Premedia/Prepress Instructions & Forms

Text Files
Format your document to a trim size equal to the final trim size of your book. We recommend setting a ½ inch (12.7mm) minimum margin for the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your book. Do not, for instance, set up a 6 x 9 book on an 8½ x 11 electronic page size or place two 5½ x 8½ pages on one side of an 8½ x 11 sheet. Include all blank pages (pages where printed folios do not occur in your document). Please do not use spot color black in your documents unless you are familiar with how it reproduces in a CMYK workflow. When sending files, copy only the version of what is to be printed. Do not include previous versions of the document or any files that do not pertain to the title we are producing. Text files should be submitted as one continuous single page PDF file, set up to the final trim size of the project, with bleeds where applicable.

Cover Files
Covers must be constructed as one page that includes front, spine, back, and flap copy (if applicable). Submitting these elements as separate pages or files will result in additional charges. The spine bulk, wrap, etc. is determined by the page count, trim size, and binding style of your project. To receive a cover/dust jacket application file layout, please click here for our cover template generator service. This service will supply you with a supported application file setup to the exact dimensions for your specific cover/dust jacket. Any trapping essential on multicolor we will provide.

We offer cover layout PDF forms for our most common bind styles. These are editable PDF files that will calculate the dimensions of your book cover automatically. By entering your specific page trim size, page count, and stock ppi information, the form will automatically complete with your exact layout dimensions. Once completed, the PDF form can be printed or saved offline. It is recommended that a copy of the completed form be supplied with your file submission.

Cover Layout
Die StampFlat CaseJacketPerfectRound CaseSaddle Stitch

BarcodesBookmasters strongly recommends that all barcodes print in solid black ink with a white background. Any other color schemes may result in scanning failures. Additional barcode suggested practices can be found here: Barcode Guidelines


Text Files
A photograph, line illustration, tab, or rule is said to bleed when it prints off the edge of a trimmed page. To make sure it trims properly, we require an extra 1/8 inch (3mm) of art to create an effective bleed. Do not accommodate for bleed pages by changing your page size.

Cover Files
As with text, any art or background color that prints off the edge of a trimmed cover is a bleed. Again, an extra 1/8 inch (3mm) of the element is required to ensure a proper bleed.

Identifying Files
It is important to keep your files organized and named in a way that is easily understandable by those not accustomed to your project. Keep file names brief while still communicating the content. Use a suffix such as .EPS to indicate the type of art file. For production files, it is recommended to supply PDF files named with the ISBN and production part, i.e. 9780123456789_txt.pdf, 9780123456789_cvr.pdf.

Producing PDF Files
Bookmasters supports PDF files created to the PDF/X-1a ISO standard. Creating a PDF file to this standard is currently supported by the majority of page layout applications and built into their inherent export feature. Using the information provided below, you will be assured that you are producing a PDF file in the correct format. If you feel the X-1a standard is not appropriate for your project, do not hesitate to contact your sales associate to have your concern addressed. For more information on the PDF/X ISO standard, visit Adobe’s website.

What is PDF/X-1a?
PDF/X-1a is the ISO 15930-4:2003, which specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) version 1.4 for the dissemination of complete digital data in a single exchange that contains all elements ready for final print reproduction. CMYK and spot-color data are supported in any combination.

PDF/X-1a requires all fonts to be embedded, the appropriate marks and bleeds to be specified, and color to appear as CMYK, spot colors, or both. Compliant files must contain information describing the printing condition for which they are prepared. PDF files created with PDF/X-1a compliance can be opened in Acrobat and Reader 4.0 and later.

PDF/X-1a uses PDF 1.3, down-samples color and grayscale images to 300 ppi and monochrome images to 1200 ppi, embeds subsets of all fonts, creates untagged PDFs, and flattens transparency using the High Resolution setting.

Page Layout Applications PDF/X Support
For information on creating a PDF file from your layout application, please select from the items below.

Adobe InDesign has a built-in preset for exporting PDF/X-1a files from the file menu. For more information on exporting PDF files from InDesign, visit here.

Adobe Acrobat Distiller has a built-in preset for producing PDF/X1a from the Default Settings menu. For more information on Acrobat Distiller, visit here.

QuarkXPress has a built-in preset for exporting PDF/X-1a files from the file menu. For more information on exporting PDF files from QuarkXPress, visit here.

Microsoft Office has also now adopted the ability to directly produce PDF/X-1a files. For more information, visit here.