The terms and language that printers use can be confusing. In order to help get your printing experience off to a good start, here is a rundown of the basics of file preparation.
Edwards Brothers Malloy prefers to receive “print-ready files”.
Sending in files that are ready for us to print your content means the whole process can get started right away. Sending in files that need to be formatted means your job will take longer and you could incur additional costs.
So, what is a print ready file?
- A print-ready file is a PDF file for the text or cover of your book. The PDF can be saved or exported from a native file format, ideally Quark Xpress or InDesign.
- All fonts and graphics used in a native file format must be embedded in the print-ready PDF file.
- Graphics (i.e. photos, artwork, etc.) should be at least 200 dpi resolution for print production.
- If your text or cover file includes bleed elements (images, color or type that extend right to the edge of the page or cover), choose “include the bleed and add the printer’s marks” when exporting to PDF. We require that the image extend one eighth of an inch beyond the document size.
Text Preparation for Your Book Printer:
- The page size must be at the proper trim size or the same as the trim size for the finished book
- Consider the right hand/left hand page sequence (the first page will be a right hand page).
- If you intend to have blank pages in your book, make sure to include blank pages in your native file where you want them. For example, if page 106 is to be blank in the final book, page 106 should be blank in your file.
- If your text is two color, the second color should be consistently called out in the file. Example: if “PMS 285U” is the second color, then “PMS 285” or “blue” are not recognized as the same color.
- When saving your text file to PDF, save it in a the single page format, not spreads, with the pages running in page order sequence (consecutive pages).
Book Cover Maker (or any color components)
- If the cover is full color, the PDF must be set up as CMYK, not RGB
- Edwards Brothers Malloy will always supply a cover design template to be followed when building your cover file. The template is to be used as a guideline in the exact size of your cover. The exact size is determined by the trim size of the book, the number of pages, and the ppi (pages per inch) of the paper that the book is being printed on.
- Spine bulk is the thickness of the book.
- Bleed allowance – if an image goes to the edge of the book, the image mist be extended one eighth of an inch beyond the trim so that when we trim the book, there is a clean edge with the image, not white space. This becomes particularly important when images run to the edge of the page.
- Crop marks—they show the trim edges on the top, bottom and front of the book.
The most challenging step in getting your book printed is pushing your files through Preflight. This is where we check to make sure the files are built correctly and contain all the necessary elements.
Following the guidelines above will be your key to a fast and accurate print job. Once your files have passed through Preflight, the rest of the process is easy.
While the basic format for PDF’s is the same no matter which facility you are having your books printed at, Edwards Brothers Malloy is still in the process of merging these systems at its various locations.
For specific information on a particular facility’s pre-press requirements, contact your customer service representative.
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