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Leather Bound Books/Special Editions
Someone recently posted in Suggestions:
I think it would be awesome if there was leather bound books, in various colors, green, red, black, gray, white, blue, tan, brown. that could have the title and author on the spine with a few font choices like georgia, times new roman, etc, maybe with thicker paper 100lb wouldn't mind if this took more time than usual and would not mind paying more for it. I would like it 6x9 since thats just a good size all around for most people. Also maybe different color endsleeves [sic: endpapers?] to match the color of the leather would be cool too!
Books like this are indeed very nice...but also very expensive to produce. I don't know if the writer is talking about having individual books done this way---for presentations or gifts, for instance---or an entire edition. If the former, most large cities have hand bookbinders that can take pretty much any book and bind it in boards and leather. You can browse through the yellow pages or do a search online for "hand bookbinding." I have had this sort of thing done myself and the results can be beautiful.
It would be practically impossible to create the sort of book you are talking about via POD technology if for no other reason than that every title would be unique...to say nothing of the difficulties inherent in maintaining enormous stocks of various leathers. And since leather cannot be printed on (not, at least, very easily), titles would have to be stamped on or embossed, something else difficult or impossible for POD printing.
On the other hand, this is the sort of thing that traditional printing takes in stride. While traditional printing is more expensive up front, the unit cost per book can be extremely low if the print run is large enough. There are also virtually no limitations as to size, paper or binding material. You can even mix papers in the same book or have die-cut pages. Another advantage is the possibility of adding color without drastically increasing the price of the book, especially if you are adding mechanical (as opposed to process) color. For instance, if you had even a single period in color in a POD book the cost would nearly double. In a traditionally printed book this would be insignificant.
So if you want a book like the one you describe, I would suggest that you think about getting estimates from traditional book printers or a professional hand bookbinder.