When you decide to self-publish a book, you will have several decisions to make when it comes to having your book printed. If this is your first book, the choices available to you may be overwhelming and you may not be aware of the different printing options you can choose from. Here's an overview of popular book printing options for you to consider.

Paper Type

The inner pages of your book can be printed using coated or uncoated paper. Coated paper is heavier than uncoated and has a smooth feel on the fingertips. It's a great choice for books with lots of illustrations and comes in silk, gloss and matte finishes. Uncoated paper has a slightly rough feel to it and looks more natural than coated paper. If your book consists mainly of text, uncoated paper is a good option that looks professional and traditional. Uncoated paper is available in pure white or cream.


If your book will have a softcover, your two main options are silk paper and one-sided board. Silk paper is ideal if the inner cover of your book will be printed on as ink won't bleed through this paper, but it is flimsier than a one-sided board. If you only want print on the outer cover of your book, a one-sided board is a good option, as your book will have a more sturdy cover that's less likely to warp than a silk paper cover.


If you opt for a hardcover, you can opt for a printed paper case or cloth cover. A printed paper case is essentially a laminated sheet that's wrapped and glued onto a hard board cover, and it's the less expensive of the two options. A cloth cover is attached to a hard board cover in the same way a printed paper case is, but it's softer to the touch, has a more traditional appearance and is often finished with decorative foil blocking along the spine. Both types of hardcover can be used with or without a dust jacket. If you decide to add a dust jacket, you can opt to have the printed jacket finished with embossing, foil blocking or a UV varnish to give it some sheen.

Before you make your final decision on how the printed version of your book will look, ask your chosen printer to show you some samples of the different options you're considering. If you're unsure about the best paper type and cover option for the style of book you've written, your printer can make some recommendations and guide you through the process of seeing your book in its physical form. Reach out to a professional who provides book printing services to get started.