End use book covers - what do our customers want?

Published 4 May 2018
Book covers are one end use of Stora Enso paperboard products. To gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities regarding book publishing and consumption, we conducted a study about the Future of Books.
The study was made by research company Opticom International who conducted 80 in-depth interviews in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America. Participants included publishers, retailers, printers, merchants and new players such as audio and e-book publishers as well as companies that transfer physical books into digital format. What did we learn especially about covers?

A book that sells – that’s the obvious goal for any publisher who wants to make profit and stay in business in the changing media landscape. Author, subject, reviews and recommendations are typical reasons to choose a book, but the impact of the cover is also undisputable. First, the book has to stand out on shelf and online by its cover design, which can be greatly enhanced by sophisticated printing and finishing effects. When the consumer picks up the book in store, also the touch and feel of the book comes into play. As one of the publishers interviewed for the study said, the cover is crucial in 80% of the sales process.

What are the best-selling covers made of? Lower quality board is not an option since the book has to look great and last long. Therefore you go for solid bleached sulphate board such as Ensocoat™ by Stora Enso or a coated folding boxboard such as our Performa™ range.

Stora Enso's offering for book covers

So, if you thought that our paperboards are only for packaging, that’s not the case. Ensocoat and Performa boards are brilliant for book covers. Both these product lines will give you lots of grammages to choose from, all made of sustainably sourced raw material and available with FSC®, PEFC™ and EU Ecolabel certification. What you get on top of the boards from Stora Enso is the entire range of book papers from our Paper division, as well as the technical support, innovation and R&D covering both paper and board.

To go more into details, Ensocoat provides the highest whiteness, brightness and UV light resistance, and its smoothness ensures crisp print results on both sides. A durable folding is also important for a book as its cover gets turned at the reader’s hands time after time. This is when the high folding strength of Ensocoat comes in and guarantees a pleasing experience. Ensocoat is thus the top choice for a paperback or any soft book covers but it is also used as a top liner of the most luxurious hard cover books.

A unique benefit of the Performa range is high yield: these boards are thick and bulky at lower weight. Still they offer excellent print results as required from a book cover. Performa Brilliance is the state-of-the-art product in the folding boxboard type of board, offering the highest whiteness and smoothness that makes it ideal also for the most demanding finishing treatments.

“Stora Enso’s book papers are widely used in hard and soft cover books, paperbacks, school books and children’s books – the same categories for which we also deliver board for covers. We can say that together with Stora Enso Consumer Board division and Paper division we cover it all, when it comes to publishers’ material demands. We are more than pleased to discuss what we can do for publishers and where to source our board locally,” says Piotr Kuzebski, Head of Segment Graphical Board, Stora Enso Consumer Board division.

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