1. Get the Book Cover Ready
Print book covers are different than ebook covers. Print book covers are not easy to design correctly yourself, so unless you’re a designer by trade, we strongly recommend hiring a designer or talk to us and we will assist you in the process.
Your print book cover will contain the front cover, back cover and spine. It will be sized specifically to your trim size and page count. If your designer needs to know the exact spine size based on the paper you have chosen and page count, they can contact us.
In general, the file needs to be high-res–at least 300 dpi. This is so the cover doesn’t appear blurry. You can’t make an image of lower resolution bigger without it becoming pixellated. Likewise, the colors must be CMYK for print rather than RGB for Web.
Fonts should be embedded, and only certain fonts should be used. You may be asked to specify a bleed measurement if your cover artwork is intended to go to the edge of the cover.
When it’s done, the designer will have the software needed to compress the file to be under the required size and save it to printer-specific “prepress” settings.
2. Format Your Interior File
When you submit a book to the printer, you submit two files: the cover and the interior. The interior file is usually a PDF.
3. Decide on the Book’s Trim Size
What size would you like your finished book? The price of printing depends on this and other factors, so you’ll need to decide before you create the cover or send the book to print. Common sizes for a small paperback include 5.5×8.5, 6×9, 4.25×7 and 5×8.
4. Make Aesthetic Decisions
Do you want a gloss, matte or cloth cover? Each will have separate requirements and potentially different pricing. Should it be perfect bound or hard cover? White- or cream-color interior? Duplex or single cover? These are all important details that should not be overlooked.
5. Determine Your Book’s Page Count
Before you print your book, you will need a final page count, as pricing as well as cover size will be based on this factor combined with your trim size and some of the considerations above.