If you would like to submit your manuscript as a print-ready PDF, there are very specific requirements it must meet. I’ll show you how to make a PDF in Microsoft Word 2007 that will meet the requirements for a black & white book. But first, there are a few important things you need to know about submitting a print-ready PDF.
About Print-Ready PDFs
Please be aware that “print-ready” means just that. We will not be making any adjustments to your content or design so you’ll need to submit your PDF exactly as required for publication. This includes page numbers, table of contents, fonts and font size, page margins, and image resolution. We will not be able to correct the text in your PDF. After submitting your PDF to us, if you need to correct your text or revise the design, you will need to submit an entirely new, complete PDF and additional fees may apply.
There are only 3 things we will do with your file before submitting it for publication.
1.We’ll add the copyright page.
2.If you’ve submitted a PDF for a black and white book and the PDF contains color images, we will gray scale the PDF. There can be no color on the interior pages of a black and white book.
3.And if necessary, we will insert between 1 and 4 blank pages to the end of your book to make the final page count divisible by 4 and to ensure that the last page is completely blank.
If your PDF contains images, please be sure they meet the following three requirements.
1.All images need to have a resolution of at least 300 PPI, or pixels per inch. Please note that if you insert an image and then enlarge it within your document, you are decreasing it’s resolution.
2.All images in a black & white book need to be contained within the text margins.
3.If your PDF contains any copyrighted images, you’ll need to send written permission from the copyright holder.
How to Create Your Print-Ready PDF
Your computer will need to have Adobe Acrobat installed in order to create a PDF. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, it can be downloaded free of charge at several different websites. Just do a search for ‘free Adobe Acrobat’.
Step 1: Set Your Margins
The first step in creating a print-ready PDF is setting your document’s margins to match those of your final book size. On screen right now is a table of our available black & white book sizes and the corresponding margins.
5 x 8
6 x 9
8.25 x 11
For this example, I’m going to set the margins for a 6 by 9 book.
In Microsoft Word 2007:
1.Click the ‘Page Layout’ tab.
2.Then, click ‘Margins’.
3.In the pull-down menu that opens, select the last option, ‘custom margins’.
4.The ‘page setup’ window will open. This is where we will set our margins.
5.Click the ‘Paper’ tab.
6.Under ‘paper size’, set the width and height to match the specifications for your chosen book size. Since I’m using a 6 x 9 sized book as an example, I’m going to set the width to 6 and the height to 9.
7.Where it says ‘apply to’, make sure that ‘whole document’ is selected.
8.Now click the ‘Margins’ tab.
9.Enter the specifications for your chosen book size into the fields for ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘left’, ‘right’, and ‘gutter’. When entering your margin numbers, Microsoft Word may round them slightly up or down. This is okay. The difference is insignificant enough to ignore.
10.Skip ‘gutter position’.
11.Under ‘orientation’, you want ‘portrait’ selected.
12.Where it says ‘multiple pages’, select ‘mirror margins’.
13.Where it says ‘apply to’, make sure ‘whole document’ is selected
14.Next, go to the ‘Layout’ tab.
15.Under ‘headers and footers’, check the box where it says ‘different odd and even.’ Enter the margins for your chosen book size. For my 6 x 9 example, the header and footer specifications are 0.5.
16.Where it says ‘apply to’, once again make sure ‘whole document’ is selected.
17.We’re finished setting the margins. At the bottom of the ‘page setup’ window, click ‘Okay’.
Step 2: Correct Your Design & Layout if Needed
When your margins change, your text will shift. This can often create unintentional errors in your design or formatting. If your manuscript contains any tables, lists, charts, or images, are they safely contained within the text margins? If not, you will need to resize or reposition them.
Special formatting like poetry or any other text spaced apart by using the spacebar, tab key, or enter key may need corrected inside your new margins.
Step 3: The Copyright Page / Facing Pages
Leave a blank page where we can insert your book’s copyright information. The copyright page needs to be a left-hand facing page immediately following your main title page. Keep in mind that the first page of your book, typically the title page, will always be a right-hand facing page. When you turn that page, the copyright page will appear on the left and your front matter will begin on the right. When you hold your final book open, even-numbered pages will always be on the left and odd-numbered pages will always be on the right.
Step 4: Print to PDF
If all of your content looks good, you can now print it out to a PDF file. In Microsoft Word 2007, you can do this by clicking the ‘Office Button’ in the top left-hand corner of your screen and selecting ‘Print’ from the pull-down menu. In older versions of Microsoft Word, you can do this by going to ‘File’ and ‘Print’.
1.In the ‘print’ window that opens, select ‘Adobe PDF’ as the name of your printer.
3.Where it says ‘default settings’, choose an option that contains the prefix ‘PDF-X1a’. If you do not have this as an option, then choose either ‘high quality print’ or ‘press quality’. Any other default setting will be rejected by our printer.
4.Be sure that the option to ‘rely on system fonts only; do not use document fonts’, is unchecked.
5.Click the ‘Paper Quality’ tab.
6.For a black & white book, be sure ‘black & white’ is selected.
7.Click ‘okay’ to close the ‘properties’ window.
8.Click ‘okay’ again to close the ‘print’ window.
9.Select where you would like to save your PDF file.
10.Wait for your computer to finish printing the PDF file. When it’s finished, open the file and give it a quick review.
Since the first page of your book will be a right-hand facing page, we recommend reviewing your PDF file so that it approximates your book’s final page layout. In Adobe Acrobat, the program used for viewing PDFs, go to ‘view’ and select the following two options: ‘two-up continuous’, and ‘show cover page during two-up’. Viewing your PDF with these settings will put your first page on the right and display all successive pages on the side they will appear in the final book.
Printer Requirements: ‘Divisible by Four’ & Blank Pages
When we submit your PDF to the printer, it’s final page count will need to be divisible by 4 and the very last page must be completely blank. You do not need to submit your PDF this way but you do need to be aware of this requirement. If your PDF’s final page count is not divisible by 4, we will add however many blank pages are needed to the end of your book. This could be as few as one blank page or as many as four. For example, if you submit a 120 page PDF, this number is divisible by 4. But if the last page is not blank, we will have to add 4 pages to your book.
If you have questions about submitting a print-ready PDF, please contact your Check-In Coordinator and they’ll be happy to assist you.
AuthorHouse is the leading provider of supported self-publishing services for authors around the globe, with over 97,000 titles released. With our wide range of packages and services, we provide the tools and expertise you need to realize your publishing dreams. Distribute your book to a worldwide audience in classic black & white, vibrant full-color, paperback, hardback, plus all digital formats. For more information or to start your publishing journey, please call us at 888-519-5121 or follow @authorhouse on Twitter. It’s time to share your story with the world!
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