A book is a physical medium for recording data in the form of text or illustrations, usually written of multiple pages bound together within a single cover and secured with a closure. The technical term for such a physical arrangement is hardback. A typical book may contain between one and several thousand pages, inclusive of notes, maps, illustrations, footnotes, index, table of contents, and endorsements from the authors, if it is published. The printed version of a book may also include a copyright notice and the registration number of the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Most book production process includes the creation of a negative, which contains all the images that are included in the book (these are called plates or platesque). The negatives can either be printed negative which still remains in the printing press in an uncured state or printing positives which have been printed using techniques like dye sublimation in a variety of quality assurance systems. The latter are applied on negatives after they have been printed which produces a raised print that is highly valued for its clarity of color and images.
Apart from these, there are two other important stages in book production. The first of these is called the Typesetting stage where the layout of the manuscript is planned and the copy or the text is written according to the specific ideas and direction provided by the owner of the manuscript. Other typeset stages include the proofreading stage, in which the text and the manuscript are critiqued for errors by the different set of readers who will be involved in the final reading and approval of the manuscript. Proofreading stage is often carried out by the editor in order to catch any kind of errors and omissions before publication.
Book printing is the physical side of the process of typesetting. The book production company that produces the book is called the press. Presses are specialized equipment owned by some book printing companies. In the past, there were very few presses used in the production of books but today this has changed with the development of new technology. The press is the equipment that will print on the manuscript, usually the paper. There are three basic types of printing methods: offset printing, screen-printing and bindery.
Offset printing is one of the oldest and simplest methods of printing. It is used for short prints, usually four or less by the thousand copies. The press operator will prepare the offset print by transferring the data directly from a computer file. This is then followed by copying the data on a paper that is dipped in ink rollers and fed into the printing machines. The printing plants use high-quality ink cartridges in offset printing to produce the final copy of the book.
Screen printing on the other hand, is another older method of typesetting. In this process, images are photographed using special chemicals on a special silver paper. The photo is passed across a coated squeegee onto the silver paper, which forms the image on the front and then after the image is dried, it is stamped on the reverse side. The techniques used in screen printing are different from the offset method since it uses mechanical pressure rather than a roller or ink rollers. The result is a more durable product than the offset printing, even though it is less cost-effective in terms of paper and ink. It is mostly used for large-scale book production.