FAQQuestions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Acceptable File Formats

Portable Document Format (PDF)

A PDF ensures that your printed or viewed file retains the formatting that you intended. Please ensure that your PDF preference is set for press quality. This will ensure that fonts and images are embedded and that no data loss occurs during the printing process. All files should be sent through at 300dpi (preferred) as a minimum. Maximum 450-600 dpi. For the best results with photos, under 150dpi is not advised. 300dpi is better. If you are using Adobe Indesign to design your book, please ensure that the internal text pages are not sent through as spreads. Covers must be supplied as a single PDF, not as 3 pages such as back cover, spine and front cover. To work out the size of your cover, please use our cover and spine width calulator.

 

PLEASE READ

To send a PDF for printing, you MUST save the fonts you used in the PDF, so the document looks exactly the same on our machine as it does on your computer. Here’s how to do it:

Mac Word

Word>Preferences>Save>Font embedding check (tick) “Embed fonts in the file" and uncheck “Only embed the characters used in the file”.

The difference is only about 100kB and the possibility of missing one is a risk.

PC Word

File>Options>Save>Preserve fidelity when sharing this document: then check “Embed fonts in the file” and uncheck the following two options ("Embed only the characters used…” and “Do not embed common system fonts”)

Binding Options

At the Book Printing Company we offer five book binding options:

  1. Case or Hard Cover Binding
  2. Perfect Binding
  3. Saddle Stitching
  4. Wire-o
  5. Plastic comb Binding

For Case binding and Perfect binding we require a minimum number of pages to achieve a quality binding job, the following minimum number of internal pages are required, for the stocks offered in our calculators. If you have a page count less than required with your desired stock, a thicker stock can be utilised or an alternative binding method must be used.

80gsm uncoated no less than 54 pages (27 Sheets of paper)
90gsm uncoated no less than 46 pages (23 Sheets of paper)
100gsm uncoated no less than 41 pages (21 Sheets of paper)
120gsm uncoated no less than 34 pages (17 Sheets of paper)
115gsm coated no less than 50 pages (25 Sheets of paper)
128gsm coated no less than 44 pages (22 Sheets of paper)
150gsm coated no less than 36 pages (18 Sheets of paper)
170gsm coated no less than 32 pages (16 Sheets of paper)
80gsm Revive no less than 42 pages (21 Sheets of paper)
100gsm Revive no less than 38 pages (19 Sheets of paper)
135gsm Revive no less than 28 pages (14 Sheets of paper)

Case Binding

With Case or hard cover book binding, the process involves the gluing or stitching together of the book’s internal pages and the creation of a hard or book case which is then attached to the book block and secured with end papers. Case binding is suitable for Trade paperbacks which includes fiction novels, Non Fiction Novels, Childrens books, Family History, Cook Books, Magazines, Annual Reports and Technical or Training manuals.

Case binding has a number of requirements to ensure that your finished book looks professional.

Perfect Binding

With perfect bound bookbinding, the process involves the gluing together of the book’s pages and cover along the spine with a PUR adhesive. PUR binding is suitable for Trade paperbacks which includes fiction novels, Non Fiction Novels, Childrens books, Family History, Cook Books, Magazines, Annual Reports and Technical or Training manuals.

Perfect binding has a number of requirements to ensure that your finished book looks professional.

Saddle Stitching

Saddle stitching is one of the cheapest binding options for books and magazines under 48 pages. You can print the cover on the same paper as the rest of the booklet or the cover can be printed on heavier stock if you prefer. Saddle stitching is suitable for brochures, booklets and newsletters. Please keep in mind when designing your books for saddle stitching that you consider the following;

  • Page counts must be in increments of four pages
  • When the book is folded in half and stitched on the spine the pages at the centre of the document will stick out further than the cover / external pages. To tidy up the book the front edge is trimmed off which is called a forage trim. Be mindful that when the book is trimmed, components such as page numbers, images and text could be trimmed off if this is not taken into consideration when you are designing the document

Wire Binding

Wire binding is a commercial book binding method which allows a document to open completely flat on a desk and has a 360 degree rotation of bound pages. Wiro binding is suitable for Corporate reports, Cook books and text books.

Book Design and Layout

Can my book be resized?

Changing the size of your printed book after you have typed your manuscript will cause problems and cost you money. Reducing the size of your book will reduce the size of your fonts and images, and it can make your text difficult to read. Please ensure that you set up your document at the correct size before you save it as a PDF. If you do wish to change the size of your manuscript, we have word specialists who can assist.

Document Bleed Settings

There are two types of bleed, Internal Bleed and External bleed.

Internal bleed or text safe area is the area just inside the trimming edge of the sheet. An inner margin is required to ensure that all text/important graphics are kept a certain distance from the trimming edge. A small degree of movement can occur during the cutting process. The inner margin is designed to ensure that your essential content is safe.

External bleed is when an image, background or diagram is extended beyond the trim edge of the page. This allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your printing is cut to size. If there is no external bleed, white space or strips can occur at the edge of the sheet. For documents that have none of the above extending to the edge of the sheet, an external bleed is not required. Please note that the external bleed will be trimmed off after binding.

Saddle Stitching

Saddle stitching requires a structured approach to how it is laid out. The best way to understand what we are describing to you is to get 5-10 sheets of paper and fold them directly in half.

As you will see, opposite the stapled side of the book, the inner pages will protrude past the cover sheet. This side of the book (forage edge) will be trimmed off during the binding process to tidy up the book. As you can see, when trimmed, the sheets of paper in the centre of the book will be shorter than the external sheets. When you are setting up your document, please take this into consideration. Placing your page numbers in the centre of the page will ensure that your page numbers are not cut off. Please note that the external bleed will be trimmed off during the booklet making process to the required book size.

Saddle Stitch Bleed settings

  Position

 Internal Bleed

 External Bleed

  Top of page

 5mm

 5mm

  Bottom of page

 5mm

  5mm

  Binding Edge

 5mm

  5mm

  Forage edge (edge opposite the binding edge)

 7-10mm

  7-10mm

Saddle stitch Internal Page Margins

Page Margins for saddle stitching are not required for structural purpose. Besides the internal and external bleed settings explained above, page margins are purely a design component. It is entirely up to you as to how you would like your book to look.

Saddle Stitching Cover design

Saddle-stitched covers can be supplied as individual pages or as a spread. The bleed setting for the cover should be at least 7-10mm internal and external bleed.

Wire and Comb Binding

Wire and Comb binding design is relatively straightforward. The only consideration for wire and comb binding is that approximately 8-9mm on the binding edge will be hole punched to attach the wires or plastic combs. Therefore, any content you don’t want to lose should be kept away from the binding edge.

Wire Binding Bleed settings

  Position 

Internal Bleed

External Bleed

  Top of page

5mm

3mm

  Bottom of page

 5mm

 3mm

  Binding Edge

10mm

 3mm

  Forage edge (the edge opposite the binding edge)

 5mm

 3mm

Wire and Comb Binding Internal Page Margins

Page margins for wire and comb binding are not required for structural purposes, aside from the binding margin, which requires an area for punching, which was explained above. Page margins are purely a design component, and it is entirely up to you how you would like your book to look.

Wire and Comb Binding Cover design

Wire and Comb binding covers must be supplied as individual pages with 3mm external bleed on all sides.

Case/Hardcover and Perfect/Soft Cover Binding

Perfect binding design, like wire binding, is relatively straightforward. The most important aspect is the binding edge inner margin. Because a perfect-bound book does not lay flat like a wire or comb bound book, the binding margin requires a 7-10mm lay-flat or gutter margin. On top of that, you can add your preferred inner margin.

Case and Perfect Binding Bleed settings

  Position 

Internal Bleed

External Bleed

  Top of page

5mm

5mm

  Bottom of page

 5mm

5mm

  Binding Edge

7-10mm

5mm

  Forage edge (the edge opposite the binding edge)

 5mm

5mm

Case and Perfect Binding Internal Page Margins

Page margins for perfect binding are required for structural purposes. Aside from the 7-10mm lay-flat or gutter margin, you will need to allow for an additional margin area to ensure an easy read. An additional 1.5 to 2cm will ensure that anyone reading your book will not need to force the spine flat to read the content on the binding edge of your book. Regarding double page spreads or simply put, an image that goes over two pages, the margins required are not an exact science. If you wish to have DPS in your book, please consider the content and ensure that no vital information is within 7-10mm on the binding edge when placing images.

Perfect Binding Cover design

Perfect binding covers must be supplied as a single file seperate to the body text, which includes the back cover, spine and front cover. Alternately, you can contact us via our contact page for assistance.

Suppose you are printing on the inside of the cover. In that case, you will need to supply the inside front and back covers as separate pages to the body text. Both the inside front and back cover pages require a 5mm external bleed on all sides.

Spine widths differ depending on the thickness of your book. The text stock, cover thickness and the number of pages in the book influence the thickness of your book. To work out your spine width based on our premium papers, please use the Perfecting Binding spine width calculator...

Please keep in mind that the binding process can have a variance of up to 1mm. Therefore, we strongly advise that your artwork is not designed to line up flush with the spine. The preferred design would be that the front, spine and back cover are a continuous image across the spread. If this is not possible, a spine colour that blends into the cover design will reduce the imperfection.

Case Binding Cover design

For exact cover and spine width calculations, please use our Cover and spine width calculator. More

Case binding covers must be designed and supplied as per the below specifications. If you are not experienced with hardcover design, the services of an experienced graphic designer should be considered. When considering a Graphic designer, please ensure that they have had experience in Book and Cover print design and not just E-Books.

For a case to fit your book accurately, your cover must be 8mm taller and 6mm wider than your internal text pages. On top of that, you must include an additional 20mm bleed. This is called turn in. The 20mm bleed or turn in as it is often referred to, must consist of 15mm of the image or background colour used for your cover design. The leftover 10mm is covered by the endpapers and therefore does not require any image or background colour.

Spine widths differ depending on the thickness of your book. The text stock, cover thickness and the number of pages in the book influence the thickness of your book.

Please keep in mind that the binding process can have a variance of up to 1mm. Therefore, we strongly advise that your artwork is not designed to line up flush with the spine. The preferred design would be that the front, spine and back cover are a continuous image across the spread. If this is not possible, a spine colour that blends into the cover design will reduce the movement look.

 


Book Printing, Buy Now Pay Later

Welcome to the Book Printing Companies Buy Now, Pay Later Partnership Up to the Value of $1000

The Book Printing Company is a trading entity of the Agala Press Pty Ltd. Agala Press offers as part of their payment platform an option to choose Afterpay as a payment method. Due to the complexity of our online calculators we are unable to integrate the Afterpay payment system through our payment gateway directly, so we have been approved by Agala Press to create a custom quotation through the Agala Press site. 

It is a simple as this;

  • Step 1 - Create your online quotation

  • Step 2 - Submit your order through our online store

  • Step 3 - Select Afterpay as your chosen Payment method and in the Purchase order number area, please enter your password to access your custom quotation.

  • Step 4 - Complete order

  • Step 5 - You will receive an email confirmation that your quotation has been received and your quotation will be forwarded to Agala Press for processing.

  • Step 6 - Upon receipt of your quotation, a unique product code will be created and an email with password protected access to your book will be emailed to you with the login details to complete your Afterpay payment.

Book Sizes

There is no right or wrong size when it comes to book design, however, there are a number of tips or rules which will make the end product more presentable and more affordable. One of the most important aspects is whether your book size can be printed by standard technologies. Landscape books over A5 in size require the covers to be printed on offset technologies and will incur additional costs. Please see our article "Dont Let the Tail Wag the Dog" for a more detailed explanation.

Trade paperbacks which includes fiction novels

Book size (Trim size) 5 x 8 inches (203 x 127mm), 5.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 140mm), 6 x 9 inches (229 x 152mm).

These are the most common sizes for fiction books, however, in Australia the 6”x 9” is more expensive than the other sizes in the list.

Non Fiction Novels

Book size (Trim size) 5 x 8 inches (203 x 127mm), 5.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 140mm), 5.83 x 8.27 inches (210 x 148mm), 6 x 9 inches (229 x 152mm).

These are the most common sizes for non fiction books, however, in Australia the 6”x 9” is more expensive than the other sizes in the list.

Children's books

Book size (Trim size) 8 x 8 inches (203 x 203mm).

Family History, Cook Books, Magazines, Annual Reports and Technical or Training manuals

Book size (Trim size) 8 x 8 inches (203 x 203mm), 8 x 10 inches (254 x 203mm), 8 x 10.88 inches (276 x 203mm), 8.25 x 11 inches (280 x 210mm), 8.268 x 11.693 inches (A4) (297 x 210mm), 8.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 216mm).

Don't Let the Tail Wag the Dog

In almost all instances, the printing company is the last service people go to after they have written their book and had it designed. However, this can be problematic if communication, experience and high professional standards are not maintained.

An example of this could be something as fundamental as the size of the book. For short runs, which are usually defined by any quantity from 1 to 1000 copies of a book, digital printing is usually the cheapest method. Now, if you want to print an A4 book landscape, this will cost you considerably more than an A4 Portrait book.

Why is that, you ask? Digital printing is limited in regards to the paper sheet size. Most modern digital presses have a maximum sheet size of 488mm long and 330mm high.

Now let’s go back to the A4 landscape book. The length of an A4 Landscape book is 297mm. The internal pages of the book, if perfect bound, won’t be a problem. However, the Cover is another story. If you are perfect binding your book, the cover stock must be twice the length of the book plus the spine width. So, let’s do the sums. 297mm x 2, plus, let’s say, a 10mm spine. To perfect bind this size book, a sheet size of 604mm plus an additional 20mm for what we call bleed and trim will be required to reproduce the Cover. This means that a standard digital press will not do the job, and the Cover will have to be printed on an offset press.

An example of the difference in costs between the 2 technologies based on commercial rates supplied to us by an independent printing company to print just the covers are below;

100 Portrait digital covers on 350gsm stock would cost approximately $145.78 plus GST

100 Landscape Offset covers on 350gsm stock would cost roughly $ 403.63 plus increased production times and higher binding costs.

For a saddle-stitched book, the cost difference is much higher. When you apply the same principle as the perfect-bound book, you need to consider that the entire text will need to be printed on an offset press. Based on 100 copies of 24 page A4 Landscape book, plus Cover, the costs are outlined below;

100 A4 Landscape books printed Offset $1752.91
Text stock: Gloss coated 150gsm
Cover stock: Gloss coated 250gsm printed 2 sides
Printed full colour throughout
Saddle Stitched

100 A4 Portrait books printed Digital $460.00
Text stock: Gloss coated 150gsm
Cover stock: Gloss coated 250gsm printed 2 sides
Printed full colour throughout
Saddle Stitched

To avoid any nasty surprises when it comes time to print your book, make a plan. In saying this, try to avoid using vanity publishers who will charge you a considerable fee to manage your book production.

If you follow these few simple steps, you could save yourself a lot of money and disappointment.

To begin with, what is your budget for the entire project. Don’t get talked into spending more than you can afford.

There are several programs available for writing a book, such as Word or Adobe Indesign. If you are planning on doing your own design work, then either is suitable. Suppose you have intentions of having your book formatted by a professional and you are using Word or a similar program. In that case, you need to make sure that you don’t format your book as you type. By that, I mean, don’t use hard returns in your paragraphs’ or insert images or graphs. Just type in plain text. Most graphic designers will use a program such as Adobe Indesign to do the layout for your book and to do that, they will have to undo all of the formattings that you have done.

After you have written your book, and before it is designed, get an editor to read through your text to correct any spelling, grammar or other issues. That way, you won’t incur additional costs from the graphic designer to change the layout.

Once the book has been edited, you will have a rough page count. It is now time to contact the printing companies to get an idea of the printing costs.

Now it’s time to talk to the graphic designer. Whether you have only the Cover designed or the whole book, you know how much money you have left in your kitty to complete the project. Most graphic designers base their costs on an hourly rate, so time spent changing the content or removing formatting will cost you money.

Suppose you require editorial or graphic design services. In that case, we have several external companies which we work with frequently that we can supply contact details for.

Best of luck with your project.

 

Great Book Fonts

One of the most common questions we are asked, is what font should be used in a book, "Sans serif" or "serif".

There are two primary styles of type: "sans serif" and " serif".  "Serifs" are the tiny tails on the text. Most books use a 11 to 12 pt serif font for the body copy and a bold sans serif fonts for chapter titles and headers. Depending on the age of your target audience the larger type could be more suitable. 

Whilst there is no set standard, there are some fonts which have stood the test of time. In the following paragraphs we have included samples of a number of fonts which are widely used and are popular with professional book designers.

Garamond

garamond

Bembo

bembo

Caslon

caslon

Janson

janson

How Many Books Should I Print

How many books should I print?

Often, we are asked by our clients, what is the best quantity to order. The simple answer is, we don’t know. We can do the hard sell and tell you like some publishers, that you should order more because it’s cheaper per unit, or even worse, that you should order a two year supply. The cost per unit is not based on how many you get printed. It’s based on how many you sell.

The simple truth is that many people order hundreds of books and find out when they arrive that there is an error in the book, or that they don’t have adequate storage to store hundreds of books. Paper if not stored properly will deteriorate quickly if exposed to a damp environment.

We strongly recommend printing only enough books to supply you for approximately 6 months. You can always get more printed if the books sell well. Most of the orders we receive from experienced authors are under 250 books and in most instances for self publishing authors 50-75 books.

Please don’t fall into the trap of believing that any third party knows how many of your books will sell. Quiet honestly, no one can predict how well your book will sell.

Paper Types

The type of paper you choose for your book is entirely up to you, however, if you are not sure which paper type to use for your book, we have given a brief outline of suitable stocks for you to consider. If you require further assistance please contact us via our contact form

Trade paperbacks which includes fiction novels

Paper type: Off white or white uncoated stocks in 80, 90 or 100gsm. Creme book stock is not available for short run digital printing in Australia.

Non Fiction Novels

Paper type: Off white or white uncoated stocks in 80, 90 or 100gsm. Creme book stock is not available for short run digital printing in Australia.

Childrens books

Paper type: Coated 128 or 150gsm coated. 135gsm Revive Laser or 120gsm uncoated

Family History, Cook Books, Magazines, Annual Reports and Technical or Training manuals

Paper type: Any text stock above 100gsm is suitable for these books. For books which contain photographs stocks above 128gsm are advised.

Our Brands

Pacesetter Laser Recycled

Pacesetter Laser Recycled is a high quality paper, suitable for a variety of uses. Its formation of fibre provides a smooth white surface for offset printing. Pacesetter Laser Recycled is 30% recycled and made up from elemental chlorine free bleached pulp which is PEFC™ certified sourced from sustainably managed sources. It is manufactured by an ISO 14001 certified mill.

Revive Laser- Off white

Revive Laser is a 100% recycled uncoated grade with good opacity, stiffness and an excellent surface for printing. Revive Laser is 100% Recycled, and is manufactured from FSC® Recycled certified fibre. Certified Carbon Neutral by the Department of Environment under the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS). Made in Australia by an ISO 14001 certified mill. No chlorine bleaching occurs in the recycling process

Monza Recycled Satin

Monza Recycled is renowned for its ability to reproduce amazing and effective print results. Monza Recycled contains 99% recycled fibre and is FSC® Mix Certified, which ensures that all virgin pulp is derived from well-managed forests and controlled sources. Monza Recycled is manufactured by an ISO 14001 certified mill.

Pacesetter Coated Satin

Pacesetter Coated delivers consistently reliable press performance. Pacesetter Coated is an FSC® Mix Certified paper, which ensures that all virgin pulp is derived from well-managed forests and controlled sources. It contains elemental chlorine free bleached pulp and is manufactured by an ISO 14001 certified mill.

The Book Printing Company

Australia's Premier Book Printing Company for Self Publishers More.