Book Printing Lingo: What are Endsheets?

Endsheets, also known as Endpapers, are paper sheets affixed to the inside front cover and the inside back cover of a hardcover book. Even though endsheets are placed within the book, they are not considered part of the book's main text pages.

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This landscape book has light brown endsheets. Endsheets give hardcover books a finished appearance.

Endsheets are an essential component of all hardcover books and serve several important functions...

1) Endsheets conceal the raw paperboard on the inside covers

The rigid cover of a hardcover book is created from dense paperboard. The exterior side of the paperboard is wrapped with the chosen cover material, usually paper that has been printed and laminated. This cover material wraps around to the interior side just enough to provide a finished edge, but it does not cover very much of the interior side of the paperboard.

Since paperboard usually has a dull brown or gray color, it is not visually appealing. So, in order to keep the interior side of the raw paperboard from showing when the book is opened, the endsheets are pasted over the exposed paperboard on the inside front and back covers. This gives the interior of the book a very finished look. Without the endsheets, the interior of an opened hardcover book would appear very rough and unattractive.

2) Endsheets can be enhanced to provide a decorative touch to the book

Most endsheets are constructed of smooth white paper that is left unprinted. However, endsheets can be printed with creative designs or colorful pictures to improve the aesthetics of the book. These embellishments often consist of artwork or patterns that relate to the theme of the book. Endsheets can also be printed with text.

To provide additional impact to the book's interior, endsheets can be created from colored and/or textured paper. Endsheets can also be made from a heavier weight of paper than the book's main text pages, or from paper than has a different sheen level than the main pages.

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4-Page Endsheet Diagram

3) Endsheets help secure the text pages to the book's cover

Before a book's pages are bound into the cover, they are collated and joined together to form a crisp page block. How the pages are physically joined together depends on which production method is used. For example, sometimes the pages are sewn together with thread and other times the pages are joined together with adhesive.
After the page block is formed, the spinal edge is adhered to a narrow strip of backing material known as the liner. The liner is a strong piece of paper or fabric that helps reinforce the spine area. The liner extends slightly beyond the page block on both sides. These extensions are then sandwiched between the raw paperboard and the endsheets as everything is glued securely in place.

What are 4-Page Endsheets?

4-Page Endsheets are considered the traditional style of endsheet. Referring to the 4-Page Endsheet Diagram, you will see that the front and back endsheets are both constructed from a single sheet of paper stock that has been folded in half to create 4 distinct panels, or pages.

On the inside front cover, the first page of the endsheet receives the glue that affixes it against the inside cover. Page two of the endsheet is the panel that is visible on the inside front cover when the book is opened. Pages three and four form the first free leaf in the book.

On the inside back cover, page four of the endsheet receives the glue that affixes it against the inside cover. Page three of the endsheet is the panel that is visible on the inside back cover. Pages one and two form the last free leaf in the book.

What are 2-Page Endsheets?

2-Page Endsheets provide an economical option for use on short-run hardcover book projects. Referring to the 2-Page Endsheet Diagram, you will see that the front and back endsheets are both constructed from a single sheet of paper that is not folded. As such, each endsheet consists of 2 distinct panels, or pages.

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2-Page Endsheet Diagram
On the inside front cover and the inside back cover, one side of the endsheet receives the glue that affixes it against the inside cover. The other side of the endsheet is the panel that is visible on the inside cover when the book is opened. There is no free leaf with 2-Page endsheets.

If you have any additional questions about endsheets or have an upcoming hardcover book project, give Formax Printing a call at 866-367-6221.

We're always happy to discuss your book printing needs. If you already know your specs and would like a quote, click here to submit our easy quote request from. As always, we look forward to assisting you!

Take care! Rick

About the Author

Rick Stallings is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Rick is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221 or by submitting our easy quote request form. Rick and the Formax team have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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