Perfect Bound Books

Perfect bound books are high quality and affordable.

Order perfect bound book printing for professional paperback books.

You don't have to get published to print paperback books that look professional. Perfect bound book printing gives you a high-quality softcover book at an affordable price.

Perfect binding uses a strong binding glue to secure pages into the hinged spine of a cardstock cover. This is the only booklet binding with printable spines, allowing you to display books effectively on bookshelves and retail racks.

What makes perfect binding an economical book printing solution?

Perfect bound books printed on the spine

Perfect bound books let you print on the spine.

Sometimes called softcover or paperback books, perfect bound booklets strike an ideal balance between price and professionalism:
  • Less Materials
  • Perfect bound books are bound by a machine using only paper and glue. Some book bindings, such as Wire-o, require additional materials and often have synthetic covers.
  • Less Labor
  • The perfect binding machine is relatively automated. A book-binding technician simply loads the paper and covers, and the machine does the rest. Spiral and wire-o binding must be done by hand.
  • Scalability
  • The setup process for perfect bound books is negligible compared to hardcover binding, sewn stitching and other professional book publishing options. This equates to competitive pricing on small quantities as well as large, preventing you from ordering more books than you need just to get a lower unit price.
  • Affordable for Buyers and Readers
  • For many book printing clients, having a product that is affordable for their target audience is a big concern. With perfect bound books, self publishers never have to worry.

    Perfect binding is preferred for most fiction, art and photography books.

    Perfect bound booklets offer a cost-effective solution for self published authors who want their books to appear professionally published without going over budget. With low prices and virtually no setup, perfect binding is ideal for small and mid-size book printing quantities when you want a quality paperback book that can be sold in stores or online.

    Perfect bind formal presentations for a polished, luxurious product.

    Not just for creative writers, perfect binding is also a great choice for business presentations, annual reports and other professional content that needs to make an impact. You'll commonly see perfect-bound catalogs, magazines and nonfiction books, too.

    Our customers choose perfect binding for photo books, novels, children's books, catalogs, family histories and much more.

    We don't recommend perfect binding for technical training books, cookbooks, or other uses that require the book to stay open while laying flat. For books of this nature, we suggest Spiral Binding or Wire-o Binding.

    How does perfect binding work?

    1. Book pages and covers are printed on a digital press.
    2. Cardstock cover sheets are scored to create the spine hinges, and sheets are loaded into the perfect binding machine.
    3. Inside pages are bonded firmly into the scored spine with a heavy-duty, fast-hardening binding glue.
    4. Book edges are trimmed square to remove excess glue and cover edges, creating perfect 90° corners.

    Perfect Binding Videos:

    "The perfect bound books look great and I appreciate how easy it is to do business with Docucopies. I like being able to make an order in the middle of the night and not have to talk to anyone, or wait for the business to open in the morning. The shipping feature on the website is also clear about when I can expect to receive the books. You are my favorite printing company!"Sarai J. - CA

    "I have been using DocuCopies for almost a year now. Love it...this last project was a book for my church. They could not believe the sharpness of the colors and the pictures. All the members loved it. It was for the 75th Church Anniversary and it was certainly a HIT! Kudos to you all. This has made publishing so much easier for JCB Printing and Design. Glad I found you."Daisy W. - NC

    "Recently, I submitted a huge order for "perfect binding" books to you all after having a bad experience with my normal printer. I was extremely nervous having never used Docucopies before but I took a HUGE gamble and went for it. I'm so glad I did. From start to finish, I was beyond pleased with the service. My customer service rep, Annie, went above and beyond to make sure my book was perfect. She even noticed some subtle mistakes, made sure I was aware of them and directed me in correcting them. The digital booklet is what really won me over. Being able to see the book exactly as it would be printed put my mind at ease. You all have a new, faithful customer. Thanks for making my experience and my order pleasant and perfect."Kimberly W. - LA

    "Being in charge of the yearbook each year is very stressful because I want them to be perfect for everyone. Your staff is always patient with my hysteria and I am always pleased with the end result. I appreciate talking to live support staff with any questions or concerns that I have. Thank you again!"Kim F. - ME

    "My friend Carolyn (owns MATINE) referred me to you. I trust her completely, so I didn't really shop around! My catalog came out better than I thought and I look forward to using you every year when I need a new catalog."Meredith A. - DC

    See all testimonials

    Designing Perfect Bound Books

    Perfect Binding Printer Margins

    Perfect Binding Margin

    To avoid compromising the spine / glue, we recommend you have a minimum 0.5" — 0.75" binding margin depending on the number of pages in your book. If you have less margin than this, then you may have to press the book flat to see all the contents of the page which may damage the binding.

    If you are worried how the margins on your book will look, we recommend ordering a hard copy proof so you can see a physical copy and make any necessary changes before we print all of your books.

    Perfect Cover and Spine Setup

    All perfect bound books can have printed spines, but the number of pages in the book determines if you can have text printed on the spine. To see how thick your spine should be or if you can have text on it, visit our perfect book cover setup page.

    Perfect Book Cover Tutorial

    Page Numbers

    If you have page numbers in your file and are printing double sided, it is recommended to have alternating page numbers so they stay on the outer edges of the book. If you have your page numbers all on the left or right side of your pages, then half of the page numbers will be in the gutter of the book making it hard to navigate. For a professional look when printing double sided, alternate the location of the page numbers.

    Perfect Bound Book Templates

    ZIP files contain templates in JPG, EPS and Illustrator formats.
    SizeNo BleedBleed
    8.5" x 11"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    8.5" x 5.5"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    8.5" x 5.5" Landscape
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    6" x 9"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    6" x 9" Landscape
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    7" x 8.5"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    7" x 8.5" Landscape
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    4.25" x 5.5"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    4.25" x 5.5" Landscape
    Perfect Bound Book Templates
    6.625" x 10.25"
    Perfect Bound Book Templates

    View File Setup Guidelines

    Perfect Bound Book FAQ

    Find answers to common questions about printing perfect bound booklets:

    What are the benefits of printing perfect bound books?

    Perfect binding is the most popular choice for creative writing, nonfiction, memoirs, novels and family histories. There are many benefits to printing perfect bound books. They look incredibly professional yet cost a fraction of hardcover binding. If you want to sell your books retail, this is usually the best option since you can print on the spine (if it's wide enough), which makes it easy to index and display your perfect bound books on shelves.

    Perfect binding creates a professional softcover/paperback book, which is ideal for books which are read for pleasure. Hobby readers don't need to worry about books laying flat on a surface or being resistant to water and grease.

    But if you're publishing technical training books, cookbooks, or any project that requires flat-surface reading or additional protection (such as laminated covers or vinyl backings), you should consider one of our other book binding options:
    Printing and Binding Services

    How do I design books for perfect binding?

    Perfect bound book printing requires special setup for the covers, since the front and back cover are all part of the same sheet. Click the File Setup tab for more info on preparing your print files for perfect binding.

    Please refer to this page to get more information about calculating your spine width and setting up perfect bound booklet covers: Perfect Binding Cover Setup

    How many pages can be printed in a perfect bound book?

    In our experience, very thin books may not look or feel as professional with perfect binding as thicker books do. This is because there is not enough of a surface area to glue the pages into the spine. Our order form will allow perfect bound booklets as small as 10 sheets, but we recommend you consider other binding options first if you're in that range.

    On the other end, 446 is the maximum number of 20/50# Bond sheets we can fit into a perfect book. As you increase the paper weight, that threshold will go down in tandem. The cost calculator will let you know if your book is too thick for perfect binding.

    How do I avoid show-through to the backside of my pages?

    For 100% opacity and virtually no show-through, we recommend the 32/80# Text Smooth/Gloss or higher.

    For books where most of the content is text, most people are happy with 28/70# Text Smooth. This is a mid-weight paper and has minimal show-through, which is much less noticeable with text-oriented pages where the text is more or less aligned back-to-back.

    Are custom book sizes available with perfect binding?

    Yes, custom perfect bound book sizes are available. Simply choose the next size up, click Need a Custom Size? and enter your dimensions. The custom book price will be shown in the calculator.

    Will I receive a digital proof before you print my perfect bound booklets?

    In most cases, we do not automatically send a digital proof, so make sure to request this in the notes if you want one.

    But there are some cases in which we must send a proof and receive approval before we can print:

    • Files which are not JPG, PNG or PDF
    • Any time you request file edits
    • If we happen to notice something that doesn't look right

    Can you mail my perfect bound books?

    To add mailing to your perfect binding job, click Bulk Mailing and choose "Mail in Padded Envelopes." Upload your mailing list (Excel or CSV) with your print files at checkout. We will print and bind each book, insert them individually in protective envelopes and mail them out typically in 3-5 business days. The exact USPS service used will depend on each book's weight. Please note that this service may not include tracking information.

    Quote / Order
    Printing Specs

    Choose the next paper size up above and enter your custom width and height.

    We will contact you if there are any issues with your size request.


    Upgrade paper for better quality

    Click here for help choosing your paper

    You have multiple pages. Single or double sided?

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    Finishing Options

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