Book Printing

poor binding / white lines down centre

I got my first blurb book back just before Christmas. Most disappointed to find that in the back half of the book either the cropping down the centre of the pages was really poor, or the binding not tight enough, but there is a large white line down the centre spread, and you can see the stitching. It’s a bit of an issue because my pages are black and I’ve got photos spread across both pages.

This is really annoying because I’d researched, looked up techniques to make the photos line up seamlessly, looked at finished products, everything was described as ‘full bleed’.

I’ve contacted the tech support but apparently unless the book is falling apart, the binding is fine, and there is a necessary lack of ink down the centre to avoid interfering with the glue process. I didn’t find any mention of this anywhere else, and it’s even more confusing when everything is fine with the first half of the book, but the second is an absolute mess. FYI it was an imagewrap hardcover, 7"x7".

So I’ve forked out for a badly cropped and bound book and definitely won’t be using blurb again at this stage.

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
scarydan
Dec 27, 2008 5:48pm PDT
Permalink
scarydan
 

I had the same problem! I made a wedding photo book for my daughter and found the white line down each page. Most of my pages are black. I made all the full bleed pages in photoshop, then plopped each page into the book with a corresponding background color to be on the safe side…in other words, I thought I was "out smarting" the printing process.I spent weeks researching everything before beginning this venture! This was not a problem I was expecting.

I was also dissappointed with the stitching – looked like 3 or 4 great big stitches! I’m really concerned that the pages will tear and fall out in short time.

I’m rather concerned, as my daughter’s new relatives want a book, also…hey I want one too! Maybe I should try another publisher…or wait until the Christmas rush is over and hope the quality picks up. 

 

Posted by
lazisusann
Dec 31, 2008 9:46pm PDT
Permalink
lazisusann
 

Same here..until further notice of a solution, I am trying to avoid having back-to-back black backgrounds. If at least one page has a white background, the exposed/loose stitch area is not so glaring. But we needs a solution to the root cause, not a band-aid…Ed

Posted by
edt
Jan 1, 2009 3:15pm PDT
Permalink
edt
 

I’ve had several books that heavily used bleeds and three printed with black as the background and none of them has the splitting issue were the inner trim area was exposed at a spread.  I had a book with a broken binding (mostly white backgrounds) where that was more of an issue, but Blurb replaced the book. But perhaps they replaced the book because of the exposed stitch at front and back.

I have to say that ImageWrap bindings, in general, seems to be of a weaker sort. The dustjacket hardcover was very well bound, but the imagewraps have this looser binding. It’s like the only thing holding the book together is the linen paper glued to the leafs.  I also find the bindings are changing over the weeks with what were over a dozen "stitches" now replaced by what look like two "staples".   Unfortunately, I think our experience is heavily weighted by the printer that got the job.  All my problems shipped from Rochester NY. Since my books started coming from there I’ve had more problems than I would have wished, but Blurb has been incredibly responsive.  I’m trying to show patience and hope they can make good.

 

Posted by
royalef
Jan 2, 2009 12:53pm PDT
Permalink
royalef
 

Thanks for the info re: ImagWrap weaknesses royalef. Blurb Tech Support have been very good with their response – as much as I can’t understand why this issue is ‘acceptable’ they were kind enough to offer me a discount voucher for a future purchase so I might try again with a softcover and see how the results are there.

Posted by
scarydan
Jan 2, 2009 11:14pm PDT
Permalink
scarydan
 

Actually, I would lean towards the hardcover with dustjacket.

There have been a number of consistent comments about the paperback covers curling, which is rather unattractive in a book you might leave lying on a coffee table. Too many complaints for my tastes.

A major issue for me is very few vendors can handle books with more than 100 pages, and the field dries up at 160+ that I’m printing.  Blurb is one of the few out there who can do large books, and amongst them, I’ve found they are the cheapest by far.  I’ve found some other sites, but the price for the book increases dramatically ($110 blurb = $250-$450 elsewhere). 

I’ve accepted that I now have to build my books outside of booksmart, so I can reprint them elsewhere when the market opens up some for this size of book.  

Posted by
royalef
Jan 8, 2009 1:38am PDT
Permalink
royalef
 

I emailed customer service about concerns over the binding of my 186 page book of wedding photos.  They are trying to tell me that the binding is normal.  I may be only a librarian in training, but I’m pretty sure that I know a poor binding when I see one.  I wasn’t even expecting a library binding, but at least something that didn’t give me the impression that the pages were about to rip out of the cover as a unit.  A very senior librarian I work with said she’d consider the binding poor, at best.

This is my book that they tell me is "normal".[IMG]http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x272/dancenut/2009_01150003.jpg[/IMG]

 Since this was my first Blurb book, I asked my friends that had previously done Blurb books if this is what they received.  I’m not unreasonable, if this is their quality, then I’ll take that as a bit of an expensive lesson and move along.  However, while a couple of people did recieve books like I did, most said that it was NOT what they have received in the past.  In fact, one friend posted pictures of two of her books of about the same or larger size.  The pictures below, used with permission, are what she received and what I expected.  You can’t tell me that what I received is considered a quality binding, yet customer service (so far) seems to think that it is and it’s normal.

[IMG]http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x272/dancenut/blurbbindingiw.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x272/dancenut/blurbbindingdj.jpg[/IMG]

Posted by
dancenut
Jan 16, 2009 10:51pm PDT
Permalink
dancenut
 

I have just received my first book and after initially being fairly pleased with the overall result, after a couple of times looking at the book, I have noticed the same thing, ie. white lines down the centre of the book especially in the latter half.  I have many full bleed pages, and lots of black background pages, so this is very noticeable.  The binding doesn’t seem ‘tight’ enough and I am concerned the pages may start falling out.  Like lazisusann, I too seem to have only 3 or 4 large stitches holding it all together. I will email customer support, but does anyone else know if this is ‘normal’ or should I be concerned?  The book is a large format hardcover 13×11, 192 pages.

Posted by
robynweston
Jun 1, 2009 5:09pm PDT
Permalink
robynweston
 

I too have had a book come back with white lines down the centre of a double page spread.  The book had been printed in Rochester NY and Blurb Tech Support have reprinted it, I am waiting for it to arrive.  I find the soft cover books curl up and don’t look good after a bit of handling.  I had pages fall out of the soft cover book so I reprinted it with a hard cover and book jacket but the binding was sloppy and it looked very amateurish.  So I reprinted it as an image wrap but now I have white lines down the centre of the double page spreads and the colour on the cover image has a reddish cast.

I’m unhappy about where this leaves me as I have committed to a project to print a large number of books and feel that I will be left embarrassed by the poor quality of the book binding.

Posted by
lenzart
Jun 3, 2009 3:27am PDT
Permalink
lenzart
 

My book was printed in Rochester NY also.  I have emailed photos of my book to Blurb Customer Support and am still waiting for a reply.  The problem stripes in my book are worst in the middle section.  The first and last thirds of the book seem very tight, but as you get to the middle, the pages open out a lot more flatter, and the binding shows down the centre.  It just doesn’t look professional, and I am concerned about the durability of the book – it feels like the binding will split before too long.  I am happy with all other aspects of the book, so I am keen to see if this problem can be rectified.

Posted by
robynweston
Jun 3, 2009 6:30pm PDT
Permalink
robynweston