Protecting Your Cover
Cover coatings can enhance and protect your book covers. Coatings can be a synthetic, like polypropylene, or a liquid, like varnish. Liquids can be air-dried, dried in a tunnel under UV lights, with radio waves, or with plain old heat. Synthetic laminations can also be applied wet or dry, with pressure and heat being the key to a firm, smooth bond to your cover.
Why does your cover need coating after it’s printed? Protection of the cover is paramount. If the cover scratches, fingerprints, or scuffs you can expect returns from your distributor or retailer. A book with a damaged cover generally won’t sell in bookstores.
As coatings have evolved, manufacturers have found a number of ways to make this protection attractive. Glossy coatings can make the dark colors of your cover seem deep and rich. Satin or matte finishes soften the images. There are even embossed coatings to give the appearance of linen or other patterns.
Without bogging down in the science of it, a quick survey starting with the least expensive coatings to some costly options will quickly narrow down your choices.