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Perfect Binding: The Pros and Cons

April 05, 2023 (Last Updated May 11, 2023)

Marcy G.

When you have a publishing agent, decisions like cover design, paper stocks, binding type (such as perfect binding), and other print materials, are out of your hands. When you are signed with a traditional publisher, most of these decisions are made for you.


One of the perks of self-publishing is having complete freedom over the decisions you make when it comes to printing your book.


One decision you will need to make is which type of binding you want your books to be. In traditional publishing, they may release a hardcover version first, wait to see if it’s profitable, then release a paperback version.


However, when you’re self-publishing and paying for everything yourself, you may want to consider perfect binding instead.


So, what are the pros and cons of perfect binding? Let’s take a closer look.



Pros of Perfect Binding


Cost-effective: Paperback books are cheaper to produce and they can be sent using your local mail. You may even choose to add some extra flair to the book cover since you’ll be saving money. We recommend adding our Diamond 3D Printing to the cover; it's a popular choice with authors printing paperback books.


Fast turnaround: At 48 Hour Books, we print perfect bound books in just 2 business days. If you’re on a tight schedule, perfect binding may be the best option for you.


Easy to carry around: Paperback books are lighter and more flexible than a hardcover book. They are perfect for reading on the go and can easily fit in your carry-on, backpack, or beach tote, without weighing it down. Many readers may choose to purchase a paperback book over a hardcover book, simply because it’s more portable.


Easy to distribute: Most major retailers, independent bookstores, and major distributors widely accept paperback books over other binding options since they are seen as more profitable.  



Cons of Perfect Binding


Less durable: Paperback books may be more susceptible to damage over time. If this is a big concern for you and the content of your book, you may want to consider case binding (hardcover) as an alternative binding option.


Smaller profit margin: Since perfect bound books are cheaper to produce, you may need to sell your books for less to be competitive in the book market, making your profit margin window a little smaller.



How 48 Hour Books can Help


If you would like to see the quality of our paperback printing up close, we highly recommend ordering our free Ultimate Guide sample book. It contains samples of your paper and cover options, along with valuable information about our services and self-publishing basics.


If you’re in a bind (no pun intended!), 48 Hour Books offers expedited production and shipping options if you need paperback books even faster than our standard 2-day turnaround time.


You’ve worked hard on your book and we want to help by making the printing process as seamless as possible. If you have any questions about printing a book, feel free to contact us and chat with one of our helpful customer service representatives. If you have questions about file setup, we will happily connect you with one of our designers.


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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


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