay Special Attention: To get accurate costing for your book project on this website, ensure you you decide the following:
- Number of words
- Type of paper (Cream and Paper)
- Type of finishing (Paperback & Hard Cover) – details below.
- Number of copies (Minimum order for paperback – 50 & hard cover – 200).
Types of Books
First there are various types of books – hard covers and paperback covers. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the three main types of finishing: hardcover, paperback and stitches. We also print booklets, magazines and other materials. We’re producing a booklet guide soon, so watch this space!
For binding, we use hot-melt technology, be assured that your books aren’t going to fall apart any time soon.
There are quite specific reasons for choosing each binding type. Below are the types of binding and their benefits to help you decide which style will best suit your book:
Why choose hard cover?
- Prestigious look and feel
- Resilient, longer lasting binding
- Perfect for special editions and gifts
- Hard cover books are more sturdy and more impressive. They cost a bit more than paperback but it is more than worth it in the end.
We produce hard cover books in 5X8, A5, A4, 8.5X5.5, 6X9. Different types of books work best in different sizes. For example, a yearbook works best in A4, whereas a novel would be best in 5X8.
Hardback books need to have a minimum of 100 pages and a maximum of 600 pages in order for the binding process to be effective. For books of less than 100 pages we suggest you go paperback.
Why choose paperback?
- Paperback is the most popular finish for books.
- It has a professional finish and is the standard for most books, whether fiction or nonfiction, drama or prose, religious or otherwise.
- It is more cost effective than hardback
- Paperback books are common, almost everyone knows about them. They are also referred to as perfect bound.
We can print paperback books in a range of sizes: A5, A4, 8.5X5.5, 6X9, 8X5 or a custom size of your choice.
The size you choose will depend largely on what your book is.
Perfect bound books need to have a minimum of 40 pages and a maximum of 600 in order for the binding process to be effective. If the book has too few pages the glue might not stick properly, and if it has too many the insides might become too heavy and break up the glue. If you stick to the 40-600 page rule, it would be most appropriate.
If you do need to print fewer than 40 pages, we recommend you select staple stitching option.
Types of Paper
Paper types refers to the finish of the paper, this affects the look of the pages rather than the feel or the weight. Here, we can help you understand the differences between each type, but if you want advice on which to use for your book specifically, you may contact us.
All the inner pages of our books come at 80gsm standard. We have two options readily available.
For magazines and brochures, we use 135gsm glossy (coated) paper for the inner pages. This gives your inner pages shiny finish.
For books (paperback) and magazines, we have two (2) standard options of 250gsm and 300gsm art card stock.
Our standard card for covers, we recommend it for most of the books we print. Perfect for novels, anthologies, biographies, children’s books, poetry collections, and more.
A slightly heavier cover stock, and a little more expensive than 250gsm, but not significantly. It works well on recipe books, manuals, workbooks and children’s books.
We offer two standard options for lamination – Gloss and Matte
Gloss or Matte – Make Your Choice
The main difference between Matte and Gloss is that gloss shines under light – gloss is shinier and more vibrant in colour than matte. They both feel different to the touch, and despite having more coating than matte, gloss is a little bit thinner.
Gloss is the more visually attractive of the two, and the more common. Gloss adds a shine to the card, as it has a reflective finish. A gloss finish tends to repel dirt, dust, fingerprints and can be wiped clean. The major disadvantage is that people perceive it as less “corporate” and less mature. In addition, scratches, creases and dents are more visible.
On the other hand, matte finish offers an understated, natural and soft look – it’s not as reflective and can take more of a beating than gloss. Matte gives a more “corporate” and mature feel. It is considered more professional and is the more fashionable option. A benefit is that as it is not as common as gloss, it automatically draws attention. However, the finish does dulls the intensity of the colour on the cover just a little bit.
Book Layout Design
Books are not printed using the raw manuscript. It is prepared by our professional in-house designers that make them print-ready. Our team will get the layout ready and send to you for vetting.
This professional service costs can be obtained on the website.
You may create and send your already-prepared print layout but we reserve the right to reject any print layout which does not comply to our technical specifications.
We accept print layout designs in pdf format only.
We are superb at making cover designs in-house! Your cover can make or mar the whole project, so we make your cover design is fantastic. The printing of a full colour cover is included in the quoted price. If you haven’t created a cover yet, our book cover design service might be for you.
- Do you supply ISBNs for my book to be sold?
Yes, through our parent company, Daneliherald Communications. You can request for it using while placing your order.
- How much does it cost to print a book?
It depends on a combination of factors including:
- Number of words/pages of your book.
- Additional services your require from us. Examples are: Editing, cover design, inner pages layout (mandatory part of our package), delivery, finishing options (basic or advanced)
- Number of copies to be produced.
As we are a digital printing it is more economical for us to set up and print between 50 and 500 copies. Setting up fewer than 50 copies is very time consuming and uses a lot of our resources. As a result it might seem like ordering a smaller number of books is less cost effective. The minimum order quantity for each category is indicated on each page.
The best way to find out how much it will cost to print your book is to get a free quote online using our self service system. This guide was designed to cover every question you will encounter whilst you use the calculator to create your quote.
- Does my quoted price include delivery?
Yes. However, delivery cost depend on location.
- Does my quote include cover design?
It would, if you have selected the service as part of the options.
- How long will it take to get my books?
All of our turnaround times are estimated as
- PDF Proof from PDF print-ready files = 3-4 working days
- Full order black and white printing = 7-10 working days
(after approval to print by email or whatsapp)
- Full order colour printing = 7-10 working days (after approval to print by email or whatsapp)
Hard Cover Books:
- PDF Proof from PDF print-ready files = 3-4 working days
- Full order delivery = 10 – 14 working days (after approval to print by email or whatsapp)
- Why do hard cover books take so much longer than paperbacks?
Hardbacks take longer because it involves more processes as each cover has to be made separately.
- How do I order re-prints?
Re-prints can be ordered through your online account. Just create a new project. If you would like to make changes to your order before re-ordering you can now edit your invoice easily. Please note that all pre-press costs (cover design and layout costs) will not count during re-print.