Business Overview

A bookbinding business (or bookbindery) binds books together. Rates are generally based on the size of the book. Even though physical book sales have been a little uneven for the past several years, there’s no reason to fear they're going away anytime soon. Bookbinders have a unique opportunity to create more book buyers by using their creative visions to keep the public interested in having books on more than just their phone or e-reader.

Who is this business right for?

This business is good for someone who has connections in the publishing world, and who has experience in what it takes to provide quality bookbinding services. Anyone thinking of trying bookbinding should be good with their hands, as it can end up being a very manual process.

What happens during a typical day at a bookbinding business?

Bookbinding owners may have the following to-do list on an average day:

  • Buying materials
  • Creating designs
  • Networking/finding new clients
  • Selling blank books
  • Binding books
  • Teaching employees the process

What is the target market?

The best client is a publisher who will contract you for all their new projects. Beyond this, you’re looking for someone who loves the concepts and designs you’ve already made. Normally customers will tell bookbinders specifically what they want their covers to look like, but some may treat the experience as a collaboration rather than a one-sided exchange. You want people who value what you do, and who care their book's aesthetic value.

How does a bookbinding business make money?

Bookbinders make money by setting a price for their services that covers the cost of equipment, rental space, and materials used to make the book. Generally, book binders will charge more for color photos than they will for standard black and white print.

What is the growth potential for a bookbinding business?

In 2014, the physical book sales of Brazil doubled, even while other countries were struggling. The book world can be volatile, but it often only takes one book that can’t be put on a Kindle (think: a complicated cookbook or a photography coffee table book) to spark interest in the public. Plus, some people will always want a hard copy of a book, so they don't have to worry about their machinery failing to provide a satisfying reading experience. The growth potential is definitely there for those devoted to the field.