How to print a softcover with larger spine

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NeeraWM
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Joined: 30 Nov 2021, 12:11

How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by NeeraWM »

Hello everyone,

I need to print my next edition, which is a couple of String Quartets.
Score is 72 pages + cover, then four inserts of 28-20-20-20 pages.
With smaller scores I would have saddle-stitched the score and just had the insert inside the main book, but in this case, this is not possible.

Score should then be a perfect-binding / softcover book, which is good, but then what to do with the inserts, which will be saddle-stitched anyway?
I tried to propose to my printer this solution used by Henle in the JS Bach Gamba Sonatas.
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The printer said they are not able to make a softcover that has a spine larger than needed.
Do you know a printer who would be able to do this? Or do you have any other ideas/solutions in mind?

Thank you so much for your advice.
Neera
Harpsichordmaker
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Joined: 10 Apr 2016, 08:19

Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by Harpsichordmaker »

I don’t fancy Henle solution as much.
Is a two-volumes solution viable? The second volume could have the form of a closeable envelope which you put the separate parts in. This could prove to be too costly, hovever.
Or you could try to simplify the second volume’s making, I could give you a couple ideas.

If you must stick to a single volume, I have no idea. Maybe simply leave the inserts free and put them inside the score? Ugly and probably harmful to the binding as you will have to stuff 88+72 pages in a binding made for 72 pages.
Better a sort of two-volumes solution.
NeeraWM
Posts: 210
Joined: 30 Nov 2021, 12:11

Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by NeeraWM »

Thanks Harpsichordmaker!
After insisting with the printer they explained why Henle solution was not possible, quote:
> Because we work with machines, and not by hand.
Assuming the softcover score is now the basis from which we start, as that is not going to change, they proposed to just have the four inserts shrink-wrapped to the score. I refused that because where would you put them once you opened the package?
I have some scores which put the inserts inside the score. As you said, that is ugly and ruins the softcover binding.

I asked them about the two-volumes solution you suggested and they told me this is of course doable, but have not yet heard back from them regarding costs. If the cost is too high, I will postpone this print run until sales dictate I can afford a higher number of copies.

What other solutions would you suggest?
Harpsichordmaker
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Joined: 10 Apr 2016, 08:19

Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by Harpsichordmaker »

What about simply 5 different volumes, 1 score and 4 parts, each with its own cover? You could then have a carton box containing all of them, if you want (not necessary).
This would be my preferred solution, again it’s a cost-related issue.

More I see it, less I like Henle’s solution.
NeeraWM
Posts: 210
Joined: 30 Nov 2021, 12:11

Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by NeeraWM »

That would be the solution for example for Bach's Cello Suite from Barenreiter: the slipcase!
I have not considered it yet, because I think it is too expensive, but I will inquire.
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John Ruggero
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Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by John Ruggero »

A modified Henle solution might be best. Don't include the extra space at the spine as part of the actual perfect binding, but instead let it be part of the paper cover. That is, let your back cover be say 1/4 inch wider than necessary so it would overhang the book if it were folded normally. Then fold the back cover that distance from the edge of the perfect binding, instead of flush with the perfect binding. If they can't do the special folding, you could do it yourself. If both covers have to be wider than normal, trim off the front cover.

If they say they can't perfect bind covers that are wider than the book itself, be persistent. I once had a book printed with perfect bound cover that had fold-out flaps on both covers as if the cover were actually a dust jacket and cover in one. The printer scratched his head for a moment and then came up with a way to do it.
Last edited by John Ruggero on 23 Apr 2023, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.
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NeeraWM
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Joined: 30 Nov 2021, 12:11

Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by NeeraWM »

The reason they can't do it is automation that goes with the need for quantity.
I have not inquired with Halstan, but I guess since they are the specialists in the field they would be able to do that no problem.

The printer I use is not near me, nor in the same country, so being persistent via e-mail is a bit unfeasible if one wants a long-term working relationship.
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OCTO
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Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by OCTO »

From my perspective, it appears to be too expensive for an individual publisher. It may be financially feasible for a company such as Henle, which has a guaranteed market for their publications. If it were up to me, I would print each one separately.
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NeeraWM
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Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by NeeraWM »

OCTO wrote: 03 May 2023, 09:43 If it were up to me, I would print each one separately.
Price-wise, it becomes manageable from 50+ copies, which is not bad, but I've decided to see how digital sales go before committing.
These are totally unknown pieces, no point in printing so many copies until I get enough visibility—btw...how to do that? Big mystery...

By printing each one separately—are you suggesting to sell "score only" and "parts only" as two separate products?
Unfortunately the print-on-demand is no longer an option, due to the rise in prices everywhere.
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OCTO
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Re: How to print a softcover with larger spine

Post by OCTO »

NeeraWM wrote: 03 May 2023, 09:49 Price-wise, it becomes manageable from 50+ copies, which is not bad,
Henle has "storage" capacities and they usually can plan to sell all in advance. Having even 50 copies, takes a lot of space. I believe POD is the only solution for one-man publisher.
NeeraWM wrote: 03 May 2023, 09:49 By printing each one separately—are you suggesting to sell "score only" and "parts only" as two separate products?
I would print separately, and packed together, sold together.
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