Must-Know Printing and Binding Terms for Self-Publishing

If you’re working to self-publish, there’s a lot you’ll need to know! From how to format your book, to professional revising and printing drafts, there is a long road to undertake. For first-time book publishers this may be an intimidating process, but AZ Litho and our print experts are here help you through every step. Some of the choices you’ll have to make will include how your work is presented, which may be an after thought to many authors when in reality it’s what brings the whole project together.

Allow us to help you start getting acquainted with this process by explaining some important terms you’ll need to know, including some of the print vocabulary we’ll be using as well as how to (literally) bring your pages together with binding.

When it comes to getting your work ready to print, there are a few steps after typing and formatting that should be addressed. These pertain to the print process and may not be in your thoughts already, though they’re important aspects to consider.

1 – Finishing – Finishing refers to the surface your project is covered or coated in, whether any glossing, embossing, or other techniques are needed! These choices have a major impact to the feel of your work as well as how your audience will use or think about it. Keep in mind how your product will be used as well as what would fit its individual purpose best.

2 – Proof – Once you’ve decided on your project’s finishing, you may find a proof a crucial part in testing your judgement! A proof is the first printed draft of your project, which you can use to troubleshoot for an errors or preference changes before you order a larger quantity. This is of the utmost importance in ensuring your products will stand up to your expectations! Both your finishing and your binding will come under scrutiny during this stage.


3 – Binding – Speaking of binding, an often-confusing part of the self publishing process is picking which binding your product should have. The binding refers to how your pages are held together, and while there are many options to choose from, they themselves are vocabulary terms not often used. 


While finishing, proofing, and binding are all important aspects of your self-publishing venture, the most in need of clarification when it comes to your options is most likely binding. So, let us go into further detail! Here is an explanation of our two most common types of binding, though we do have further offerings at your disposal as well:

1 – Saddle Stitching – This method of bind

ing involves the pages to be folded, one inside another, and then all collected into a staple line. It is often the cheapest way to bind a book, but it’s still considered to give off a professional appearance. This type of binding is often used especially for works with lower page counts.


2 – Perfect-Bound – This type of binding is done by gluing the pages and cover together at the seam instead of using staples. It is common for many soft cover books, as well as those with a longer number of pages. This type of binding creates a flat spine that can be printed on, which can be useful depending on your project.

The design and print experts at AZ Litho are here to help you throughout your self-publishing journey! We are happy to guide you with our advice before, during, and after every part of the print process. It is our mission and pleasure to help make your print dreams come to life! Contact us today to start your work with us!