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  1. What is a print-ready file?

This is the question we are asked most often and requires some explanation.

A print-ready file is an Acrobat PDF file with all printer fonts embedded and ready to be printed without any manual intervention from us. Images and text will have to be in place exactly as they are to be printed, as no manipulation of the content of the file can take place. The file should also be to the correct size of the book to be printed.

The inside pages of the book should be contained in a single file. There’s no need for you to worry about imposition of the pages as our system programmes will carry this out for you. 

The complete cover will need to be in a “spread”, again as a single file and therefore include the front, back and spine. If you are preparing your own cover file, we will advise you what the spine width should be. This will vary according to the number of pages, thickness of paper and binding method. If you would prefer us to assemble the complete cover from your front, back and spine, then we can usually join these together.

We can sometimes resize PDF files. If, for example, you have A4 PDF files but require your book to be printed to a size roughly in proportion to this, then please contact us.

Microsoft Word and other file formats may be considered to be print ready if they meet the above requirements, but it’s best to get in touch with us first to make sure.


  1. What if I don’t have a print-ready file?

Many authors do not and this is not a problem. Let us know what form your manuscript is in, together with your cover requirements and we’ll do the rest. There is obviously a charge for doing so, which will be based on the time taken to stylise and paginate your work into a printable format.

We can also OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scan a typed manuscript or previously printed book and create a digital file suitable for printing.

If you have already published an eBook, we can format the file for this into a print-ready file.


  1. How do I calculate my spine width?

This depends on the type of paper your book is printed on.

The calculation is: ((Total number of pages/2) x (paper bulk)) + 1.2. Which gives the result in millimetres.

The paper bulk figures to use are as follows:

80gsm Opaque = 0.098

80gsm Off-white = 0.105

100gsm Opaque = 0.117

130gsm Silk = 0.105


  1. What order should my preliminary pages be in?

Our suggested order is as follows:


  1. Do I have to have an ISBN?

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique book identifier. The 13-digit number identifies the country in which the book is published, the publisher and the book details.

There is no legal requirement to have an ISBN, (we print plenty of books without them) and it conveys no legal or copyright protection.

If the book is a private publication that you intend distributing to family, friends and personal contacts, the chances are that you not need an ISBN. You may publish privately and then subsequently apply for an ISBN and incorporate it in a revised printing should you wish.

If you are intending to sell your publication through major bookselling chains or internet booksellers, they will require you to have an ISBN to assist their internal processing and ordering systems.

An ISBN number will ensure your book is listed on Amazon and other online book stores. This is part of the ISBN service and you do not have to register the book yourself.

The ISBN also provides access to bibliographic databases, which are organised using ISBN as references. These databases are used by the book industry and libraries to provide information to customers. The ISBN therefore provides access to additional tools which may help sales of your publication.

ISBN numbers and further information are available in the UK from the sole agent Nielson and currently cost £126.00 including VAT for a minimum order of 10 numbers. Other countries have their own arrangements for issuing ISBN's.


  1. Do I require a bar code?

Should you choose to have an ISBN number for your book, then we can generate a printable EAN bar code for the back cover. This contains the ISBN data and costs £15.00 including VAT. The bar code enables the book to be scanned by stores with POS equipment. Most major high street outlets will require a bar code and books without it are unlikely to be accepted for sale.


  1. How do I prove that I have the copyright to my book manuscript?

A quick, easy and recognised way of doing this is to put a copy of your work in an envelope, seal it well and post it to yourself and possibly a couple of friends or family. Ensure that the envelope is not opened when it is received and keep it somewhere safe. Should you ever need to defend copyright, you will have a postmarked, unopened copy. There are also other more formal ways of registering your work should you wish to do so.


  1. Will you charge me VAT?

Subject to a few exceptions, VAT is not charged on books, i.e. they are zero rated for VAT purposes. The exceptions include, amongst others, address books, diaries and notebooks. Please ask us if you are unsure as to whether your book will be liable to VAT. 


  1. Do I have to send a copy of my book to the British Library?

Publishers and distributors of books in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have a legal obligation to send one copy of each of their publications to the Legal Deposit Office of the British Library within one month of publication.

Items published and distributed in the United Kingdom and in Ireland are liable for deposit. The requirement remains, irrespective of the number of copies in a published edition, the price of individual copies, or the size of the publishing body. Items originally published elsewhere but distributed in the United Kingdom and in Ireland are also liable for deposit. Further information is available on the British Library’s website.


  1. How much will my book cost?

This depends on:

As there are so many variables which can affect the price of a book, we do not produce a price list but prepare individual quotations based on the exact specifications of your book. We can also advise on the most economical method of producing your book and can give alternative prices based on different specifications.


  1. How do I pay for my book?

Our terms are 50% of the total estimated price as a deposit with the balance payable on completion of the book.

You can pay by bank transfer, cheque, debit card or credit card. Due to the high charges imposed by credit card companies we unfortunately have to add 2.5% to each of the deposit and and completion payments (there is no charge for debit cards).

For businesses and small publishers we are able to provide 30 days credit on the completion payment, subject to satisfactory references.


Book Printing  - frequently asked questions

  1. What is a print-ready file?
  2. What if I don’t have a print-ready file?
  3. What order should my preliminary pages be in?
  4. How do I calculate my spine width?
  5. Do I have to have an ISBN?
  6. Do I require a bar code?
  7. How do I prove that I have the copyright to my book manuscript?
  8. Will you charge me VAT?
  9. Do I have to send a copy of my book to the British Library?
  10. How much will my book cost?
  11. How do I pay for my book?