Self Publishing with Marathon: Book Basics

Self Publishing with Marathon: Book Basics

Chapter 2:  Book Basics

The first thing you will want to do once you have decided to self publish your book is to learn the language of book printers. If you find this information is something you already familiar with, please skip to Chapter 3.

Here’s some very simple, basic explanations of book printing terminology that you should be aware of to begin with.

a “page” is 1 side of a sheet of paper.

a “sheet”  of paper is 2 pages ( front & back )

try to avoid using the term “double sided pages” as for us – it’s confusing.

End Sheets
See picture below. The end sheets are a folded section ( 4 pages)
in the front and the back of the interior text pages. Marathon standard end sheets are plain white 100 lb uncoated text weight. In the front, the left hand side of the end sheet ( called the pastedown) is glued to the inside hardcover . The right hand side of the end sheet is called the flysheet.


Measuring a book

It’s important to know that when discussing the size of a book , you measure the width and height of the INTERIOR PAGES. ( not the outer dimensions of the hardcover).


We list dimensions as width x height and it’s best to clarify your measurement with the orientation. Here’s a few examples.

Page size: 8.5″ w x 11″   ( portrait format) *

Page size: 11″ w x 8.5″ h  ( landscape format )

Try to avoid saying it this way in red below

8.5 x 11″  landscape   (it’s just not clear enough and could be confused ) 


  • Other people sometimes refer to book Orientation as Vertical (portrait)  and Horizontal (landscape)  which is also acceptable terminology to use.

In the back, it’s just the reverse: The right hand side of the end sheet is the pastedown sheet and the left hand side is the flysheet

Interior Text
Physical page 1 of the interior text of a hardcover or soft cover book is a right hand facing page. Page 2/3 is the first potential spread page.

When planning final page count, please keep in mind that your interior text must be an even number! For example, your book cannot be 115 pages. It would technically be 116 pages. If your content runs into an odd number, you must include and specifiy a blank page within the text.


Book Binding Terms 

Hardcover:   A hardcover book can be covered with a printed, laminated cover or cloth or leather bound.

Components:  Interior text pages + End Sheets + Printed, laminated hardcover

Printed, laminated hardcover


Cloth Bound Hard Cover utilizing Verona Cloth


Other words sometimes used for Hardcover Book are: “Case bound”  or Coffee table book style binding. Also:  Image wrap cover. We also call it PUR Case perfect bound to differentiate it from a soft cover PUR Bound book.

  • PUR stands for Poly Urethane Reactive, which is the specific name of the adhesive we use, which is the industry’s strongest method of binding.


Soft cover:  also referred to by some as a “paperback” cover or perfect bound softcover

Components:  Interior Text + Cover


This is just a very basic introduction to some of our terminolgy you will want to be familiar with as you begin a book printing project. There is much more to cover in future posts, one topic at a time.

If you want to schedule a free phone or Zoom consultation meeting in advance of your publishing journey, I welcome the opportunity to speak to you! My contact information is below. I will be happy to talk with you at length about your project and determine if Marathon Press will be a good source for printing your book.






Martin Pugh

Book Publishing Manager

(402)-371-5040  ext 289



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Free Consultation for Individuals & organizations!

When it's time to print your book, let us be your guide!
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With over 30 years of Book Publishing experience, Marathon Press has helped thousands of clients self-publish anywhere from 20 to 50,000 copies of their book titles. Marathon has worked with several of the top names and organizations in the photography and photobook industry.

Wire-o Bound Booklets and Calendars

Twin Loop, Mechanical Binding

Wire-o Binding for Calendars, Cookbooks and more!
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Some of the style variations we offer are: *Soft cover Wire-O, *Hard cover Wire-O and *Concealed Wire-O (both hard cover and soft cover) * Twin Loop with Calendar Hanger

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Sizes from 8 x 8 up to 14 x 19" !

Layflat Albums
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Marathon’s Layflat Albums are produced with German Pro Photo paper which has a matte finish and a neutral white point with a slight shimmer. Water resistant so you can easily clean off a spill. Acid free and chlorine free.

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Let us be your Guide!

Choose between printed hard cover or cloth bound with optional foil stamping. Optional dust jacket printing with 3 lamination options

Let us help guide you to the most appropriate paper options for your book project. We have 9 standard text options and 6 standard soft cover weight options for paperback books.

We have a long track record of award winning quality work for some of the most demanding artists and photographers in the industry!

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