Print Positive: Selecting Paper
Consider basis weight, thickness, color, finish, and other factors in addition to cost when selecting paper for your book. Almost always use Your Book Printer’s House Stocks or Image Galleries. Paperback Cover Stocks. Dust Jacket Stocks. Hardcover Case Stocks.
Paper Density, or Basis Weight
The basis weight of paper is the weight in pounds of 500 sheets of the paper at a standard sheet size. A book printed on 60-lb. stock will weigh about 20% more than the same book when the weight of the cover is taken into account.
Paper Thickness, or Caliper
The width of a book’s spine is determined by the thickness of the paper, which is measured in pages per inch (PPI). A 600-page book printed on 300 PPI paper will be 2u2033 thick, excluding the thickness of the cover. A 50-lb. high-bulk book printed on 456 PPI paper is almost the same thickness as a standard 60-l. stock at 436 PPI.
Good book papers have a high opacity, which is determined by the caliper of the paper and the amount of pulp and fillers used in its manufacture. Translucency in book papers is not good: it looks bad when type or images on the back side of a page show through.
Coated vs. Uncoated Papers
Coated stocks have been coated with materials to increase opacity, smoothness, and ink holdout; they are heavier than uncoated stocks with the same amount of fiber, and common EVA binding glues don’t stick to coated stocks as well as uncoated stocks.
The surface finish of uncoated stocks used for book printing can range from very smooth to vellum, which has a fine “tooth.” The smoother the stock, the better for digital printing; novelty finishes like “laid” or “cambric” imitate handmade paper and fabric, respectively.
Natural refers to cream-colored (as opposed to bright white) stock, while coated stocks are mostly bright white, though each type varies in brightness, and some coated stocks are available in a light cream color.
Freesheet vs. Groundwood Papers
Gladfelter Paper is made using either the freesheet or groundwood processes. Freesheet paper is made using a chemical process that leaves it nearly “impurity-free” of resins, lignin, and groundwood fibers. Groundwood is made using a mechanical grinding process that results in more impurities and coarser fibers.
Paper is primarily made of wood fibers obtained by felling trees or using scrap wood; however, recycled paper contains fibers from other sources, such as discarded post-consumer waste, and may contain small flecks of color or other materials that affect the appearance.
Paper and Archival Quality
Many books were printed on groundwood paper in the nineteenth century, and acid impurities in the groundwood caused the books to self-destruct. Today, all quality book papers are “acid-free,” so libraries and other purchasers can be confident.
Why You Should (Almost) Always Use Your Book Printer’s House Stocks
Book printers buy large quantities of paper in order to get the best price, which they pass on to their customers in the form of lower prices. Book printers who use digital presses must be selective about which papers they use, as digital presses do not print well on many stocks that offset presses do not have problems with.
When Not to Use Your Printer’s House Stock
Preprinted covers or special cover stocks can sometimes enable a book to have a unique creative element, and if you’re a big publisher, buying paper by the truckload for a series of books can save you money. The materials provided are produced outside of the printer’s control.
Book Paper Selection Guide
Unless otherwise specified, all papers are freesheet (permanent); mass-market format is not recommended; high-quality illustrated books are recommended.
Text Inserts, or Galleries
The inserts are printed on a special stock selected for the best reproduction of images and text, and they can be printed in full color while the rest of the book is printed in black only, saving money over printing the entire book in color on heavy coated stock.
Paperback Cover Stocks
Larger page sizesu20138u2033 x 10u2033 and especially landscape format booksu2013put more stress on the cover, which is printed on stock that is coated only on one side. For most page sizes, a 10-pt. C1S is an economical, high-quality choice; larger page sizesu20138u2033 x 10u2033 and especially landscape format booksu2013put more stress on the cover.
Dust Jacket Stocks
Dust jackets are typically printed on C1S or C2S stock in the 80-lb to 100-lb basis weight range, and film lamination is just as important for dust jacket durability as it is for paperback covers.
What weight of paper should I use for a book?
Paper Density, or Basis Weight Basis weight is the weight in pounds of 500 sheets of paper at a standard sheet size, which in the case of book papers is 25u2032u2032 x 38u2032u2032. For uncoated book papers, 50-lb., 55-lb., and 60-lb. are common basis weights; for coated stock, 70-lb., 80-lb., and 100-lb. are common basis weights.
What kind of paper is used for paperback book covers?
Choosing the best paper type and gsm for your book cover. We use a 240gsm coated paper that is laminated after printing for the majority of our paperback book covers. The 240gsm is typical for most books, and after the lamination is applied to the paper stock, it feels a lot heavier and thicker.
What weight paper does KDP use?
IS offers three color-print options: standard color on 50 lb. paper, standard color on 70 lb. paper, and standard color on 80 lb. paper.
What paper is best for books?
Most printed books use uncoated paper stocks for the inside pages and a coated cover stock for the cover. Uncoated stocks are available in a variety of finishes and paper weights. Uncoated paper is available in two finishes: vellum and smooth.
What weight is good quality paper?
Fine business papers, printer papers, and personal stationery generally range in weight from 20 lb. to 32 lb., with 20 lb. being the most common. One rule of thumb to follow is: the heavier the basic weight, the thicker the sheet, and the thicker the sheet, the more impressive it feels.
What kind of paper is used for novels?
Most novels are printed on uncoated paper, which makes text easier to read in part because there is no glare, as there is on coated paper; additionally, coated papers are thinner than uncoated papers (even at the same paper weight) due to the coating process.
What material is used for book covers?
Cloth comes in rolls, and natural leather comes from the skin. A book made of paper and board is likely to have a paper cover, but there are many books with cloth covers that have a completely different “look and feel.”
How many types can a book be printed in?
When it comes to printed and bound materials, you have three options: letterpress, offset, and digital printing, all of which have benefits and drawbacks depending on the project type.
What is the most popular book size?
The most common book sizes today are octavo and quarto, but many books are produced in larger and smaller sizes as well; for example, an elephant folio can be up to 23 inches tall, an atlas folio is 25 inches tall, and a double elephant folio is 50 inches tall.
Does Amazon print their own books?
With Amazon’s self-publishing services, you can reach millions of readers around the world while maintaining control over your work: it’s quick and easy to publish a print book with CreateSpace, a digital book with Kindle Direct Publishing, and an audiobook with ACX.
How much does it cost to publish a book on Amazon?
Anyone can publish on Amazon for free; all you have to do is sign up for a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account and upload your book. Once you’ve published, you’ll be competing with other authors.
What’s the difference between coated and uncoated paper?
Uncoated papers do not have this coating and are thus more porous. Coated papers have a coating on them (typically clay), which limits the amount of ink that is absorbed into the paper, allowing the ink to sit on top of the paper, in a crisp defined dot.
Does paper or bond paper?
Bond paper is used for books, stationery, printer and copy paper, and general single or multiple color printing. Coated paper is mostly used for full-color printed goods that are subject to repeated handling, such as magazines, brochures, book covers, and post cards.
What paper is used to print magazines?
If you’re printing an investment prospectus, you might be able to save money on printing and shipping by using newsprint in the interior.