Bound To Last
For trade paperbacks, traditional perfect binding is another option wherein spines are perforated and run with end boards; whereas with thread seal perfect binding, individual signatures are sewn when unfolded. For smythe sewn binding, covers are locked together with stitches for soft-bound books, unlike wire stitching, which is used when up to four wires are placed approximately 1/8-inch away from and parallel to the spine.
Book-mart Press (www.courier.com) also supports digital binding and finishing production. For short-run books, the company provides sewn paper and case binding, as well as adhesive paper and case, repkover (or layflat), saddlewire, wire-o and thermal adhesive tape. Book-mart reports that for very short runs of one-to-500 copies, it offers on-demand DocuTech electronic printing. It all depends on the book's end use. "We try to find out from a publisher how a book is sold, who's using it and will it be a one-time read or used on a daily basis," explains Michelle Gluckow, executive vice president. In order to save money, she says that binding is specially chosen based on this end need. For instance, a reference book used by a student requires strident durability and tightly sewn, stitched or glued components. In contrast, a trade paperback that's good for one read before ending up on a shelf can satisfy less stringent requirements, thus saving its publisher unneccesary cost.
"The publisher's generally got the specifications laid-out," explains Dave Schanke, Banta's (www.banta.com) market segment vice president of general publishing. "Most of the time, it has to do with cost."
Schanke says that primarily Banta services soft-cover perfect binding, as well as spiral binding in the trade and educational markets. "From print to binding, an average job—50,000 four-color run—might take three to four weeks," he estimates. "You can't bind a lot faster than you print. That usually take two-to-three shifts within a 24 hour period."