I started out thinking that my neighbourhood print shop is sufficient enough to get my books printed. Unfortunately, there is a lot of limitations to printing your books in one. For one thing, they have limited paper to choose from. For the book cover, the paper of choice is always going to be Art Paper, and the only paper options that I had for the pages inside was Simili, a bright white paper used for photostating.
Besides the limited paper, there is hardly anyone who will give their time to explain what options is available to make a book 'smashing'. Nevertheless, I was determined to talk to someone who can let me in on how the printing world works. FarEast Printing Company came to my rescue but it was going to be a 45 minutes drive from where I was before my printing adventure ordeal ends.
Step 1: Choose the right paper
I was given a range of papers to choose from. They come in different colours with different textures. You will need thicker paper for the cover, something like 300 gsm and above if possible. I chose one with texture, so it has a nice feel to the hands (Paper: Insize Dali White). As for the pages, consider off-white paper (Paper: Book Paper Premium Ivory). It is painful to read pages that are pure white.
Step 2: Determine the size of your book
Are we looking to print A4 or A5? Whatever the size, a good printing company can cut and put together a book of any size. All they need to know from you is the width and height of the book. The rest will be taken off.
Step 3: Choose your bindings
There are a few bindings to choose from. The ones that I know today are stapler bindings, comb bindings, stitch bindings and perfect bindings. The stitch binding is the toughest. Perfect binding is the most commonly used binding method for books.
Step 4: Discuss the final touches
The final touches are what I would like to call the indulgence stage. Explore hot stamping for your cover with silver ink, building pockets in the covers, give your text a little bit of flare with UV printing or gloss up the cover. Believe me, you will be lost with options at this point.