Prepare Your Files
We only accept print-ready PDF files for printing. We suggest using Adobe InDesign to create your files, and can provide templates for your book creation. If you need help laying out your book, we can help you find a good designer.
For printed softcovers, hardcover printed wraps, and dust jackets you must create and submit a print-ready PDF separate from your book’s contents.
Use our online cover calculator to get the correct dimensions for your Printed Softcover, Dust Jacket or Printed Wrap:
Cover Size Calculator
Please take note of the maximum spine text height for your book provided by the calculator. Minimum page count for spine text is 60 pages.
0.8" bleed on all sides. Important elements such as type and logos should be placed at least 0.25" (1/4") inside of the bleed area.
0.25" bleed on all sides
0.25" bleed on all sides
0.125" bleed on all sides. We accept TIFF, JPEG or PDF files, sized to match one of the preset sizes at 300 dpi.
Duplex Printed Covers
For duplex printed covers, the inside cover should be included in the cover file as a second page. The overall dimensions are the same for both outside and inside covers. On the inside cover, please add a white area the same width as the spine, plus 5mm on either side.
Color and Image Preparation
Graphic elements should be created using CMYK rather than RGB if possible. As the presses print in CMYK, this will allow greater control of color and density. Pantone colors will also be recognized by the press and rendered in the closest CMYK match.
Large solid fill areas are one of the most difficult things to print consistently on a digital press. Black fills should always be a rich black, and we suggest CMYK 80, 80, 80, 100 for a true black fill. Light gray fills as well as full page pastels and similar colors are unlikely to print with perfect consistency across a full page. Grayscale (K only) fills are not suggested.
TIFF or JPEG, 300dpi, 8bit, Flatten Layers, Adobe RGB 1998 (Coated GRACoL 2006 for offset)
Black & White Images
Most images will print best with using the same settings listed for color images above. However, for truly neutral Black & White images, Grayscale files must be used - we suggest Gray Gamma 2.2. Please read more about printing Black & White images on our FAQ page.
Black text should be rendered as K only rather than rich black, as using a rich black will often increase the price per book. However, light to medium gray text will likely need to be a four color gray in order to print sharply.
- We will need a print-ready multi-page PDF, with 0.125" bleed on top, bottom and outside (no inside bleed). Note: The PDF should not be in spreads.
- We suggest using Adobe InDesign for book layout.
- Please note that all books have an even number of pages.
- For designs with consistent margins throughout the book, we recommend a minimum margin of 0.5". Due to variation in printing, binding and trimming, we cannot guarantee perfectly even borders for margins under 0.5".
- We recommend a 0.75" margin for text near the gutter.
When you are finished with your layout, you will export your file to a PDF.
Exporting to PDF
The final step after laying out your books is exporting it to PDF from InDesign.
- Select File > Adobe PDF Presets > High Quality Print.
- In the PDF Export Dialog box, make sure to select Pages (not Spreads).
- Go to Marks & Bleeds to select > Include Document Bleed Settings
- Do not include printer's marks such as crop marks, registration marks, color bars, etc. in your PDF.
- To preserve embedded color profiles, go to Output to select > No Color Conversion and > Include All RGB and Tagged Source CMYK Profiles
After file export, please review your PDF file before submitting it to our site. We print directly from your PDF, therefore your file can serve as a digital proof. Using Preflight in Acrobat Pro is a helpful tool to check color profiles and image resolution.
Bleed is an extension of the page content, meaning that if you have a full bleed black page the bleed has to be black, or if you have an image, the bleed has to be an extension of the image all the way to the bleed edge. The function of bleed is to ensure that when being trimmed to its final size, any pages with solid background color or edge-to-edge images will not have white lines along the edges of the pages.
- Contents within your bleed are 'safe'; contents on your bleed will be trimmed.
- If important page elements, like page numbers, are too close to the edge, they may be partially trimmed off. We suggest all essential contents be set at least 0.25" inside of the page edge. Contents that are too close to, or right on the edge of your book (less than 0.25" from the edge), are at risk of being trimmed off slightly, or significantly changing the design of your book.
Foil Stamping Preparation
For the foil stamping we will need a vector based PDF or EPS file. Please outline your text and/or graphics before exporting to PDF or EPS. All type and graphic elements should be set to the actual size desired, and should be black on a white background. Do not make an effort to represent a foil color when creating the file.
Foil dies to be used on the front or back of a book cover can be up to 5” x 12”. Please note that foil stamping does not do a good job filling in large areas.
If your cover’s foil stamping design will not fit on a single die, it may be necessary to use two dies which will add cost to your book order.
Min. page count for spine foil: 60 pages
Max. Foil Stamp height: height of book minus 0.75” on top and bottom
Max. Foil Stamp width: determined by page count
Min. margin of 0.125" on either side of spine stamp
Min. margin of 0.75" on top and bottom of spine stamp
The size of your PDF file for Printed Endpapers should be:
Twice your Book Width x Book Height
Bleed: 0.25" on all sides
Duplex Printed Endpapers
For duplex printed endpapers the overall size is the same as printed endpapers. Add a second page that is half blank, and half printed.