Book Binding

Everything you ever wanted to know about book binding… and more.

We believe that the book binding process is one of the most important considerations for you when choosing your book printer. There are an abundance of print shops in the world, and I’m sure there’s one in your town that you can go to for your digital printing needs. However, we’d challenge you to question them about how they would bind your book. Book binding is a specialized process that is not a typical offering of print shops which produce a lot of flyers, business cards, posters or brochures.

There are many companies around the country that only offer binding services. Most print shops are fully equipped to produce the cover and interior pages of your book, but will then outsource the binding of the project. We do all of our binding in-house and even offer wholesale binding services to other print shops in our area. Book binding is something we are fascinated by, and pride ourselves on being able to offer to clients around the world.

Through you have the option of your book being perfect bound or spiral bound. If you are looking for a different method of binding your book please contact us as we’re surely able to do it for you and are happy to provide a custom quote. We’ll even go through some of those options below.

Perfect Binding


Perfect binding is a process where an adhesive is applied to the roughened edges of interior pages in a book, which is then affixed to the printed cover forming a flat spine. Simply put, this is the type of bound book you’re going to see most often on the shelves of a bookstore (i.e. paperback). Perfect binding is without question the most popular type of book binding and is the most affordable option for almost all projects. At Steuben Press we perfect bind hundreds if not thousands of books every day.

Spiral Binding


A close second place in popularity is spiral binding. This one is probably more commonly offered at your local print shop, but without specialized equipment it is difficult to produce a higher volume of books at an affordable cost. When a book is spiral bound there are round or oval holes punched in the edges of the cover and interior pages, through which a plastic coil is inserted. The method is often also called plastic coil binding. Spiral binding is ideal for any book that needs to lay flat on a table like a cookbook, text book or business manual. The labor involved in spiral binding makes it slightly more expensive than perfect binding, but is a more durable option for books that will be cracked open more regularly and treated more roughly.

Wire-O Binding


Wire-O Binding is a close cousin of spiral binding, but uses a closed loop metal wire rather than a plastic coil. Similar in effect, wire-o binding is a bit more expensive than spiral binding but is a nice option if page alignment is crucial to your project. Unlike spiral binding, where an endless plastic coil is inserted at a slight diagonal, wire-o’s closed loops are inserted through square holes and allows the pages to line up precisely. This is something important to consider if you have images running across the spine of your book and want them to line up precisely.

Hardcover Binding


Outside of our most popular options, those that we’ve included in our instant quote calculator, the binding type that we are asked about the most is hard cover. We’re happy to say that we do offer this as an option, depending on the size of your book and the number of interior pages. Hard cover binding is very popular for children’s books, coffee table books, books of photography and memoirs. However it is an expensive binding option when you are producing a run of books under 500 copies. The hardcover binding method we offer at Steuben Press is called case binding. We print the cover of your book on an adhesive sheet of paper, sort of like a giant label, then we laminate it and adhere it to rigid boards. This case of rigid boards consists of the front cover, the back cover and the spine of the book, all three separate pieces of chip board. The interior pages of the book are then glued to the spine piece of the case and using sticky end sheets are affixed to the front and back cover pieces. We offer hardcover binding for specific sizes of books as it is a very labor intensive process and can only be done cost effectively if we stay consistent in sizing. Please contact us if you’re interested in having your book produced as a hardcover.

Covered Spiral Binding


One of the drawbacks to spiral or wire-o binding is the lack of a rigid spine to your book. If your title is going to appear on book shelves or you want a more classic presentation of your book, you’ll undoubtedly want a viewable spine. However you have a real dilemma if you still want your book to lay flat on a table. If you want the best of both worlds you should consider what we call a covered spiral binding. The interior pages of your book will be bound using a plastic spiral binding or a wire-o binding, but the front and back sheets of your book block will have a sticky adhesive applied to them. The cover of your book can then be adhered to the book block using the first and last sheet, rather than needing to adhere directly to the spine. This binding method covers the spiral or wire that hold your pages together and allows for a spine that can be viewed on a shelf. Much like with our hardcover books, we are only able to offer this in specific sizes but please contact us if you’d like to know more.

Saddle Stitching


A saddle stitched binding is a great option for books and booklets under 80 pages like children’s books and magazines. It is an inexpensive option though not nearly as durable as some of the others we’ve discussed. The cover and interior pages of a saddle stitched book are bound together using two staples in the centerfold. Rather than stapling, it’s called saddle stitching because the machine used to insert the staples is actually a lot closer to a sewing machine than the stapler you have sitting on your desk. A spool of wire is used to stitch the pages and allows for a more durable bind than what can be produced by a stapler.

Grommet Binding


Though not a viable option for a book of any significant length, if you have just a few pages that you want bound in a unique way, grommet binding is a consideration. The pages of a grommet bound book are held together using brass rings that are punched through the block of paper.

Chicago Screw Binding


Similar to grommet binding, but we think much more unique, is an option called Chicago Screw binding. This is a great option for construction plans or blueprints that need to be bound. In this binding process there the pages of the book are drilled and aluminum posts, or screws, are inserted to hold them together.

There are many more book binding options available, and those we’ve chosen to include here are the ones we produce most often in our shop. If you’re interested in options like plastic comb binding, tape binding, ota-bind, or any other options please contact us and we’ll be happy to explore your options with you. We believe we offer just about every type of binding imaginable at Steuben Press, but if there’s something new we’re all for trying it!

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After a disappointing proof of my labor-intensive and much loved manuscript from another printer, I decided to try Steuben Press. Based on recommendations from many of my publishing team who are all members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), I submitted my book to Adam and his staff.

Their proof was perfect! The illustrations were crisp, the print clear, and the construction high quality. But the cover! Absolutely beautiful and softly glossed, Steuben's production added depth to the colors and popped the fine design by my cover artist. My book shimmers on the shelf!

Now I sell only Steuben's copies by hand and feel confident that my readers are receiving the best product reflecting my years of effort and passion for my subject.

– Sunny Weber, Denver, CO