- Just who is the publisher?
- What are crop marks?
- What is the self-publishing process?
- What file format should my images be in?
- What is an ISBN?
- What color space should my images be in?
- What are some common legal terms I may come across?
- What kind of paper can I use for my book?
- What resolution should my scanned images be?
- Am I restricted to certain sizes for my book?
- What does a bleed mean?
- What file format should I submit my book interior and cover files in?
- Why do the special effects (transparencies, drop shadows, etc.) on my cover not print properly?
- How do I know what size to make my spine?
- Can I mix colour and black & white pages in my document?
- If I only have Photoshop to build my cover, what resolution should my file be?
Just who is the publisher?
Most traditionalists would say that the person who owns the rights to the title, puts up the money to edit and format the book, pays for the printing, markets and sells the book is the publisher. That means if you are using publishing services you are the publisher. Companies like Blitzprint provide services which assist you publishing. Take pride in the fact that this is your book in every sense and wear the badge of publisher proudly, you earned it.
If, on the other hand, a company agrees to buy the rights of the title from you and take on the task of getting the book to market with their time, money and effort then they are the publisher and you have just been “published”.
Typically getting “published” involves sending query letters to many publishers in the hopes they will read and accept your manuscript for publication.
What are crop marks?
These are marks that the design program adds to the file to show the printer were the page is expected to be trimmed.
What is the self-publishing process?
If you’ve decided to self-publish, you’ve essentially taken on the role of publisher and we are here to help you with the process. Being the publisher, you are in charge and can decide just how far you want to take it. You should evaluate your needs, desires, skill set and goals. Your goals can be as lofty as bestseller status, movie deals and fame, or as simple as just getting closure to a labor of love. No matter where you go with it you’ll be in good company with the likes of Rudyard Kipling, James Redfield, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Carl Sandburg, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman having self-published at some point in their careers.
What file format should my images be in?
The preferred file format is .tiff. Tiff files use no compression so there is no loss of quality. The file format .jpeg uses compression to make the file size smaller but at the same time reduces the image quality. It is okay to send in .jpeg files if .tiff’s are not available, but make sure to use the maximum image quality setting.
What is an ISBN?
Think of the ISBN as a serial number for your book. Unlike book titles and author names, the ISBN is always unique. Details of the book, such as size, pages, type of bind, author, publisher, etc are associated with the ISBN. We encourage authors to get their own ISBN, as it is free and easy to do in Canada. If you have no plan to put the book into the retail market there’s no need to even have an ISBN. The EAN barcode for a book will be created from the ISBN and is a simple process that should cost you next to nothing. So, don’t spend hundreds on one from unscrupulous web services!
What color space should my images be in?
The preferred colour space is CMYK. The colour space of cameras and scanners is RGB. If you do not have the software to convert these images to CMYK just send them in RGB, our software will still print the images though colours may not be as vibrant.
What are some common legal terms I may come across?
- Intellectual Property (IP) Rights – in all cases you will retain 100% of the IP rights for your title when using Blitzprint. You are free at any point to use any other service or printer. The only right we need to be given is the right to reproduce the title, without that we can’t legally print the book.
- Copyright – Copyright law is a big topic and for any definitive answers you’re best to talk to a good intellectual property lawyer. But, the gist of it is this: copyright is implied at creation. If you write a novel, the copyright is “yours”. The challenge is establishing a timeline of “when” you created the novel, because in a copyright case, who came up with it first, will usually win. So, registering your title with copyright agencies like the US Copyright Office or Canada’s Cataloguing in Publication.
- Title – The title of your book is not subject to copyright and in all likelihood there are other books out there with the same title.
- Liable – You are completely liable should your title infringe on someone’s copyright or contain defamatory statements.
- Product or company names – Using a trademarked name in your novel is generally fine as long as it doesn’t appear to confuse the reader. Saying, “Bob took a sip of Coke” will not be a problem. Saying, “Bob, hopped in his brand new Coca-Cola roadster and drove off” will confuse the brand and might get you in trouble.
- Contracts – You don’t actually have a contract with us, simply an agreement. Either party can exit at any point without penalty.
What resolution should my scanned images be?
300 DPI at the finished printed size, or 600 DPI if your image contains text.
Am I restricted to certain sizes for my book?
Although most of the books we produce are standard sizes like 5.5” x 8.5” or 6” x 9”, we can print your book at a variety of sizes. Sometimes slight changes in size can make a large difference in the final price. Our Client Support Specialist will be able to guide you in the right direction.
What does a bleed mean?
Bleed is when the printed elements on the page go off the edge of the sheet leaving no blank margin between the printed area and the edge of the sheet. In order for this to occur on every copy of the cover extra image or colour area is required to compensate for any movement in the printing process.
The bleed amount should be no less than .125”.
Why do the special effects (transparencies, drop shadows, etc.) on my cover not print properly?
This is typically caused by using spot colours. When saving the file an error message will appear that most people ignore. This is actually a very important error message. When using special effects functions ALL colours in the file MUST be set to CMYK.
Can I mix colour and black & white pages in my document?
Yes. You may have pages that are colour images and/or text as well as pages that have grayscale images and only black text. Make sure that the grayscale images are placed in the document as grayscale and not RGB/CMYK that looks B&W. The print engine will see the colour information in the RGB/CMYK images and would consider those pages as colour pages and you would be billed as such.
If I only have Photoshop to build my cover, what resolution should my file be?
If you are building your complete cover in Photoshop including textual items then a MINIMUM of 600 DPI MUST be used. Do not use anything higher than 1200 DPI as it will not improve image quality and only make for a very large file size. Also, in this case a .psd file would be the preferred file format to send us.