How to Choose the
Right Paper for Your Book
Choosing the right paper for your book may seem daunting for self-publishers, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the basics of paper types and their characteristics will help you make an informed decision that suits your book’s needs perfectly.
In this article, we’ll simplify the process and guide you through selecting the ideal paper for your book printing project.
Understanding Book Paper Types
First, let’s demystify the world of paper used to print books. Broadly speaking, paper falls into two categories: uncoated (also known as offset) and coated.
The paper-making process starts with uncoated paper, which is essentially paper in its raw form. On the other hand, coated paper undergoes an additional step where a fine layer of calcium carbonate or China clay is applied to the surface during manufacturing. This coating process gives smoothness to the paper, setting it apart from its uncoated counterpart.
Uncoated paper, which you’re familiar with from the inside of many books, has a rougher texture and higher porosity. When you print on uncoated paper, the ink is absorbed into the paper fibers, creating a softer and less crisp appearance.
In contrast, coated paper provides a smooth surface for printing, allowing the ink to sit on top of the coating, resulting in bright and crisp text and graphics; it’s the best choice for books heavy on photographs or detailed imagery.
Selecting the Right Paper for Your Book
Now, let’s focus on the best paper selection for your book. Book covers, particularly those with color graphics, are typically printed on coated stock for perfect-bound (softcover) books. However, your primary consideration should be the paper for the book’s text or inside pages.
- Uncoated paper is an excellent choice for text-heavy books, workbooks, or black-and-white printing. It’s ideal for publications where users may jot down notes or prefer a classic, tactile feel.
The most popular weight for uncoated paper is 60 lb. due to its sufficient strength and opacity. If you want thicker paper for specific reasons, opt for 70 lb. or even 100 lb. uncoated paper. Remember that heavier paper increases the book’s thickness and weight, impacting shipping costs and ease of use if people carry it frequently.
- Coated Paper is your best bet if your book contains color images or illustrations that need to stand out. The popular choice here is 80 lb. coated stock. However, you can opt for 100 lb. coated paper to add extra thickness and durability to your book.
Coated paper ensures that colors pop and details shine.
The Paper You Choose Makes an Impression
At Acutrack, we’re professional, full-service book printers with low prices and high quality, making us a popular choice for many successful self-publishers. Paper quality, pricing, and economical book fulfillment service are the big reasons people choose our service over print on demand.
The first time someone picks up your book, you want to make an excellent impression of quality and excellence. Our mission is to help you do exactly that.
When you go with on-demand printing, there are sacrifices. For example, Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) uses 50 lb. paper, regardless of your content. To us, it’s a low-end choice for black-and-white text pages and insufficient for anything printed in color, such as photographs, drawings, or info-graphics.
Conclusion: Paper Choices for Book Printing
In conclusion, the key to choosing the right paper for your book lies in understanding your content and its intended audience. Consider factors such as the presence of color images, the need for writing space, and your budget. With this knowledge, you can confidently select the paper that will bring your book to life in the best possible way.
When you’ve made your decision, or if you want to ask a few questions before deciding, we hope you’ll reach out today either online or by giving us a call. We’ll print your book on the best paper to accomplish your goals.