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Placing An Order with 48 Hour Books: Have You Checked Everything Off the List?

November 15, 2021 (Last Updated December 20, 2023)

Marcy G.

When you partner with 48 Hour Books, you have a helpful team of experts on your side. We want to make sure that when you place your order and upload your files, you feel confident that you are going to love the final product. In order to achieve optimum success, we have organized a list of book printing and self-publishing basics to check before you upload your files to us. Here are some questions you should answer before placing an order.  


Are my files completely edited?

If you haven’t given your book a thorough edit, make sure your book is completely edited before you upload your files. There’s nothing worse than receiving your books and noticing glaring typos or mistakes throughout. It’s okay if you’re not a grammar aficionado. The most prolific writers and best-selling authors require professional editing. After your initial self-edit, if you plan to self-publish your book, you may want to consider hiring a professional editor. 48 Hour Books has helped narrow your search with our list of editors we recommend. You can contact these editors directly for timing and pricing.


Are my files formatted and in PDF format?

We require print-ready PDF files of your inside pages and cover. This means that your files should be completely edited, formatted to the size you want your books to be, and saved as a PDF. Make sure you always keep a final copy of your book saved in Word as well. If you ever need to go back and make changes, but only have your saved PDF files, you will be unable to, since PDF files are locked documents.

If you need help formatting your book, you can download one of our free book templates. Simply download the template in the size you want, then start typing. The size and margins will already be set up!

If you need more formatting help for your manuscript, we offer professional reformatting services. If you’re unsure what kind of services you need, feel free to send us an email with your manuscript attached and we will have a pre-press technician take a quick look and give guidance on what services they recommend.


***More things to check: Please visit our FAQ page for more information about these topics! 

·      Fonts: Before you upload your files, make sure your fonts are embedded. This ensures that your fonts will print correctly.

·      Images: If you are including images or art in your book files, your images should be at least 600 dpi (dots per inch) if you want them to print clearly.


Is my cover fully designed and the correct size?

Your book cover (front and back) should be completely edited and saved in a PDF file before it is uploaded to us. If you need help designing your book cover, we offer a few options:

·      Cover size calculator & templates: If you know your way around InDesign software, we have cover templates you can download. We also provide a handy cover size calculator to help you design it. The calculator will also give you measurements for your book spine. Your pre-press technician will happily create your spine for you if you note that you need one created in the “customer comments: section on your order.

·      Create-a-Cover: A beautiful, professionally designed book cover for $100! With our Create-a-Cover service, you get access to our team of graphic designers at an affordable price. Simply choose one of our cover design templates to suit your book, and have our professional graphic artists customize it using your text and images.

·      Custom cover design: For a completely unique design, choose our Custom Cover design service. You'll work closely with our experts to create the perfect custom cover from scratch. If you want a book that looks like no else's, choose our Custom Covers.


Do I need an ISBN and Barcode?

If you plan to sell your books in stores or online, you will need an ISBN and barcode. An ISBN is a unique, 13-digit number that identifies a book. You normally can find it on the copyright page of a book, and on the barcode on the back cover.

Each format of your book requires its own ISBN, so if you are selling an eBook as well, you will need a separate ISBN from the physical copy. 

48 Hour Books makes it easy to obtain an ISBN. Simply request an ISBN and barcode on your online order form and we will email you the application. This ISBN will belong to you and only you; We are simply streamlining the process for you. If you plan to print multiple versions of your book, or simply more books in the future, you can order a pack of 10 ISBNs at one time and we will note them on your account for future use.


What print options do I want to select?

Before you place your order, you should what binding type, paper, and cover finish you want to select for your book. You might be thinking, “How can I place an order if I don’t know what the materials look like?” This is a valid question and concern. We’ve made this easy for you with our free Ultimate Guide sample book. Simply fill out the form and we will ship the sample book to you! We can describe our options on the phone, or you can see pictures of our printed books on social media, but there’s nothing quite like seeing the options in front of you. The Ultimate Guide contains samples of all of our paper and cover options, so you can confidently select your choices when you place your order. The Ultimate Guide book cover showcases our Diamond 3D Printing – an affordable way to make your cover stand out on the shelf!


How many books do I want to order?

At 48 Hour Books, we print a minimum of 10 books and can print up to thousands. Think about what makes sense for your book. If you are ordering a family cookbook, you may not need more than 15-25 books, depending on how many family members will be receiving it. If you are a self-publishing author, you may have pre-orders, or an email list already lined up to help you gauge how big your audience is. Have a number in mind, then go to our price calculator to determine your per-book price. You can mess around with the different book specs on the calculator to see where you get a good price break. If you order 100 books or more, you receive 25 free!


Do I want to include an eBook?

Lastly, you should determine if you want to request eBook conversion when you place your order. Ebooks have become increasingly popular these past two years and show no sign of slowing down. 48 Hour Books makes eBook conversion easy and crafted to your specifications. We manually convert your eBook to both MOBI and ePub formats – compatible with all eReaders.


Before you start - check out these resources:

Self-publishing Checklist

Book Cover Design Options

ISBNs & Barcodes

Pre-press & Production Schedules

Self-Publishing a Book


Formatting Tools and 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. We cover margins, spacing, title pages, and more!


Video Gallery:

Let the experts at 48 Hour Books guide you through the entire self-publishing process with helpful how-to videos. We're here for you if you need help learning how to set up a book, how to create a book cover, how to place an order, and more!


Partner with 48 Hour Books

If you’re new to self-publishing or just looking to print a book, 48 Hour Books is here to be your partner through the process, with friendly, helpful experts to answer all of your questions along the way -- so don’t hesitate to contact us! For more advice, make sure you’re subscribed to our blog!

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