Printing Signatures

Marketing Your Book

If you choose to use offset printing, your book’s total page count must be divisible by the total number of pages in each printing signature. For example, a 5-signature book with 32-page signatures would have a total page count of 160 pages. If the book was designed to have 152 pages, there will be 8 blank pages at the back of the printed books. (Have you ever wondered why there were blank pages in the back of some books? It is because they used offset printing!)

Each signature has a “plate,” which is created so that the ink can be transferred from the press itself to the paper rolling through it. Using the plates, the signatures are all printed at the same time, one after another—usually in groups of 16 or 32 pages. (Books with lower page counts can utilize smaller signatures of 12, 8, or even 4.) The first signature is printed, then the second signature, etc., until the full book is completed. The signatures are then moved to the bindery, where the pages are cut and bound together to create the book. It is the efficiency of this process that makes offset printing the best value—and highest quality—available for larger book runs. 

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