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Hardback book set-up guides

To print your hardback book we need High Quality PDF files please.

4 files should be supplied if your end papers are printed.

2 files should be supplied if your end papers are unprinted and blank.

 

 

Most design programs have the ability to Export to PDF or Save As PDF so don't worry, once you have finished your layouts, making a PDF is super easy and just takes a couple of clicks.

 

Here is what we need from you

File 1.

The outer cover file is a flat spread based on our hardback cover guide which you can download here.  There will be a spine through the centre - the size is dependent on the number of pages you have.  The cover file is slightly trickier for a hardback book because you have to include scope for the sections which are folded round the spine and the extra flaps that tuck round the hard back case. On our guide, the green areas are the flat panels of the book cover and spine so should contain your main cover artwork.  The purple areas will be on the folds or partially hidden sections when the cover is glued on so keep any important information out of them. The purple areas work best as a continuation of your background colour or image if you have any since they are partially visible.  This video guide depicts this a little more clearly: https://youtu.be/Hpp9BvKOX7Q

So, now you have downloaded the cover guide, it's some [easy] Maths time.

The cover artwork width will be 17mm + the width of your book + 5mm + the spine size + 5mm + the width of your book + 17mm.
The height will be 17mm + 3mm + the height of your book + 3mm + 17mm.

Therefore if your hardback book is A5 (210x148mm) and it has 40 inside pages onto 130gsm Silk (9mm spine), the cover will be:
17+14+5+9+5+148+17 = 349mm wide.
17+3+210+3+17 = 250mm high.

โ€ข So you should create a new page in Indesign which is 349x250mm.
โ€ข You can set the margins at 17mm on each side so you can clearly see where the flaps are that tucked round and are glued to the inside covers.
โ€ข Another Pro Hack is to then click 'Columns': 2 and make the gutter between the columns 9mm. This will then give you vertical guides through the middle of your new page which will be your spine. Easy!

 

 

File 2.

If you would like the endpapers printed then you could supply a pattern or solid colour for those. The front endpapers: This a two-page file with two double-page spreads at twice the width of your text pages. Page 1 is the reverse of the endpaper so keep the right-hand half of that page blank because it's glued to the inside cover.  Page 2 is the first spread when you open the book's cover. Download the template guide here (this is for A5 but you can follow it for any size and adjust the measurements accordingly). Our guide shows where the three visible panels should be added to your design and which panel to leave blank because that is the one which will be glued down.

The end paper files is double the width of your inside pages because it is supplied as a spread. So if your book is A5 (210x148mm), then the endpaper spreads will be 210x296mm. If the book is A4 (297x210mm), the endpaper spread will be 297x420mm.

 

File 3.

The back endpapers. Again, this a two-page file with two double-page spreads at twice the width of your text pages. Page 1 is the reverse of the endpaper so keep the left-hand half of that page blank because it's glued to the inside back cover. Page 2 is the last spread before you close the book's back cover. Download the guide here.

 

File 4.

The inside text pages - your main book content.  (We call them 'Text Pages' but you can of course include images, graphic and illustrations too).

This file is supplied as single pages rather than spreads and in reading order.  Our video guide showcases many page layout ideas that really work for children's books, photography books and high end coffee table books.

 

Download your hardback cover guide, front and back end-paper templates here.

All files need crop marks and 3mm bleed, please. When you export from Indesign to pdf choose PDFX/1A.  You can choose this from the top drop down menu when you export to PDF. We won't go to print with the bleed so adding it from the start saves time.

The Page Order of Hardback Books

Hardcover books are a little more technical to set up than a simple stapled or perfect bound version. You need to consider the front and back covers, then you open the cover and find the endpapers which is three sides (left, right, left) then you are into the text pages.

The running order of hardback book pages is:

Front Cover (choose from 170gsm Silk with Matt or Gloss Lamination or one of the cover materials from Winter&Co)
End paper left - glued to the inside front cover (170gsm uncoated)
End paper right (170gsm uncoated)
Reverse end paper left (170gsm uncoated)
First right hand 'inside' page - page 1 of your text page PDF. Choose from Silk, Gloss or Uncoated, 115gsm > 170gsm thickness.
Double page spread formed by pages 2 and 3 in your inside page PDF.
4 and 5 make a spread, 6 and 7, 8 and 9 etc.
 
At the end of the book, the running order is:
 
Double page spread formed by the penultimate last two pages in your inside page PDF.
Last left hand 'inside' page - the last page of your text page PDF. Choose from Silk, Gloss or Uncoated, 115gsm > 170gsm thickness.
Front end paper right (170gsm uncoated)
End paper left (170gsm uncoated)
End paper right - glued to the inside back cover (170gsm uncoated)
Back Cover (choose from 170gsm Silk with Matt or Gloss Lamination or one of the cover materials from Winter&Co)

Any questions, do give us a shout, we are here to help on email, phone and live chat.

Ready to place an order?

Brilliant! You'll need to upload the files using We Transfer and in the comments box let us know the number of copies you're going for and where you would like us to deliver the job to. We'll then give your artwork a free preflight check to highlight any potential issues and will email with any advice or recommendations before going to production. Of course, do send over a work in progress file a few days before if you prefer so we can hit the ground running when your job goes ahead.

The Best Design Software for preparing print ready artwork

Navigating the world of graphic design software can be overwhelming, especially with so many options available. That's why we've done the legwork for you. Our comprehensive comparison guide breaks down the features, pros, cons, and pricing of Adobe InDesign, Affinity Publisher, QuarkXPress, and Scribus. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

We appreciate that this process is complicated so it is best to allow a few extra days before the job goes to print in order to set up the artwork correctly for a hardback book and to give us time to fine-tune your files. We also recommend taking 5 minutes to read through our step by step file set up pages. The guides will make the process much easier and will answer 99% of the questions you may have.

All of our website's guides on file set-up are for Adobe InDesign which you can get on a one-week free trial. However, as long as you can export your finished work to a high res pdf, do feel free to use your favourite program. Other options are Affinity Publisher, Quark Express, Illustrator, and even Word or Publisher. The same principles and guides still apply when preparing your layout. If you cannot set up your artwork, do ask, we have a wealth of print knowledge and if it is a simple fix we will do our best to help.

If you have never printed anything before and this all sounds like a foreign language, donโ€™t worry, remember we are here to help on email, phone and live chat. If it is out of office hours then all of the answers are all in the Resource section on our website too.

Why supply files correctly?

If you have a crucial deadline to hit then back and forth with the artwork will cause a delay. Supplying files correctly first time round means your job can go straight on our press and will arrive on time.

A quick 10 minute video guide to help choosing materials, finishes and options.

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