We are very excited to introduce a 100% recycled natural interior stock to our house inventory! We now offer sixteen paper stocks for printing book interiors. Contact me today and I will send you a paper stock sampler—please be sure to include your address in the email.

The new additions are:

  • 55-lb. natural 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) at 416 pages per inch (PPI)
  • 70-lb. gloss-coated white at 646 PPI
  • 70-lb. matte-coated white at 534 PPI

And of course, we still offer:

  • 50-lb. natural high-bulk at 420 PPI
  • 50-lb. white offset at 544 PPI
  • 50-lb. white opaque vellum 30% PCW at 548 PPI
  • 60-lb. cream tradebook at 436 PPI
  • 60-lb. white offset at 438 PPI
  • 60-lb. white opaque vellum 30% PCW at 436 PPI
  • 70-lb. natural smooth 50% PCW at 392 PPI
  • 70-lb. white offset at 382 PPI
  • 80-lb. white opaque smooth at 382 PPI
  • 80-lb. gloss-coated white at 534 PPI
  • 80-lb. matte-coated white at 462 PPI
  • 100-lb. gloss-coated white at 400 PPI
  • 100-lb. matte-coated white at 400 PPI

And these are just our interior stocks! You can also request an Uncoated Cover Stock Sampler, a Rainbow Case Wrap and End Sheet Sampler, and a Foil Stamp Sampler. More options are available too, like translucent vellum for dust jackets and interior pages. Please browse our Gallery to get an idea of all the possibilities we offer.

Ever wondered how we determine what paper to offer? We listen to what our publishers want! Then, we look at availability and cost. As a short-run digital printer with a fast turnaround, we need our paper to be on hand and available. Unlike an offset printer, we do not store masses of paper, so we work with local suppliers. In turn we want those local suppliers to work with manufacturers that are close to our location. Because our turnaround is quick, we need paper that is always readily available—we can’t wait.

Another factor for us is the PPI. For instance, last year our stalwart 60-lb. natural finch opaque vellum 30% PCW was discontinued by the manufacturer. The majority of the books we print, including many, many, many reprints, used this stock. So when we looked for the replacement, besides looking at availability, cost, and quality, we looked at the PPI. We wanted to phase in a stock with a similar PPI to help with reprints—adjusting the spine width on every reprint would be a headache for us and our publishers. The 60-lb. cream tradebook at 436 PPI that we found matched the PPI, ran through our presses superbly, and was readily available, for the same cost. Winner!

What does it mean for a paper to run through our presses “superbly”? When we test a new paper, we ask many quality-related questions: does the toner adhere to the page (with halftones in particular), does the PPI stay consistent, is the paper curling or jamming the printers, and does it bind well? For example, we used to offer an 80-lb. natural stock, which was a popular choice for skinny-spine poetry titles. Unfortunately, the 80-lb. natural had frequent issues with curling, so we had to discontinue it. While we have not been able to find a suitable 80-lb. natural to replace it, the 70-lb. natural we offer is a great substitute. The 70-lb. natural has the same 392 PPI that the 80-lb. natural had, so poetry publishers can still bulk up spine widths to allow for type.

Why don’t we offer more recycled stock? We want to, and we test new recycled stock frequently, but in the end, recycled stock often costs significantly more. There are more steps to manufacture a recycled paper than a nonrecycled paper (though all paper stocks do contain some recycled content), and more steps in manufacturing means more cost passed on to the consumer. So the recycled stocks we have on hand are economical and competitively priced. Unfortunately we cannot switch to all recycled stocks (which would be ideal)—we need to keep our printing costs competitive with other printers, of course. So we’re always carefully balancing competitive pricing for our publishers versus the cost of paper and the options we offer.

Do we see paper costs rising? Probably yes, and rising for everyone. Paper costs go up due to inflation, availability, and market demand—paper mills are being consolidated. When paper costs rise, we always give our publisher advanced warning.

Any other advancements or exciting developments on the horizon? We are seeing specialty paper for covers in development, but that will have to be another blog post.

Questions? A paper you’d love for us to offer? Contact me!