The top ten most used terms in book printing explained

To a first-time author, the book printing jargon can feel very overwhelming and intimidating. Some of the terms used are interchangeable and can vary across industries, so it’s important to understand the lingo in relation to book publishing. When it comes to publishing your own book, you’ll need to make decisions about everything, from design to content, to printing. And with printing, comes questions relating to paper stock, finishing, and book binding techniques. So, we’ve pulled together our very own book printing glossary to help you along your book printing journey. Here are the top ten most used terms in book printing, explained:

  1. Draft

This is a working-in-progress version of the book. It is not the final copy. It most cases, this is a Word document, and goes through multiple rounds of editing and revisions before it becomes the final piece.

  1. Proof

A proof is a pre-printed sample of the finished book. Typically a publisher or printer provides a proof to review before the book is printed to check you are happy. It is your last opportunity to do a thorough review and proofread of the book and catch any typos or formatting issues before final print

  1. Editing

Unlike proofreading which focuses on grammar and spelling errors, editing looks at the bigger picture and includes rewriting sentences for clarity, deleting unnecessary sections or paragraphs, rearranging sections where necessary for a better flow, and even adding extra details to make the writing more interesting.

  1. Publisher vs Printer

A publisher handles all aspects of your book from layout and design to printing, sales and distribution. Whereas a printer simply prints your book. Depending on your skills you and budget, you will need to decide which option works best for you.

  1. Self-Publishing

An increasingly popular option – self-publishing allows you to retain complete creative control over your book through a self-publishing company. It’s faster than traditional publishing and you can produce beautiful books that rival their traditional published counterparts. It’s also a great choice for smaller print runs and audiences.

  1. Binding

Put simply this refers to how the pages and cover are put together. There are a number of different book binding techniques to consider;

Perfect binding features a durable but flexible soft cover that is held together with a heavy-duty adhesive and are used on most mass marketed paperback books.

Saddle stitching is where the pages and cover and folded and stapled along the crease. Ideally used for magazines, booklets and short manuals as it’s best used on few pages.

Hardcover features a hard cover made from either cardboard, fabric, or sometimes leather, wrapped in a protective dust jacket – a removable paper cover that protects the hardcover. This is the pricier option.

Wiro-bound also known as spiral binding featuring an inexpensive plastic or wire coil allowing the pages to lay perfectly flat. The perfect choice of interactive publications like workbooks or larger manuals.

  1. ISBN

This stands for International Standard Book Number and is a unique number with an accompanying bar code assigned to all commercially printed books. It includes information such as the country where the book was published, the publisher, and the edition etc. It is essential if your book is to be sold in a bookshop or found in a library.

  1. JPEG

A jpeg is a common format for compressing digital photos. So, if you plan to include photos in your book you will likely need to convert them into jpegs. If you have older photos or other items that are not digital, you can simply scan them into a computer and convert them into digital files.

  1. PDF

Unlike the Word document which is what your drafts are most likely produced in, a PDF is a file format that your final book copy is required to be in, in order to be printed. It is a digital file format that looks exactly like a printed page and will include all the design elements, graphics, customer fonts – it is your book in digital form, before it is printed.

  1. EBook

Short for electronic book, it is the PDF version of your book that can be accessed and read online. It is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional publishing and are designed to be read on tablets or dedicated eReaders. Many self-published authors prefer eBooks because they are much less expensive to produce than traditional paper books.

Choose Print2Demand 

So, there you have it. A book printing glossary with our top ten most used terms in book printing. We hope this helps to simplify the book printing jargon and get you ready for your book printing journey. And if you’re considering self-publishing your own book, or need design help or print advice converting your PDF to a printed book, consider Print2Demand digital commercial book printing services.  

We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality. 

Order your digital commercial book printing online or contact our team for more information.