Text Paper

Our standard book stock for paperback is Norbook 65gsm cream book paper. This paper is ideally suited as a text stock for paperbacks. It has a high opacity and a gat readability due to its creamy colour. It is bulkier than normal bond paper, feels well and due to the low weight of the paper the books are light and easy to hold. The paper mill is environmentally accredited.

Our standard white uncoated paper is 80 gsm, we also stock 90 and 100gsm white offset. These heavier papers are often used for textbooks or other high quality publications. The white 80 gsm bond is also often used for Reading Copies to distinguish them from finished books.

For colour books we stock a number of coated papers, 90gsm satin is a popular choice for textbooks, for cook books and similar items we recommend 100 to 130 gsm.

Other stocks are available, but they may have to be ordered in for each job.

Cover Stock

For the covers we generally use 250 gsm matt art, and usually covers are celloglazed (laminated). This thin plastic coating protects the covers. Other cover stocks are available, but have to be ordered in for each job.

Cover Coatings and Embellishments

Embellishments are not really an option in digital printing, as they usually require an expensive setup. If you absolutely need embossing or foiling we recommend printing a large quantity (>2000) of your covers to make it worthwhile, we can then store these covers for you and re-print the text as you need.


We print text blocks using high speed digital printers from Xerox or Kodak, the covers are printed on our Xerox or Indigo digital colour presses. These machines use either toner or ink to produce up to 4,000 pages per minute. The quality of the text pages is indistinguishable from traditional offset printing. The colour printers are colour managed and calibrated to our offset presses, so that the result is equal to offset printing, guaranteeing that the cover looks the same on every print run. If you want us to match a previously printed cover, please send us the book and we’ll do our best. However, sometimes the age of the book, the paper used at the time or the influence of the press operator during the past print run can make it difficult to achieve a perfect match.

Covers are celloglazed using a specialised matt or gloss film. Covers and text are then merged at binding stage.

See Books on Demand for a description of the book types we produce.


There are a variety of ways you can bind a book (see also our binding guide). Hardcover books have a cardboard cover, often with a cloth or other coating. SOS does not bind hardcover books in house. Softcover books are typical paperbacks, the cover is of heavier stock than the text and the pages are held together by glue. Our cover stock is between 250 and 300 gsm and the printed cover usually also has a plastic foil coating applied, called celloglaze (or lamination) which can be glossy or matt.