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How to Print a Book with 48 Hour Books: A Beginner’s Guide

March 21, 2024 (Last Updated March 26, 2024)

Marcy G.

If you’re new to discovering 48 Hour Books - welcome! We are a book printing company based in Twinsburg, OH, with another production facility located in Las Vegas, NV. Printing high-quality books is our specialty and we also pride ourselves on our unmatched customer support. In addition to printing books, we also provide additional resources, such as ISBNs, eBook conversion, and free book templates for authors looking to self-publish.

Printing with 48 Hour Books is easy. Almost…too easy? But hey, we can’t help it! We offer four different binding styles and print paperback books in just 48 hours (2 business days). We can print hardcover and coil-bound books in just 5 business days, plus shipping time. With two locations, we’re within 2 business days Ground shipping from most US states! But if all of this is difficult to remember, you can view our production and shipping schedules for yourself.

Determining pricing is easy, too! Simply use our price calculator and enter your book specifications for an instant quote. If you order 100 books or more, you get 25 free with your order!

Now that we have the basics out of the way, we want to break down the process for printing with 48 Hour Books, so you can start your self-publishing journey as soon as your manuscript is completed.


Step 1: Formatting

Before you place an order with 48 Hour Books, you want to make sure your manuscript is formatted exactly how you want your book to be printed in terms of font, size, and spacing. A typical Microsoft Word document might be formatted for 8.5”x11”, letter-size paper, but if you want your book to be another size, you’ll need to format it. So, if you want your book to be 5.5” x 8.5”, then your file’s page size should reflect these measurements.


48 Hour Books offers services that can help with formatting:

·      Book Templates: Use our free downloadable book templates and simply type your manuscript right into the template. The templates will already have the page size and margins set up correctly.

·      Formatting Tools and Tips: If you’re unsure on how to format your self-published book, we’ve got the help you need. Just download 48 Hour Books free Book Formatting Tips where we cover important formatting basics like picking a font size, creating title pages, adjusting margins, and more.

·      Reformatting Services: With reformatting, our in-house graphic designers model your interior on the style of a best-selling author. Our optional novel and book formatting service makes it easy to have your inside layout look like a bestseller. With our new reformatting book styles, we'll give your book the professional feel you’ve been seeking.


Your cover file should also be set up to the same size you want your books to be printed. If you need help formatting or designing your cover, 48 Hour Books can help:

·      Cover Templates: We provide over templates for our four most popular book sizes: 4.25x7 inches, 5.5x8.5 inches, 6x9 inches, and 8.5x11 inches. Cover templates are for books up to 440 pages and open in InDesign or Photoshop. Additional sizes may be available upon request.

·      Cover Size Calculator: Need help determining your cover measurements? Use our handy cover size calculator. This is available to download on the cover templates page, linked above.

·      Cover Design Services: Select from design customization levels to suit your budget and your needs: Our economy Create-A-Cover service, our fully custom cover design service, or provide a cover design of your own.


Step 2: Editing

Once your book is formatted, it’s time to read it closely for errors. The editing process is critical and its importance cannot be overstated! Don’t skip the book editing step. Published authors agree, you’ll save yourself time, money, and embarrassment by catching mistakes before your book files are sent, rather than after.

If you need help finding a professional editor, check out these editors we recommend.


Step 3: Create a PDF File

Once you your document is formatted and edited, you will need to convert it to a PDF file. We require print-ready PDF files of your inside pages and cover. ALWAYS keep and a copy of your original, formatted Word document in case you ever need to go back and make changes. A PDF, or portable document format, is a kind of file that can be easily shared and printed. When you create a PDF, it’s a way of “locking in” the formatting of your book so that when we print it, it looks as you expect.

*Note: We print your PDF exactly as it is received — if there is an error on your PDF, it will be in your printed book as well. We recommend reviewing your PDF carefully for any mistakes.

There are 3 ways to create a PDF:

·      In Microsoft Word: Simply open your file, click the “File” menu, then click “Save As” and select “PDF.” Make sure you choose “High Quality Print” in your conversion settings.

·      In another program: You can download the doPDF program, which will allow you to convert to PDF through the Print function in your word-processing software. Install doPDF, then open your file. Click “File” and then click “Print.” Choose doPDF as your printer.

·      On a Mac: Mac computers have PDF conversion built right in. You can simply choose “File” and then “Print to PDF.”


Step 4: Place Your Order

Now that your files are ready, it’s time to place your order! You can view our print options on our price calculator. If you keep clicking “Next” at the bottom of the page, it will take you to more options. If you’re not ready to place your order yet, just close out your window before you’ve selected your options and have determined your pricing – the price calculator is the same link you use to place an actual order.

You can view more details about our print options by going to our website under the “BOOK PRINTING” and “BOOK DESIGN” tabs at the top!


Step 5: Upload Your Files 

Once your order is placed, you will then be prompted to upload your files. Simply upload the files to your account by browsing to the file location and clicking “Upload.” It may take several minutes for the file transfer to complete.


Step 6: Receive and Review Your Proof

Once you place an order and upload your files, you will be assigned a customer service representative to monitor your order, and a prepress technician who will run your files through a filter to check for file errors, such as un-embedded fonts and low-resolution images. Your designated reps will contact you via email if they have any questions or see an issues, so make sure you keep an eye on your email once your order is submitted!

Once your pre-press technician has checked for common layout or printing errors and completed any additional services requested, they will upload a PDF proof to your account to view and approve. This process typically takes 1-2 business days, depending on the level of work required.

You will want to catch any errors when reviewing your PDF proof, so make sure you check everything thoroughly!

You also have the option to request a printed proof for an additional $40. Once you approve your PDF proof, we start printing your physical proof, which is overnighted to you, as to not delay the production process by too many days. You can request a printed proof on your online order form.


Step 7: Approve Your Files

Once you approve your PDF proof (or printed proof) and pay in full, your books go to print!

If changes need made to the files or order details, please reject your proof. If you find a mistake, determine whether it was your mistake or ours.

·      If it is our mistake, click “Reject” and send a note or email us to describe the issue. All changes must be submitted in writing.

·      If it is your mistake, you may need to go back to Step 2 to correct the error, create a new PDF, and send us the revised files. Sending revised files may incur a $50 new file fee.


Step 8: Print, Pack, and Ship!

We’ve reached the end of the road! Once your proof has been approved and your payment completed in full, we print, pack, and ship your books.


If you ever wish to reorder your books, you can do so easily by logging into your account and clicking “Re-order” next to the appropriate book title. You can either choose to print the same book as-is, pay in full, and the books will go straight to print, or you can make changes and upload a new file and go through the same standard review process we just discussed. Whether you order an exact reprint or make changes, reordering your book is easy!

We know that was a lot of information, but once your files are ready, it’s smooth sailing. We recommend browsing our website, as there is a ton of information sort through. Or, if you wish to have your questions answered by phone, give us a call! We love talking to authors.

Ready to print? Place your order 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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