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Printing a Coloring Book: Tips for Getting Started

January 26, 2021 (Last Updated February 17, 2021)

Marcy G.

Just like puzzles and at-home workout equipment, coloring books have become a popular staple in the stay-at-home activity rotation. Don’t feel like your next publication needs to be geared towards children. Adult coloring books have exponentially grown in popularity with intricate designs ideal for improving fine motor skills. The options are endless with self-publishing. You can create a new coloring book to sell or give to friends and family. 48 Hour Books is here to help.


Here are some tips and options to consider when preparing to print your coloring book:


Choosing a book size:

The most popular size for a coloring book is 8.5 x 11 inches - the standard size of a piece of paper.  Depending on the layout of your images, a landscape (11 x 8.5) book may also be suitable for your book. Remember, this is your book, so there is no set rule for what size to choose. We recommend looking at other coloring books you may own or see in the store to get a feel for what sizes you like. 


Preparing your files:

When you determine the size of your coloring book, this will also influence how you set up your files. When you print with 48 Hour Books, we require print-ready PDF files of your inside pages and cover. This means your files should be completely formatted and sized to reflect how you want your physical books to print. So, if you are printing an 8.5 x 11 book, your file page size should reflect these dimensions as well.  If you have any questions about setting up your files, contact us. We will connect you with one of our expert prepress technicians to answer all of your questions, so you can feel secure when it comes time to upload your book files to us.


Consider your binding options:

When considering what book binding to choose for your coloring book, you have to think about functionality.  When using a coloring book, spiral coil binding is a great option because it will allow the pages to lay flat, making it easy to color. 48 Hour Books uses durable plastic coil that is available in a wide range of colors to perfectly match your cover design.


While spiral coil binding is the most popular option for coloring book printing, we have printed paperback and saddle-stich (stapled binding) coloring books as well. Paperback binding is always a great, affordable option and they print in just two business days. If you prefer one of these binding options, you may want to consider perforating your pages to make them easy to tear out. If you are interested in perforated pages, you can contact us for pricing.


Choosing a paper type:

When it comes to choosing a paper type for your coloring book, these options are a little more set in stone. Coloring books require that you print your designs on uncoated paper, leaving you with our offset (uncoated) paper types to choose from. Coloring books require offset paper so that markers and colored pencils can adhere to your designs. We recommend our 70 lb# or 80 lb# offset paper. These options are a bit thicker than our standard 60# paper and help prevent any color from showing through to the other side of the page. Extra durability always helps when using a coloring book! If you want to see our paper options up close before deciding, you can order our free Ultimate Guide sample book.


Designing your cover:

When printing any book, the design you choose for your cover is always essential to the final product. Not only is your book cover one of your best marketing tools, it’s also the first thing people see, so you want to draw them in - no pun intended! 


If you need help setting up your cover file, you can use our handy cover size calculator to determine your book cover measurements. Need even more assistance? Consider selecting our Create-a-Cover service and we’ll construct your cover for you, so you can rest easy.


Ready to put these tips to use and get started? Partner with 48 Hour Books to print your coloring book today!

Your self-publishing partner

48 Hour Books prints bookstore-quality books. Our printing capabilities are second to none, and our team has a diverse range of talents – from customer service to book cover design and production.

We offer everything you need to self-publish a professional quality book:


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