How to Fix Warped Hardcovers

Warped hardcovers are a pain. It's particularly been a problem with Blood and Sand. It really doesn't look great when those covers are bending out.

So I had a conversation with our printer about it yesterday, and learned some things. Moisture, and the lack thereof, is apparently the underlying issue. Different glues pull different amounts of moisture out of the cover boards, and environmental conditions in the plant (temperature, humidity, where in the building the books are sitting) plays a role. Apparently they recently switched materials -- probably because of problems with books at the time Blood and Sand was manufactured, since we haven't seen much warping on the more recent Splintered Peace.

There's a fix you can do yourself if you have a warped hardcover, though. I just tried it overnight, and the results are perfect. It's really simple: you need to get moisture back into the boards, so they can regain a nice flat shape.

What I did (following Kay the Printer's advice) was to take a very slightly damp sponge and wipe it across the inside of the covers, over the endsheets. I did this on the front and back endsheets, and put a piece of cheap cardboard (such as the chipboard on the back of a writing pad) between the endsheet and the paper of the book's text, one each in front and back. Then I stuck it under a heavy box and went home for the night.

This morning it's flat as a pancake. No warping at all, and the book looks great.

Our printer is going to pick up the copies we have left in the warehouse, to give them all this treatment and then return them. This should help copies that go out into the field in the future. If you already have a book (ours or any other publisher's) that is giving you this problem, though, give the fix I describe above a try.

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