Print Ready Checklist

Are Your Files Ready for Print?

  • Are all images high-resolution and in CMYK or Grayscale color mode?

  • Have all fonts been embedded or outlined?

  • Is the document set to the correct trim size, including bleed if necessary?

  • Have all necessary margins been accounted for?

  • Are there any missing or broken links in the document?

  • Have any spot colors been converted to CMYK or removed?

  • Is the document free of spelling and grammatical errors?

  • Have any special printing effects (e.g., embossing, foil stamping) been properly set up?

  • Have you included crop marks and any necessary printer’s marks?

  • Have you saved a backup copy of the file in case of any unforeseen issues?

Cover Specifications

Perfect Bound Books
Perfect Bound Cover Specifications for Print Ready Files

Formatting for Perfect Bound Books

A single file should be provided that includes the back, spine, and front cover. The spine width varies by paper used and page count. You can verify the size using our spine bulk calculator.

Saddle Stitch Books
saddle stitch print realy file specifications

Formatting for Saddle Stitch Books

Books that are saddle stitched do not have a spine. A single file should be provided that includes the back and front cover.

Mechanical Bound Books
Mechanical bound print ready file specifications

Formatting for Mechanical Bound Books

If your book is mechanical bound, you should provide two separate cover files, front and back.

File Formatting Notes

Cover Enhancements

Special cover printing options such as spot dull, foil, and emboss need a separate PDF file using the same cover layout. You should show the portion receiving the treatment in a 100% black separation.


For interior text files, a multi-page file for the complete text should be provided. You must include the page count, divisible by 4. If your current page count is not divisible by 4, blank pages should be added to reach that count.


If you are printing in full color, your black text should always be 100% black. CMYK color space (not RGB) should be used. Please review color separations if you have the tools available.

If you’re printing full black and white, make sure the text files are 100% black and images are grayscale.

Some authors may not have the experience and skill sets needed to format books, especially graphic novels. If you need help, ask your printer if they have any professionals to recommend formatting your text. Color House Graphics has a list of recommended professionals that can help you through the formatting process.

Additional Resources

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