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Submitting files

WritersServices Self-publishing

Putting together your own digital files
  • This page is only for people who want to design their own book or cover. 
  • However, unless you have the necessary equipment, software and the information below makes sense, you are strongly advised to use our experts, who can make sure that the process is trouble-free for you.
  • Nonethless, the ability to produce digital files is increasingly common and these guidelines will indicate what is required.


  • Interior content should be black and white. Colour content that is submitted is reproduced as black and white.
  • Exterior covers may be colour or black & white but are all printed on a four-colour print machine.
  • Binding processes require that a book must have more than 48 pages and less than 800 pages.

Book size

The final cost of the books depends on the number of pages so it is worth thinking about the layout. A larger page size means fewer pages so a lower unit cost of each book.

Binding Types and Trim Sizes for paperbacks

Book mm Paper stock
203 x 127 Cream 55lb/ 85gsm
216 x 140 (Demy 8vo) Cream 55lb/ 85gsm
229 x 152 Demy Cream 55lb/ 85gsm
234 x 156 (Royal) White 50lb/ 75gsm
244 x 170 White 50lb/ 75gsm
254 x 178 White 50lb/ 75gsm
246 x 189 (Crown) White 50lb/ 75gsm
235 x 191 White 50lb/ 75gsm

But if you are planning a book size of A4, 280 x 210 or 210 x 297, the page print cost goes up, so try to fit into one of the sizes in the table above. All these sizes can be bound in paperback covers or as hardbacks.

Book Block Page Count

Text pages are printed in four-page (two front/two back) single sheet "signatures". The last page of the book must be left blank for production information (a barcode) and the page count of the book must be divisible by four, or additional blank pages must be added.

Books are printed using digital printing equipment similar to a quality laser printer. Reproduction quality may vary from offset production for many reasons, including original print quality, original halftone/picture quality. The proof copy allows quality to be adjusted to suit the print process and this ensures expectations are met.

It is difficult for designers to get the spine of the cover to exactly the right thickness until they know the page count (and the thickness of the paper). Sort out the text first to find the number of pages, not forgetting to include the preliminaries and any index or additional pages in the calculation. (Two pages make one sheet or piece of paper).

The Cover

  • The cover is a vital part of the book and deserves a significant investment of your time. It must attract attention. As many people will probably buy the book online, the image must be strong even when viewed as a small image inside Amazon (only 648 pixels high).
  • The best solution is to flow any image from the front onto the back cover to avoid a sharp edge at the binding. Avoid sharp graphic boundaries between the front, spine and back.
  • Lettering on the spine must be 2mm away from the nominal edge. A larger margin is recommended unless you are very confident about the thickness of the spine of the finished book.
  • When the cover meets the pages there must be at least a 2mm margin of error. This is known as ‘bleed’. Make sure the cover image extends at least this distance (preferably 5mm) beyond the design edge.
  • Covers should be produced as a landscape page, wide enough to cover the front, spine and back of the book, along with 1/8" bleed on all sides.
  • You will need to have about 76 pages to allow you to include any text on the spine.
  • To make life easy for you, we can produce a cover template with all these margins marked along, with the barcode. You need to send us the number of pages, the page size, the title, the price (if you want it included in the barcode) and finally the ISBN, which we normally supply as a part of the deal).

Bar code

An EAN bar code is created on the back cover of the book (not on cloth bound books) by WPS. Barcode will be placed on the back cover of the book, with the appropriate EAN embedded in the barcode and the ISBN within the box above it. The standard size of the barcode is 57.6 points. However, a barcode of up to 72 points can be inserted. If the price on the cover of a book should be added, deleted, or revised please indicate this in the special instructions field when submitting the title. Specify if this change is to be made to the cover itself, the barcode, or both.

Pricing in UK Pounds and US dollars is conventionally printed to the right of the bar code.

WPS logo

A set of jpeg files in various colours are available. These go at the bottom of the spine. The WPS lettering block is never bigger than 11mm wide by 15mm tall and there is no minimum size provided it is ‘legally legible’. If you condense, expand or distort the logotype in any way it may end up with it looking like someone else's logo. So we strongly recommend you include it ‘as is’.

Text Block files

'Print ready' files can be accepted in the following formats:

  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Quark XPress
  • PageMaker

MS Word document files are not accepted for printing. (PDF versions of Word document files are accepted.) You can, of course, send Word files to us to design the pages for you. The best known page-layout programmes are Adobe InDesign, Quark X-Press and Microsoft Publisher. These sophisticated graphic programmes offer more options to a designer than any word processor.

Submitting PDF Files -

  • PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This is the preferred way to deliver your digital files. There are a number of ways to turn your text files into the PDF format. You need to make sure that you have all the correct text and settings inside your page layout document before you convert it to a PDF. PDF is an output format that is normally ‘read only’ so it cannot be edited.
  • PDF files should be set to an A4 (8.26x11.69/297x210mm) template, centred and contain no crop marks.
  • All the text must all be in a single file.
  • Please embed all fonts and all font family members used. Submit even the most common fonts; your version’s special characters, expansion sets, etc. If you omit any font it can upset your layout. (Font embedding should be specified to the distiller in order to assure that all fonts are included in-line with the document.)
  • Font subset should be set at 100%. We have been experiencing some difficulties when font files are compressed so please send extra copies of any font files embedded in your files.
  • Output resolution should be set to 600 dpi.

Submitting Quark and Pagemaker Files

If submitting a QuarkXPress or PageMaker Document, all elements must be provided to complete the digital set up process (i.e. live art, images and fonts).

  • All images must be in a CMYK format and at a 300dpi resolution.
  • All fonts must include screen and printer versions.
  • All artwork must be saved as a CMYK format.

Cover files are accepted in the following formats (listed by preference)

  • One or three piece TIFF files (.tif)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Quark
  • PageMaker 6.5

Naming your files

When you submit the text and cover file the names must have the ISBN followed by txt or cov then the file type ( which is normally added automatically). These are the accepted formats: 1234567890txt.pdf and 1234567890cov.pdf

For all cover files:

  • Scan all images at 300dpi
  • Save all images as CMYK TIFF
  • Convert all colors to CMYK
  • Convert all EPS files to CMYK

Casebound Titles

Cloth-style casebound titles require text copy for spine production.

Up to 42 characters (including spaces) may be used to stamp the title, author, and/or other text the publisher designates onto the spine. Characters available include the 26 upper letters, numerals 1-10, space, period, comma, hyphen, quote, apostrophe, slash, and the two parentheses. Text is positioned on the spine of the book as the publisher designates during the title setup process.

The same digital file or hardcover book may be submitted for paperback and casebound editions provided the trim size is the same, however, a new copyright page containing the ISBN for that format may be needed. A new ISBN is required by the book industry for each format.

Hardback Specifications

Hardback (hb) book blocks are bound in 215gsm/80lb crème-white end leaves and glued into hardback cases. Books are dressed with headbands and footbands and bound into either printed four-colour laminated covers or a durable Kivar acrylic latex-saturated linen-weave covers with a gold foil-stamped spine. Cloth covered books are available in blue or grey. Foil stamping on the front of the book is not available.



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  2. Unit cost business & marketing plans
  3. Book order form and payment page

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