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Case Bound book printing

Always judge a book by its cover! Make your next project stand out and add a hardback cover.
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It has never been easier to self-publish a book than it is today at Ex Why Zed.

Showcase your artwork with an impressive looking hardback book, printed to a professional standard on our top of the range HP Indigo presses and Heidelberg litho presses then case bound on our Kolbus binding line.

The ordering system is fast and efficient – you supply us the finished PDF artwork, we’ll check the files, then print it and deliver them back to you quickly.

Watch our bumper hardback book video guide

We have made you an epic, one hour long, hugely informative video guide to showcase all the options that can be chosen for your project. This super informative video highlights how zines have proved the perfect solution for artists, small presses and independent publishers to promote their creative work. We detail the options available for size, paper and binding. We showcase illustrated, photography, poetry, skate and music zines and dissect the winning combinations.



Our goal is to get your creative idea into print

It has never been easier to self-publish a hardback book than it is in 2023.

We will give you all the information you need to make a high-end premium art book which will sit proudly on your coffee table and be the talk of your friends and family.

Hardback books lend themselves a wide variety of uses:

• Children’s Books
• Photography Books
• Artist Catalogues
• Final Major Projects
• Dissertations
• Notebooks
• High-end Company Brochures.

Self Publishing in 2023

Art books do particularly well on Kickstarter. Add a video and accompanying description on the platform to inform potential buyers and spread the word about your vision. A huge benefit is that you get all the money first before you approach us for the print job so you know exactly what your budget is. Do also print a few more copies for readers who would like to buy the book after it has been released.


What options can I choose?

There are almost infinite possibilities on size, finishing and papers so we offer expert knowledge and advice before your job goes to press, a competitive zine print quote to stretch your budget and a high quality standard of printing delivered nationally throughout the UK and worldwide too.

We pride ourselves in the level of help and guidance that we impart before your job goes to print. We understand it’s a complicated process so we send comprehensive guides and templates for you to follow.  When you send the files over, a number of checks and preflights are carried out and if something doesn’t look quite right we always come back to you and let you know first.  Allow an extra week or two for this process because it can be quite time-consuming and we want to make sure that what turns up and you’re finished book is exactly what you’re expecting.

We really don’t take it for granted that we are very fortunate to print for some extremely talented illustrators, photographers and creative businesses and we do get genuinely as excited as you when the finished books come off the binding line.


Printing winning hardback books

We have been doing this a while now and have seen a lot of impressive publications come off our presses.  To give you a head start with your hardback printing, here are three print specifications which work well (and photos of them, see right).  Each is aimed at a different sector: photography, children’s, corporate and have proven to be winning combinations from a production perspective, cost per unit and most importantly, have reader appeal.

If any of our showcase options would work for your project, take a note of the spec and jump on our quote form to receive your bespoke quotation. Or ping us an email on hello@exwhyzed.com if that is easier.

Showcase 1 – a stereotypical hardback photography book:
A4 Landscape Case Bound Book.
Wrapped over greyboard case.
Matt laminated to the outer
2x 4pp Printed End Papers onto 170gsm Uncoated.
100 inside pages onto 130gsm Silk.
Four colour print throughout.
Trimmed, collated and case bound.
As a guide, you could print 100 copies of this for £

Tweaks you could make:
Increase the inside pages to 170gsm to make them more prestigious.
Switch the size to A4 portrait or A5 landscape to bring the price down.
Reduce or increase the 100 inside pages depending on your content.
For 20 copies and under choose unprinted end-papers to save.
Choose uncoated for a more muted but tactile finish or gloss for a brighter, shinier appearance.

Showcase 2 – a high quality, hardback children’s book (OSO):
254x203mm Books
Cover onto 170gsm Silk
Wrapped over greyboard case
Matt laminated to the outer
2x 4pp End Papers Printed onto 170gsm Uncoated
32 inside pages onto 170gsm Uncoated
Four colour print throughout
Trimmed, collated and case bound
As a guide, you could print 100 copies of this for £

Tweaks you could make:
Choose silk or gloss inside pages for a brighter shinier print.
Reduce the pages to 115gsm to make them easier to turn and cheaper to print.
Choose any size between A6 to A4 portrait or A5 to A4 landscape.
Increase the 32 inside pages depending on the length of your story.
For 20 copies and under choose unprinted end-papers to save money.

Showcase 3 – a super-premium, promotional book for your company, product or service:
A4 Case Bound Books.
Cover onto 135gsm Colorplan New Blue.
Wrapped over greyboard case.
2x 4pp End Papers Unprinted onto 170gsm Uncoated.
116 inside pages onto 170gsm Silk.
Four colour print throughout.
Trimmed, collated and case bound.
As a guide, you could print 100 copies of this for £

Ways you could amend this spec…
• There are 50 Colorplan choices for the cover colour.
• Switch to our ‘house’ silk to save on the cover material.
• Increase or decrease the number of pages from 32 to 500 depending on your content.
• Choose gloss for a shinier inside page or uncoated for a more tactile but muted finish.
• Decrease the size to A5 to save you money. and make the publication more ergonomic.
• Pick out some content on the cover to Foil (this is an additional £280).

Get your print quote

Enjoy looking through our showcase of recent case bound book projects

Ex Why Zed makes self-publishing a truly pleasurable experience!

Ex Why Zed makes self-publishing a truly pleasurable experience! Brilliant communication from start to finish. Mike had endless patience for the many questions we asked. The guides provided were easy to follow and super helpful (the video guides are a must watch too). Our order of hardback illustrated children’s books was delivered expertly packaged and on time. As for the finished product itself – stunning – a real joy to finally hold, beautifully made and perfectly printed! We couldn’t have asked for more. Well, we did – we instantly placed an order for paperback children’s colouring books too, which we are equally as happy with. Look forward to working with Ex Why Zed again in the future.

When printing case bound books with Ex Why Zed you get all of the following as standard:
Great Customer Service
When you get in touch with us, you will speak to an expert who knows about your project and is super knowledgable about the print process.
We maybe an online company, but we are real people
We don’t believe that you should have to settle for the bare minimum from your print company. You have spent hours, weeks and months preparing your stunning artwork so why would you now go and give it to a printer where you can get an instant price, upload a pdf, then the files disappear and you have to keep your fingers crossed that what turns up is what you expected?
Super Helpful Set Up Guides
Preparing the artwork for a casebound book is quite technical so we give you all the tools you need to quickly and easily produce print ready artwork. When it is time to start artworking your final book take 5 minutes to read through our file set up guides. We have made them as user friendly as possible but if you’re stuck drop us a call or email for a quick answer.
Free Paper Samples
While we’ve done our best on our paper choices page to make one sheet of white paper look different to another sheet of white paper, there’s nothing better than seeing them in reality so you can stroke, sniff and examine them in close up. Jump on our form and we will send out a pack out asap.
Low minimum order quantities
There are a few set-up costs involved in casebound book printing so we currently have a 20 copy minimum order quantity (As of January 2021).
UK & Worldwide delivery
Delivery within the UK is free and the books will arrive the day after they leave us. We also deliver work around the world too and just charge the shipping at our cost price from the cheapest courier on the day.
Choose a bespoke size
'A' sizes are great and fit neatly into 'C' size envelopes but why not mix it up and rebel against convention by choosing a bespoke and custom size for your zine.
Print test sheets
We understand you might want to see your work in print so you can check the artwork then make changes before going ahead with the final run. Leave an extra week or two in your schedule and we can print a set of unbound, flat sheet proofs. There is a charge for this.


The complete glossary of hardback book printing

We have done our best to give you a huge wealth of information on this page and in our guides but if here are some frequently asked questions to help you get your work into print.

Do check out our video guides too:

The process of case-binding a hardback book.

Our brand new Definitive Hardback Book Printing Guide.

View all our FAQ's
Can I have a printed cover?

Printed covers allow you to print your own pattern, photo, illustration and completely bespoke content on the cover of your hardback book. Enjoy looking through our portfolio of recent work for ideas on what works best.

Can I have a linen cover?

Absolutely! Check out the range of materials from Winter&Co, maybe even request samples from them and then let us know your choices.

Can the cover be embossed or foiled?

The cover of a hardback book can be foiled and this is an impressive and striking addition.

The cover cannot be embossed because the thickness of the hardback board is too rigid to press any content through.

Can the end papers be printed?

Yes. A pattern, a full-colour print or a photographic image always looks great.

The front endpapers: This a two-page file with two double-page spreads at twice the width of your text pages. Page 1 is the reverse of the endpaper so keep the right-hand half of that page blank because it’s glued to the inside cover. Page 2 is the first spread when you open the book’s cover. Download our templates here:

Front end-paper for A5 Portrait Casebound
These are for A5 but you can follow it and amend for your own bespoke size.

File 3. The back endpapers. Again, this a two-page file with two double-page spreads at twice the width of your text pages. Page 1 is the reverse of the endpaper so keep the left-hand half of that page blank because it’s glued to the inside back cover. Page 2 is the last spread before you close the book’s back cover.

Back end-paper for A5 Portrait Casebound

How big should my spine be?

Inside pages onto 170gsm Uncoated
32 – 38 pages = 9mm spine
40 – 48 pages = 10mm spine
50 – 58 pages = 11mm spine
60 – 68 pages = 12mm spine
70 – 80 pages = 13mm spine
82 – 90 pages = 14mm spine
92 – 100 pages = 15mm spine

Inside pages onto 130gsm Silk
56 – 70 pages = 9mm spine
72 – 88 pages = 10mm spine
90 – 106 pages = 11mm spine
108 – 124 pages = 12mm spine

Inside pages onto 170gsm Silk
32 – 38 pages = 8mm spine
40 – 52 pages = 9mm spine
54 – 66 pages = 10mm spine
68 – 80 pages = 11mm spine
82 – 94 pages = 12mm spine
96 – 108 pages = 13mm spine

How do I set up my cover artwork?

The outer cover file is a flat spread based on our hardback cover guide. You need a spine through the centre. The cover file is slightly trickier for a hardback book (than a softback book) because you have to include scope for the sections which are folded round the spine and the extra flaps that tuck round the hard back case.

On our guide, which is attached but can also be downloaded here <a href=”http://exwhyzed-co-uk.stackstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/HARDBACK-CASE-BOUND-COVER-guide.pdf”> the green areas are the flat panels of the book cover and spine so should contain your main cover artwork. The purple areas will be on the folds or partially hidden sections when the cover is glued on so keep any important information out of them. The purple areas work best as a continuation of your background colour or image if you have any since they are partially visible.

This video guide depicts this a little more clearly: https://youtu.be/Hpp9BvKOX7Q

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