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Printing with 48 Hour Books: How to Utilize Our Resources

June 18, 2018 (Last Updated September 06, 2023)

Marcy G.

Self-publishing your book for the first time can feel overwhelming.  Getting your books printed is not something you do every day, so we try to make our process as easy as possible with some extra resources to help you along the way.

Below, we have listed our self-publishing and book printing resources and how to navigate them on our website!


Free Book Templates & Book Cover Templates

We have book templates that open in most word processors and come in four standard sizes: 4.25 x 7, 5.5 x 8.5, 6 x 9, and 8.5 x 11.  We require that your files already be set up to the size you want your books to be.  If you already have an existing document and just need the book template for sizing, then you can copy and paste your text into the template.  If you’re just starting out and need a guideline for the setup, our book templates offer suggestions for formatting like front and back matter pages.  You can delete any pages that are not applicable to your book. 

We also offer book cover templates. Once your book is ready to go in our template, save a copy of the original Word document because you may need this if you have to go back and make changes.  You must also save a separate file as a PDF, which is the format we require.  A PDF is a locked document, so you can’t make changes.  This is why you must save a copy of the original as well. If you need help saving the file as a PDF, we have a free PDF converter you can download next to a PDF of instructions on how to use our templates.  We suggest using this as well! If you scroll down to the end of the page, we have a YouTube tutorial called “Using Our Templates.” You can also find more tutorials on our YouTube channel or in our video gallery


Cover Size Calculator

Our cover size calculators are located on the same page as our book templates. If you scroll down a little, you will see separate size calculators for perfect bound (paperback) and hard cover books.  If you click on the icons, a PDF will download where you can enter the size of your book, paper stock, and number of pages to get the measurements for your cover, including the spine width. You will need these calculations to build your cover in your design program.

**Printing a 5.5 x 8.5 book? We have cover templates (located under the cover size calculators) for InDesign.  Simply click on the link with your page range to download the appropriate template!


Price Calculator

You can get instant pricing by using our price calculator. This is the same tool we use to quote you over the phone and via email, and it’s available to you 24/7 if you ever need to get pricing.  The first page gives you a base price for binding and shipping.  If you know you will be using options beyond our standard paper and covers, or will be requesting additional services, you can click “next” to get further pricing.  If you plan to place an order, you can do so directly from the cost calculator if you keep pressing “next.” If you wish to order at a later date, you can close the page.



FAQ Section

Our Frequently Asked Questions section provides a TON of information. You can find this page under the “Support” tab.   We’ve separated questions into different sections to make it easy to navigate.  We cover questions regarding the ordering process, file setup, additional options, shipping, and much more.  We recommend taking a look at this page before starting the process to see if there’s anything you’ve overlooked or need to know more about.


Ultimate Guide to a 48 Hour Book

Our free sample book is a great way to view our paper and cover options up close before you place an order. The cover of our sample book includes our Diamond 3D Printing and the inside pages contain all of our paper types with black and white and color photos for demonstration.  It’s also full of information about our services, printing information, tips, and the self-publishing process in general. Order your free copy now!



Formatting Tools & Tips

If you’re unsure about how to format your self-published book, we’ve got the help you need. Just download 48 Hour Books free Book Formatting Tips. This downloadable PDF includes professional formatting and self-formatting options, guidance on font sizes, title pages, margins, page numbering, and more!


Self-Publishing Checklist

Available in another nifty downloadable PDF, our Self-Publisher Checklist is a solid place to start when you are getting ready to place your order and self-publish. It will help you answer questions, such as “Do I need an ISBN?” or “How long will it take to print my book?” We help answer this and more in a convenient, checklist format.


Editing Resources

Editing is one of the most important steps in the self-publishing process. While we do not offer editing services, we recognize that it is a need that needs fulfilled for many authors who come to us. Since we require print-ready PDF files, it’s especially important to feel confident that your manuscript is error-free before uploading. We’ve helped narrow your search for a professional editor with these recommendations.


Marketing Resources

Similar to editing, marketing your book is another important part of the self-publishing process - and it’s not easy to navigate when you’re a new author. A lot of self-publishing is literally doing everything yourself, including the marketing. Sure, you can hire someone to do it for you, but if you figure out ways to utilize social media or your personal blog and website, you can market your book without breaking the bank. We’ve compiled all of our marketing advice in one place just for you.


Social Media

We often post offer codes, as well as giveaways for free books you can participate in on our social media platforms.  We encourage you to follow us for more content, including books we’ve recently printed, showcasing our different cover and binding options, writing contest alerts, writing motivation, and more. If you’re thinking about printing with us but want to see a close-up of our leather binding, foil stamping, diamond 3D, etc., our social media would be the place to go!

Facebook    Instagram   TikTok


Here are some additional services you can request on your order that you may find helpful:


Reformatting Services

If you request reformatting services on your order, we require that you upload a Word document, rather than a PDF. Your assigned prepress technician will lay out your book for you in the Word document then convert it to a PDF when finished. We keep the reformatted document on file in case changes ever need to be made on your next printing. If you have specific formatting requests, you can note these in the “customer comments” section of your order.


Create-a-Cover & Custom Cover Design

Setting up your cover is one of the most daunting tasks for people who are new at printing books.  If you’re not familiar with design software or do not have someone to outsource your design work to, our Create-a-Cover service may be a good option for you. You can select this service on your order form and it will prompt different selection for general cover design/ layout and background color. If there are graphics you want to include, you can upload these images along with your files once you submit your order.  Have specific instructions? Note them in the “customer comments” section.


Ebook Conversion

If you are self-publishing and selling your books online, you’ve probably thought about offering an eBook version of your book as well. Since 2020, the market has seen a boom in eBook sales. In order to compete in today’s market, you may want to consider offering an eBook version of your book. You can request eBook conversion as an additional service on your online order form.  We will set up your eBook for you then email you a MOBI file (Amazon) and an ePub file (other eBook readers). 


ISBNs & Barcodes

If you plan on selling your books in stores or online, you will need an ISBN and barcode. We make this process seamless for you.  Simply request an ISBN and barcode on your order and we will email you the ISBN application to fill out.  Once you send it back, we will order your ISBN number.  When we receive the ISBN, we will generate the barcode and place it on your back cover. We obtain the ISBNs through Bowker – the official US retailer for ISBNs. We are simply making the process easier (and a little cheaper) for you by ordering for you. This ISBN will belong to YOU and only you. You can also order a pack of 10 ISBNs if you plan to print multiple titles in the future. If you are ordering an eBook, it will require a separate ISBN form your printed copies, so keep this in mind!


As Always – We’re Here to Help

Perhaps, the most helpful resource of all is our customer service. We always answer our phones and email back within a few minutes. If you leave a voicemail, we call back as soon as we can. We try our best to make sure you speak to the same person every time you call. Our small, attentive staff ensures you get personal attention - fast. You will always be able to call or email and receive a response from someone who is familiar with the details of your project.  We understand it’s much easier to work with the same person and establish those relationships.  If you have technical questions about setting up your files, customer service will connect you with one our prepress technicians to answer all of your questions.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!



Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.

Print painlessly

Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


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