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The perfect binding choice for your next book! Perfect bound books, or “soft cover” books have pages that are glued together at the spine to form the ideal binding.

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Soft Cover Perfect Bound Books

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The perfect binding choice for your next book! Perfect bound books, or “soft cover” books have pages that are glued together at the spine to form the ideal binding for magazines, business reports, and other high-end publications or documents with a high page count. Mix and match the size and stock options to create a unique book that grabs attention and suits a wide variety of needs. An added benefit of this binding method is that the spine can be printed on, whether it’s the title of the publication, additional information like version number or date, or just a continuous design that wraps around from the front to the back.

Order soft cover perfect bound books in cost-effective short runs of 10 copies all the way to 25,000 + runs printed on our state of the art offset printing equipment.

Additional Information

Tier Discounts No
Order of Product Part Options: 7,2,1,3,4,6;2,1,3,4,5,6,7
Rename Product Part Attributes Refinement:Coating;Finishing
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Turnaround Times

Days of Operation: Mon - Fri

If you order "No Proof, Run As Is", your turnaround time begins as soon as your order begins the impostion process.

Turnaround Times Upload Files Before Proofs Approved By
Same Day 10:00 AM No Proofs, Run As Is
Next Day 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
Next Day + 1 10:30 AM 12:45 PM
2 - 3 Days 10:30 AM 4:00 PM
5 Days 10:30 AM 4:00 PM
5 - 7 Days 10:30 AM 4:00 PM
7 Days 10:30 AM 4:00 PM
7 - 10 Days 10:30 AM 4:00 PM
Note: Turnaround times begin when you approve the proof and do not include shipping or mailing times. Please review the site for more details.

Soft Cover Perfect Bound Books FAQ

What is Perfect Binding?

Perfect Binding, commonly called "Soft Cover" or "Paperback" binding, is a binding method where the inside pages are stacked on top of each other, and the cover is wrapped around and glued in place. It is called Perfect Binding because the books are trimmed on the 3 non-spine edges after binding, producing a "perfect" finish as the pages all line up and the book has sharp square corners.

Other telltale features of this binding method are the square spine that is often printed on and the "hinges" on the front and back covers.

These hinges are created because the cover is not only glued on the face of the spine but on the front and back cover as well. The usual glue area is .25" from the edge of the spine to ensure the cover and pages stay secure.

What is the minimum page count for Perfect Binding?

The minimum page count is generally 48 inside pages. However, the thickness of the paper does have an impact. The true minimum is not a certain number of pages but the overall thickness of the finished piece. Perfect binding requires the book to be a minimum of .125" thick otherwise the pages might not glue properly and could fall out. Therefore if a thicker paper is chosen, 44 or 40 pages might be possible, whereas if a thinner paper is desired, 52 or 56 pages might be needed to get up to the required thickness.

What is the maximum page count possible?

Page counts up to 400 pages can be done with Perfect Binding, but extra caution is needed for such high numbers of pages. This is due to the structure of the binding and the fact that the book should not be opened too far, or there is a risk of breaking the spine. Therefore a book with smaller dimensions might not have enough space for sufficient margins to keep the content far away enough from the spine gutter.

If a thick book is desired and/or the application requires the book to open wide and lay flat on a table, there is a specific type of perfect binding called "lay flat" binding that, as the name suggests, would allow this without risking the spine breaking. This is not the standard for perfect binding as there are additional operations required, so if this is needed, then a custom estimate would be required.

Does Perfect Binding allow for printing on the spine?

Perfect Binding is the only binding method, aside from Hardcover (Case) Binding, that allows for printing on the spine and therefore is very popular for publications that will be stored on shelves, such as novels, magazines, catalogs, or manuals. It is also useful if there is a desire for artwork on the spine to add an extra touch.

Perfect Binding is usually the preferred option for these applications as Hardcover (Case) Binding is much more expensive, as unless the quantity is in the thousands (say 5000+), much of the work is still done by hand or mostly by hand.

We can print on the spine, however, it first needs to be calculated based on the number of pages and the thickness of the inside paper. It is recommended that you upload your print-ready file with the page size set as the trim + bleed and then email our support team to provide you with the thickness of the spine so you can submit the file separately.

What are the margins required when designing files for Perfect Binding?

The general margins for booklets is a minimum of .25" or 1/4" on all edges. However, an additional margin of .25" or 1/4" should be allowed on the spine edge (for a total of .5" or 1/2"). This includes space for the glue itself as well as margin to ensure that no content "falls" into the spine and becomes difficult to read or obscured.

What are the advantages of Perfect Binding?

  • It allows for printing on the spine, ideal for book titles, issue numbers, seasons, etc.
  • It has a very clean, professional finish due to the final trim.
  • Because the books are so square, they stack very well.
  • It allows for a wide range of page counts.
  • While Perfect Binding does cost more than other binding methods, it is still a fairly economical binding method for a very professional finish.
  • This binding method works for a wide range of applications, such as product catalogs, magazines, manuals, company profiles, or novels.

What would you suggest for a magazine-style paper?

You should be fine with the 100# text paper.

Is there a way I can order a proof version of the book, so I know what it feels like?

The hard copy proof can be ordered by selecting it from the Proof Group dropdown list.

Does the book size on the website refer to opened or closed-book size?

The size refers to a single page size, so that is the size of a closed book.