Writing Done Right
Preparing for Printing
Summary: This article will look at the output settings needed to produce a book for print.

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This article and accompanying video will look at some considerations for getting your manuscript ready to go to the printer.

Whether your book is going to IngramSpark, KDP, or another printer / distributor, you will need to format your manuscript for print. I have a few articles that will get you started with that process. Once your manuscript is formatted, it needs to be printed, and the printable file is what needs to be sent to the printer for distribution in the POD service.

Some of the more 'user-friendly' services allow direct uploading of DOCX or ODT files, but any time we have the introduction of user-friendliness, we lose some precision that comes with proper preparation. To this end, please ignore the options for DOCX and ODT, and any other format that is not a PDF. The PDF document type is meant to be consistent everywhere and that means you will have more predictable printing results, which only leads to a higher quality book. In addition, not all printers accept a basic word processor file, but all of them should accept the universal PDF file format.

Proper PDF Formatting

When you are exporting your PDF, you need to be sure to enable a few options.

  1. Embed fonts - This is set in the document properties on both Word and LibreOffice (I assume that is also the case on Google Docs). File → Properties and in there, you should find the Embed Fonts option. Make sure that is selected.
  2. Image Resolutions - Your image resolutions should be 300dpi images with no compression. Ingram does allow down to 200dpi without errors, but 300 is always safest for print.
  3. Use no or minimal compression - Compression is used on PDF files to reduce the size. That is great if you are intending to share files around, but for the purposes of printing your book, quality over size, and the compression will hurt the quality.

With these very simple steps, you should have a PDF files that will work with any book distributor, POD service, or multi-listing service.

If you need a quote on typesetting or document preparation, reach out to us on the contact form for a quote.