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How A Book Is Commercially Made.

Updated on November 26, 2017


First off an author or publishing company has an idea for a book. They create it, and then send it off to a press, sometimes a folder, a binder, then out to shipping! Easy right?

Think of how much work goes into making these books!
Think of how much work goes into making these books!

If it's a novel, they just send a .pdf or something like that to the manufacturer. They include dimensions and other specifications.

If it's more of a graphical book, like a magazine or kids book, they will use specialized programs and design their book, page by page with pictures, page numbers, and a layout among other things.

After all of this it will be sent to the manufacturer and they will go on to lay it out appropriately on press software then print it out! If you're wondering what a press is, well it's pretty much a big printer used for commercial uses! These things are huge. Like bigger than a bus huge.

After a book is printed on the press, it will go on to folding, then bindery. There's a lot of steps in making a book!
When the press prints out the books, it's actually made in different signatures, or forms. They don't just print it page by page, but they actually print them on huge pieces of paper that will later be folded down by a machine. The next step after printing is trimming and folding!When the printed forms are dry (which can take a day to weeks depending on the ink) they are sent to the folder operator!

How much energy do you think it takes to make a book?

The folding machine is going to fold the signatures any number of ways. This too, is a large machine operated by a person. Sometimes the signatures are trimmed beforehand, and sometimes the folder actually does it while they run it through the machine! After all of the signatures are folded they will be sent to the binder machine.

This is a common type of binding called a perfect bound book.
This is a common type of binding called a perfect bound book.


After the signatures are done folding, the next stop is bindery. In this step the signatures are collated and then bound together. Some books only have one signature, and some have upwards of 50! The bindery operators are in charge of making sure the right signatures are in the right place so the page numbers are in correct order. After they are all bound together by glue a cover will be applied and then they will be cut down to size to make a proper book.

There are many different kinds of binding. It all depends on what the customer wants and how big the book is. After all this is done it is sent to shipping where the finished books will be sent out to the customer. What a process! Now it's time for someone to buy, and enjoy the book!

© 2017 Nesper Stumbleduck

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    • George Gormley profile image

      George Gormley 

      10 months ago from United Kingdom.

      A very insightful subject, interesting and something that a person would normally overlook, Well-done!

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