If you're working with a designer — or you're a designer yourself — you can follow these guidelines and rules to prepare your PDF of your book.

Not a PDF author? These checks are for authors preparing to publish a PDF. If you are creating a book inside Tablo, rest assured this is all done automatically for you.

Guidelines

Cover requirements

Interior requirements

Guidelines

Quick reference

  • Layout. One story page per PDF page (1-up view).

  • Bleed. If your book has images that extend to the edges of a page, add a bleed.

  • Margins. Use margins of at least 0.5 inches on all trim sides.

  • Fonts. Embed all fonts.

  • Objects. Remove transparencies and layers.

  • Images. Images (cover and inside pages) should be 300 PPI.

  • Marks. Remove crop marks, comments, or invisible objects.

  • Color Space. Convert colors to RGB. No CMYK, spot colors or ICC profiles.

Common errors

  • Resolution on images is too low.

  • ICC profiles included in PDF.

  • Pages out of order in PDF.

  • Page numbering incorrect.

  • Fonts not embedded in PDF.

Cover requirements

Calculate cover size

To calculate your full cover (Back/Spine/Front), follow these steps:

  1. Calculate your spine width using our guidelines.

  2. Input your spine width, and chosen trim size width and height to a formula below.

Paperback

Bleed: 0.125 inches (3 mm)

  • Cover Width: Bleed + Trim Width + Spine Width + Trim Width + Bleed

  • Cover Height: Bleed + Trim Height + Bleed

Hardcover, Dust Jacket

Bleed: 0.125 inches (3 mm)

Flap: 3.25 inches (82.55 mm)

Wrap: 0.25 inches (6.35 mm)

  • Cover Width: Bleed + Flap + Wrap + Trim Width + 0.4375 in (11.11 mm) + Spine Width + Trim Width + 0.4375 in (11.11 mm) + Wrap + Flap + Bleed

  • Cover Height: Bleed + Trim Height + Bleed

Hardcover, Case Wrap

Foldover: 0.625 inches (16 mm)

Hinge: 0.5 inches (12.7 mm)

  • Cover Width: Foldover + Trim Width - 0.17 inches (4.32 mm) + Hinge + Spine Width + Hinge + Trim Width - 0.17 inches (4.32 mm) + Foldover

  • Cover Height: Wrap + Trim Height + Foldover

Cover formatting

  • Your cover may be one image (full spread), or separate images (back, spine, front).

  • For paperback covers and dust jacket hardcover covers, include a bleed of 0.125 in (3 mm) on all edges. Keep any text or non-bleed images at least 0.25 in (6 mm) from the edges.

  • For dust jacket covers, keep important text or images outside the wrap area.

  • For case wrap hardcover covers, fill as much of the foldover as possible. This area will be folded over and glued to the cover boards. Keep important text or images outside the hinge area

Spine measurements

  • For paperback books, calculate your spine width using the page widths below.

  • For hardcover books, find the range that contains your final page count. If your hardcover book does not fit one of these ranges, send us a message.

Paperback

  • Black and white, 50lb cream paper: page count × 0.0023 in (0.0585 mm)

  • Black and white, 50lb white paper: page count × 0.0021 in (0.0532 mm)

  • Standard color, 70lb white paper: page count × 0.00272 in (0.069 mm)

  • Premium color, 70lb white paper: page count × 0.0026 in (0.066 mm)

Hardcover, Dust Jacket

Black and white, 50lb cream paper

  • 18-58 pages: 0.25 in (6.35 mm)

  • 60-84 pages: 0.313 in (7.95 mm)

  • 86-110 pages: 0.375 in (9.525 mm)

  • 112-140 pages: 0.438 in (11.125 mm)

  • 142-168 pages: 0.5 in (12.7 mm)

  • 170-196 pages: 0.563 in (14.3 mm)

  • 198-226 pages: 0.625 in (15.875 mm)

  • 228-254 pages: 0.688 in (17.475 mm)

  • 256-284 pages: 0.75 in (19.05 mm)

  • 286-312 pages: 0.813 in (20.65 mm)

  • 314-342 pages: 0.875 in (22.225 mm)

  • 344-370 pages: 0.938 in (23.825 mm)

  • 372-400 pages: 1 in (25.4 mm)

  • 402-428 pages: 1.063 in (27 mm)

Black and white, 50lb white paper

  • 18-98 pages: 0.25 in (6.35 mm)

  • 100-124 pages: 0.313 in (7.95 mm)

  • 126-152 pages: 0.375 in (9.525 mm)

  • 154-182 pages: 0.438 in (11.125 mm)

  • 184-214 pages: 0.5 in (12.7 mm)

  • 216-244 pages: 0.563 in (14.3 mm)

  • 246-274 pages: 0.625 in (15.875 mm)

  • 276-304 pages: 0.688 in (17.475 mm)

  • 306-336 pages: 0.75 in (19.05 mm)

  • 338-368 pages: 0.813 in (20.65 mm)

  • 370-402 pages: 0.875 in (22.225 mm)

  • 404-438 pages: 0.938 in (23.825 mm)

Hardcover, Case Wrap

Premium color, 70lb white paper

  • 18-54 pages: 0.25 in (6.35 mm)

  • 56-78 pages: 0.313 in (7.95 mm)

  • 80-90 pages: 0.375 in (9.525 mm)

Spine text

  • No spine text for paperback books with fewer than 48 pages.

  • For spines thinner than 0.35 in (8.89 mm), allow 0.03125 in (1 mm) left and right of your text.

  • For spines wider than 0.35 in (8.89 mm), allow 0.0625 (2 mm) left and right of your text.

Barcodes

  • The barcode may be put anywhere on the back cover.

  • We provide your barcode. Simply leave a white box of space in your design.

  • The space to leave is 1 × 1.755 in (25.4 mm × 44.58 mm).

Interior requirements

Page size

Set the page size to your chosen trim size, plus bleed (if any).

  • No bleed. Set the page size to your chosen trim size.

  • Bleed. Set your page size to your chosen trim size, then add 0.25 in (6 mm) to the height, and 0.125 in (3 mm) to width.

Page count

  • Make your final page count an even number.

  • The minimum page count is 18 pages.

  • The maximum page count depends on the ink color — 1,050 for black-and-white or 840 for color printed books (standard or premium).

Page numbers

  • If you are numbering pages, number them all and in order,

  • Remember: even numbers on left pages, and odd numbers on right pages.

Spreads

  • No spreads. Every page in your story should be a single page in the PDF.

  • A spread is two pages of your story on one PDF page.

Margins

  • Give your pages a minimum margin of 0.5 in (13 mm) on all three trim sides.

  • Keep all text and non-bleed images inside your page margins.

Font

  • All fonts must be embedded in your PDF.

  • Embedding is a way of storing file information within a file itself. Fonts that are embedded in a PDF travel with it when it is copied or shared.

  • Our printer can only see and reproduce your fonts if they have been embedded.

Images

  • Images will print best if they are 300 PPI at the size you need.

  • We cannot print images below 72 PPI.

Lines

  • If you have lines or strokes in your book, make them 0.125 points or thicker.

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