book printing

book printing


You are writing or have completed writing your book and are now faced with getting it into production so you can either sell a whole bunch or give copies to family and friends and ask: What do I do now? What are the steps in the process?

1-Be ready to give your book printer the most economical layout to quote on. Book printing companies print on large parent sheets that are cut from fairly standard size rolls of paper on a web press (this is not relevant to short run digital book printing).  Therefore you must address yield. The yield is how many pages you can print on a standard press sheet. Thus if an odd sized book you will have waste and less press efficiency, thus higher costs in printing. If you, for example have a 7 x 10” page size, you would be far better served increasing it to 8 3/8 x 10 7/8”, reducing the page count and avoiding waste. Another example would be a 6 x 9” book printing page size is less economical than if you slightly drop down to 4 3/8 x 8 3/8” as you will have more pages produced from the press form/signature.


2-If you can, become economical with your page count. Now most would not want to delete pages from their book printing endeavor as it is your story and important to you. However, if you can move around pages in the layout, where you can amalgamate them into efficient press forms, do so as it will save you money. Most book printing companies print either 32 pages for a digest sized book (half page).  Therefore if you can wind up with even signatures, that is optimal, but if after you have added up all your full signatures and you have 4 more pages, that is how you spend more money and wind up with more blank pages at the back of the book, as book printers cannot usually do less than 8 pages in a form for press efficiency.


3-Make sure your files are faultless. It is less costly in book printing to pay someone to fix your files than to output files at press and then be stuck with a large bill to redo the files due to your mistakes. Make sure you have at least a 3/8” safety area around the entire image area to be printed, inclusive of titles, numbering, etc.  Web printing is high speed and presses have what is called “jiggle”, so anything that is too close to the edge of the trim area may be cut off or into. Bleeds (ink to edge of paper) is not usually acceptable at book printing presses. Large areas of solid black will also not print well, so keep it light. With book printing, like computers, K.I.S.S. works best (Keep It Simple Stupid (not that you are stupid))


4-Design your cover with cross over art, so that there are no clean breaks of color, change of color or break to white (again K.I.S.S.), so that if your cover needs adjusting for the spine or otherwise, shifting things around slightly won’t make imperfections more noticeable.


More “Quick Guide To Book Printing”  To Come In Future Blogs

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