A Quick Guide to Book Binding Options

Since only  23% of devoted authors are successful at getting traditionally published, the self-publishing industry has been growing like wildfire. Many authors are also choosing self-publish because they can retain the rights to their own work and reach a wider audience via online platforms.

To self-publish effectively, you’ll need to know the book binding options available for your print audience. Here, we’re going to talk about some of the most common types of book binding. Read on to get some insight into which is right for your publication.


Hardcover Binding

If you like to read, you already know that nothing beats a hardcover book in terms of quality. This cover type is also called ‘case binding’ because the binding forms a protective case around the pages.

This case is made by gluing and folding a printed sheet around 3 pieces of grayboard. Once the pages have been gathered and sewn together, they then are glued into the case with end sheets. The end result is a professional-looking hardcover book like any that you would find in stores.

The main downside of hardcover binding is that it can get extremely expensive. It will cost you a ton of money to print and you’ll need to sell the book at a much higher price to make a profit. This can turn readers away since they don’t want to pay too much money for a book.


book binding options

It’s best used for special editions that existing fans of your work will buy. You can also use hardcover binding exclusively for library copies that many people will read. This will keep them sturdy over the course of many years.

book binding options

Paperback Binding

Most self-published authors, especially those with longer novels, textbooks, or guide books, will choose to create a paperback book for cost-effectiveness. The technical term for this type of binding is ‘perfect binding.’

The book has a spine that can contain the title and author name for a more professional appearance. The pages are stacked one on top of the other and glue is applied to the spine of the cover. The stack of papers is then pressed against the high-quality glue to form a sturdy paperback binding.

Paperback binding can look just as professional as hardcover binding because of the many cover surface options available. Glossy covers are common, but soft matte covers are becoming increasingly popular. These options feel like rubber, velvet, and silk so that the books are more comfortable for readers to hold.

Saddle Stitching

Saddle stitching is commonly used for magazines and catalogs. Unlike paperback books, these can be printed with less than the 48-page paperback minimum. If you’re creating a company brochure or a fanzine, this is a perfect choice.

The sheets are folded and collected in the appropriate order. They then are quickly and easily stapled together with two or more staples. Because of the simple methods, they are extremely affordable and have a speedy production time.


Note that saddle stitching is only good for thin binding. When you try to bind a larger book with this method, readers will break the spine simply from picking it up. This could lead to damage to your reputation since buyers are looking for high-quality books.

book binding options

Sewn Paperback Binding

Sewn perfect binding gives you the best of both the perfect-bound and saddle-stitched worlds. This method is essentially the same as paperback binding, but the pages are sewn together before being put into the soft cover. 

This makes reading a much more comfortable experience for the reader because they can lay the book flat. It will remain stable when left open on a chair or coffee table. This is the perfect choice for thinner books and college textbooks that students will need to easily annotate.

Unfortunately, however, thinner sewn perfect bound books will not be able to sustain the title or author name on the spine. This is generally alright assuming that you have a high-quality cover design that captures the eye of readers immediately. Thicker ones, however, will be able to have text (and even art) on the spine.

This binding is a bit more expensive than regular paperback binding, but it’s completely worth it for a professional-quality aesthetic.

Spiral Binding

Spiral binding isn’t common for novels, but it has some great uses. Menus, workplace manuals, safety guides, calendars, music books, and coffee table books for restaurants and cafes often choose this option. A spiral-bound book is easy to read and keeps open to specific pages for long periods of time.

These books can be opened completely flat because of the way that they’re bound. Round holes are cut out for a spiral to be inserted and woven around the binding. Each page can be laminated to give the entire book a professional appearance.


You can also get square holes cut out rather than round ones. This process is called Wire-O binding and is less common than spiral binding. However, some people prefer this more geometric aesthetic, and it’s just as cheap an option as classic spiral-binding is.

Inquire About Your Book Binding Options Today

Now that you know some of the most popular book binding options that you can use for your book, it’s time to get started. Request a quote for your project and learn how much it will cost to get your book looking perfect and professional.

Our experts are also happy to answer any lingering questions that you have so you can ensure that you’re choosing the right type of book binding for your needs. We look forward to hearing from you soon!