December 12, 2022
Writing a book is more than just delivering a great story or manuscript full of researched content to the reader. Authors who self-publish have a lot of freedom in deciding their books’ final look and feel.
One of those choices involves how to bind their book; for some writers, plastic coil books are the right choice. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about plastic coil book printing, also called spiral bound, so you can create a beautiful one for your next project.
Self-publishing authors have three other options for binding their books — perfect bound, Saddle Stitch, and Wire-O. Each binding method works best for specific types of books, so before choosing Plastic Coil binding over other types, make sure that it is the right one for your job.
Perfect Bound: Books that need a spine should be created in the Perfect bound style. This type of binding has a traditional book appearance because a strong adhesive is used to bind the pages together and then the spine and cover to the pages. As a result, these books cannot be laid open completely flat. In addition, books with Perfect binding are not meant for heavy, repeated use and are not easy to write in or on.
Saddle Stitch: Perfect for shorter pamphlets or even calendars, Saddle Stitch binding is made with heavy staples. Books constructed with Saddle Stitch cannot open flat, just like Perfect bound books, and these books have a more informal appearance that Perfect bound books.
Wire-O: Similar to Plastic Coil books, Wire-O binding utilizes a strong wire to bind books through a series of holes punched in the margin. Wire-O binding is more appropriate for adult-use books, but these books can lay flat and so they are good for books that need to be written in or viewed one page at a time.
A book that is made with a Plastic Coil book binding will have a similar look to a book made with Wire-O binding, but it will have a few distinct advantages over books bound with wire.
1. Books made with Plastic Coil have a highly flexible appearance. Coils can be made in a variety of colors and sizes making them perfect for all kinds of uses.
2. Safe for little fingers and easy to manipulate, spiral books are good for all ages to use.
Some of the most common uses for plastic coil book printing are:
Creating a book with a spiral binding is easy when you follow a few key tips that will make your book look beautiful while being functional for your needs. First you must consider the purpose of your book before getting started.
Before you begin creating your plastic coil book, think about how you expect it to be used. Knowing what your readers will need helps you to use the best format to include all of the necessary useful pieces that will make your book functional while still looking good.
True for all books, but especially so for mostly visual books, including high-resolution photographs is the best way to make sure your book’s pictures will be crisp and clear and in focus. While photos on a smartphone or even your computer screen may look great, they may be as low resolution as 72 dpi.
For your spiral book, only use pictures of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) to ensure that they will look good. High-quality photos and graphics look professional and can turn your book into a showpiece that you will be proud of.
One of the big benefits of using Plastic Coil is that this binding works well with any length of a book. Perfect bound books have to be at least 16 pages in length, Saddle Stitch must be at least 8 pages in length but no more than 80 pages total. But Plastic Coil books can have as few or as many pages as your project requires even up to hundreds.
If users will need to write in your books, like with planners, workbooks or calendars, then consider using uncoated paper for the inside pages. Coated or laminated pages will be more durable for books that will have high or repeated use like children’s books, training manuals, or cookbooks.
A fun feature of plastic coil books is their versatility. The coils can be produced in a rainbow of colors so you can match them to the color scheme of your book or choose to make your book stand out from the rest with a bright hue or blend in with a neutral choice.
The fresh look of the spiral binding is complemented by an eye-catching cover. Create a cover that instantly tells the reader what kind of book is inside as well as includes critical information clearly. The title and any subtitle should take top billing while the author’s name or any description of the contents are visible and in easy-to-read fonts as well.
If your book will be sold in retail or online outlets, consider getting an ISBN number prior to publication so you can include it on the cover to assist in the selling process. Not sure what to include on your cover or how to make your book’s first look snag the attention of the right readers? Work with an expert designer to get it just right.
With the unique structure of this type of binding, authors should pay special attention to two specific areas when creating a book.
1 Two-Page Spreads: One of the challenges with Plastic Coil binding is how it affects pictures or graphics that are comprised of two, side-by-side pages. Pictures or graphics spread across two pages will not look the same in spiral books as they would in Perfect bound or even Saddle Stitch books.
Because of the coils and the holes that are used to hold them, additional gaps are present between the two open pages that may cause a two-page picture or graphic to look odd. Two-page borders are also affected by this extra spacing necessary for this type of binding so it is best to not use these types of visuals in a plastic coil book if possible.
2 Gutter Margin Increase: Because of the binding materials, books with coils will need to be formatted with an increased inside margin, also called the gutter. Margins around the three sides of the book not being bound are typically ½” in width but the gutter margin should be at least ¾” to allow for the coil hole punching as well as the binding material.
An easy way to make sure your book’s formatting is just right is to use a free template to help you set up all of the critical parts of your book including getting the gutter and other margins just right for a spiral bound book. With plenty of online templates available, authors can choose one that best fits their book’s genre and usually can adapt it to fit their specific needs, as well.
The final step in making your plastic coil book look amazing is to partner with a printing company. Authors should always work with a trusted printing company like Publishing Xpress to be sure that the published book looks exactly how the author imagines it will be.
Publishing Xpress has been helping authors for decades turn their plastic coil book manuscripts into gorgeous printed books. Publishing Xpress can guide the novice or even the seasoned writer through the simple process of taking their book from concept to publication.
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