Printing Books: How to Setup Your Files

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Printing Books: How to Setup Your Files

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Are you wondering about printing books and how to setup your files for print? A key part of that is making sure that the files are set up correctly from the beginning.

Book Printing How To Setup

 

STEP 1: Decide your trim size, binding style, and paper stock for book printing

The first step in correctly preparing your book files is deciding your book’s trim size, binding style and paper stock. Once that’s done, you will need to create two PDF files: One containing the cover of your book, and a second with the text interior of your book.

 

STEP 2: Cover File PDF for book printing

  • Your cover PDF file must contain the back cover panel, spine panel and front cover panel as a spread showing all 3 parts of your book cover from left to right; back cover, spine and front cover.
  • Every book’s spine is a different width. The spine width is calculated using a formula which considers the number of pages in the book, the text paper stock, and the binding style you choose. If any of these factors change please make sure to let us know so that we can provide you with an updated measurement. All quotes that you receive for books from Copywell will always include the spine height of your book.
  • All color must be converted to CMYK.
  • All fonts must be embedded.
  • Images must be 300 DPI.
  • Save black & white images in grayscale mode.
  • Export with crop marks & a minimum of 1/8″ bleed.

 

STEP 3: Prepare your interior text PDF file for book printing

  • Interior text PDF files must be in a single page format and not in printer or reader spreads.
  • The number of pages in the book should end on an even number.
  • Left side pages should be even numbered and right side pages should be odd numbered.
  • Blank pages should be included in file (if applicable).
  • A “page” equals each side of the paper. Each page of your PDF file counts as 1 page of your book.
  • Page margins are the blank space around the edges of the page. In general, you insert text and graphics into printable area between the margins. Ideally, text files should have a minimum of 3/4″ left and right margin and 1/4″ top and bottom margin. You can have larger margins but not smaller margins.
  • All color must be converted to CMYK.
  • All fonts must be embedded.
  • Images must be 300 DPI.
  • Save black & white images in grayscale mode.
  • Export with crop marks & a minimum of 1/8″ bleed.

 

The 5 most common file prep problems:

  1. Fonts not embedded: By far, missing fonts is the most common reason print projects get delayed. Please remember to embed your fonts in your PDF file.
  2. Page numbers all on the same side of the page: Remember, even page numbers on left side pages should be on the left side of the page, and odd page numbers on the right side pages should be on the right side of the page. Of course, you won’t have to worry about this if you center your page numbers.
  3. Image resolution is too low or supplied in RGB instead of CMYK: Don’t forget – images must be at 300 DPI and color must be converted to CMYK for best results in book printing.
  4. Insufficient bleed or safety margins. Remember to set-up your margins after you setup your page size.
  5. Failure to include spine in the cover file for perfect bound books.