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Book Publishing FAQ

When you’re learning how to print a book, it may seem like there’s a lot of information! We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about custom book printing so that you can find the answers you’re looking for. We’re here to help you learn everything you need to know about printing, publishing, file setup, costs, and more.

Remember, we print your files according to your instructions -- so always take the time to check that everything is exactly the way you want it before you release your book to be printed. There are additional costs for sending revised files or requesting changes, so a second look will save you time and money, too.

We'll always send you PDF proofs to approve before we will begin printing (unless it's an exact reprint of a previous order). Review our Proofreading Instructions for specific items you should be sure to double check before approving your proofs.

Need more support?

Not finding the answer to your question? Reach out to our exceptional customer support team. Call us at 800-231-0521 or contact us online.

The self-publishing process is easier when you know all the steps. First, you’ll need to make sure your book receives a thorough editing. Design and format your book to be printed -- you can get help with this stage if you need it. Reserve your ISBN and barcodes so you can sell your published book, and be sure to convert a copy to eBook format, too. Finally, place an order to print your book -- 48 Hour Books makes this process extremely fast!

Learn more about self-publishing your book.

You can download templates for free that make it easy to create your book in popular word-processing programs like Microsoft Word.

We also have free book cover templates to use when designing your book cover. PDF cover templates can be opened and used in Photoshop or other design programs and help you know how to properly set up your book cover file.

Check out our free book templates.

The best way to see samples of our materials is to request a copy of our book, "The Ultimate Guide to a 48 Hour Book.” You’ll receive a bound book that shows you samples of our printing quality, paper options, and premium cover options. You’ll also get lots of useful information, including help on setting up your files and choosing the options that are right for you. This book is also available digitally as a PDF, which lets you read it on-the-go on your digital devices.

Get The Ultimate Guide.

When you’re ready to order printed copies of your book, begin the process by placing an order with 48 Hour Books. We’ll guide you through the process of choosing your options, and we’ll indicate exactly when you should upload your files.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll upload your files after you’ve completed your order. This ensures that our staff has all the information they need to print and bind your book to your specifications. We ask that you try to avoid sending files via email, as emails can get lost in SPAM filters or blocked due to large file sizes. You will be able to upload files directly to our website after your order is submitted. If you have trouble uploading your file, contact us for assistance!

Be sure you’re ready with a clean, edited copy of your book before you begin the ordering process.

Placing a custom book printing order is simple. Visit the ordering page on 48HrBooks.com to begin, or contact us online or by phone to speak directly with a specialist. You’ll be able to specify page count, cover options, binding style, and more, to make your book exactly what you dreamed of.

See more about the process in this video.

The minimum order for book printing is 10 books and there is no maximum quantity. We can print tens of thousands of books if you'd like.

However: If you order more than 500 books, we may not be able to finish ALL of your books by the deadline, but we'll always ship at least 500 on your ship date, with additional books shipping out at least 500 per day thereafter. So, if your order is time-sensitive, you'll be assured to at least have 500 books shipping out quickly. During times of high volume, if you have multiple orders or titles in production at the same time, we will likely limit production times to one order at a time. We'll fulfill all of your first order, then move on to the next once that order has shipped, and so on. You can always contact us to set up a production timeline if you're planning on ordering a large quantity or multiple titles at once!

Yes, in general the per-book price drops if you order more books.

You can pay for your custom book printing order by check, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover), or PayPal.

Payment terms require a $100 deposit before we start working on your files and payment in full before we start printing. The $100 deposit goes toward your full balance. If you're purchasing an ISBN, your deposit will increase to include the cost of the ISBN (example: if you've ordered one ISBN, your deposit will be $100 + $125 for the ISBN, or $225). If you've ordered a printed proof, we may ask for additional payments before we begin printing the proof.

You can make additional payments by logging in to your account, selecting your current order, and clicking the "Payment" tab.

All orders must be paid in full before we can begin to print your books. If you choose to pay by check, simply select "Other" as form of payment when you place your order. Then make your check payable to "48 Hr Books" and send it to:

1909 Summit Commerce Park
Twinsburg, OH 44087

Note: Paying by check (including PayPal’s E-Check) will delay your order by several days, since we wait for your check to clear before we begin printing. Avoid this by paying with a card or one of PayPal’s “Pay Later” features.

PayPal offers short-term, interest-free payments, longer-term, monthly installments, and other special financing options that you can use to buy now and pay later. Specific Pay Later offers differ by country. Pay Later in the US includes the following:

  • Pay in 4 - Eligible US buyers can pay in four interest-free payments for purchases of $30 to $1,500.
  • Pay Monthly - Eligible US buyers can pay in 6, 12, or 24 monthly installments for purchases of $199 to $10,000.

In the event that you choose to cancel your order, you will be responsible for the $100 deposit plus any work that has been completed, including but not limited to: formatting or design work done by 48 Hour Books, ISBNs, printed proofs, and foil stamping dies.

Do I really get my books in 48 Hours?

The short answer is: It's definitely possible, but there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind:

  • Proofing Time - You'll need to give US time to create PDF proofs for you, and you'll need to give YOURSELF time to review these proofs. If you've ordered a printed proof, we'll need time to produce and ship it to you.
  • Shipping Time - the "48 Hour Clock" refers to production time only. If you need us to ship your books to you, be sure to add on SHIPPING time. During the holiday season, UPS typically suspends their Ground shipping guarantees, so it's best to give yourself an extra day, especially in November and December. Expedited shipping (Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air) options are available.
  • Upgrades & Options - some the options you choose can increase production time (such as Diamond 3D, Foil Stamping, or ISBNs: find out more)
  • Weekends - Both our production times and UPS transit times exclude Saturdays and Sundays.

The "48 Hour Clock" starts ticking after you approve proofs supplied by 48 Hour Books and pay for your order in full. It is 48 Hour Books' policy to provide PDF (digital) proofs for review, and printed proofs are available as an additional option. PDF proofs are typically available within 24 hours of placing your order; however, all files are different. Depending on the amount of work required to set up your files, it may take longer to receive a PDF proof. If you have a "need by" date or event scheduled, please notify our customer service team immediately. We'll keep a close eye on the timing of your order, make sure you're on track along the way, and offer the least expensive upgrade options if needed.

Please CALL US for Rush or Super Rush book printing. They are only available on a limited basis. Also, you'll need to give us enough time to get a PDF Proof back to you so that you can approve it by 3pm EST for Rushes, and by noon EST for Super Rushes.

Check out our HOW FAST or our PRODUCTION SCHEDULE pages for even more timing specifics.

Since all of our books are custom orders, we do not accept returns unless there are manufacturing defects or damages in shipping.

On the rare occasion that there is a defect in the manufacturing process or damage in shipping, please call or email us immediately and let us know what's wrong. We'll reprint the affected books and send them out to you at no additional charge. All claims of defects in manufacturing or damages in shipping must be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of your order. We recommend you open your shipment and examine your books when they arrive.

If no such claim is made, 48 Hour Books and the customer will understand that the job has been accepted. By accepting the job, the customer acknowledges that 48 Hour Books’ performance has fully satisfied all terms, conditions, and specifications. 48 Hour Books’ liability will be limited to the quoted printing and binding price of defective goods without additional charge for special or consequential damages.

See all terms and conditions.

We receive hundreds of positive reviews and comments from our satisfied customers. You can read customer testimonials and find out why our customers love printing custom books with 48 Hour Books.

Yes, we can print index tabs in your books. We recommend that you only use tabs for spiral bound books.

Pricing for black and white tabs begins at $50 plus 30 cents per tab per book (one-sided) or 40 cents per tab per book (two-sided).
For color tabs, pricing begins at $100 plus 50 cents per tab per book (one-sided) or 70 cents (two-sided).

Tabs can add 1-2 days to the production time of your order.

Learn more about tabs.

48 Hour Books is the only book printer that can provide self-publishers with Foil Stamped covers. We offer two different foil stamping services: Diamond 3D Foil and Traditional Hot Foil Stamping.

Diamond 3D Foil is great for most orders.

Diamond 3D Foil Costs

Book Size
(@ 30% off)
(add'l per book)
(@ 30% off)
5.5 x 8.5 inches and smaller $150 $105 $0.90 $0.63
Larger than 5.5 x 8.5 inches $150 $105 $1.50 $1.05

Traditional Hot Foil Stamping is perfect for cloth and leather hardcover books and requires a custom copper die. Pricing for hot foil stamping includes setup costs depending on size of stamping area, plus a fee per book stamped. Keep in mind that if you order a printed proof, you'll want to be sure of your foil design and spacing before approving your PDF proofs. Once we order the copper die, if we have to make changes, you'll be responsible for the cost of ordering an additional die.

Foil Stamping
Dies up to 27 sq. in. $250 set-up +35¢/book
Dies between 27 and 54 sq. in. $300 set-up +40¢/book
Dies between 54 and 81 sq. in. $350 set-up +50¢/book
Dies larger than 81 sq. in. $600 set-up +75¢/book

Note: Diamond 3D options add 4-6 business days to your production time, and Hot Foil Stamping adds 3 days to your production time.

The cost to print a custom book is affected by many different factors, including:

  • Binding type
  • Page count
  • Quantity of books ordered
  • Cover material
  • Add-ons (such as Foil Stamping)
  • Services (such as eBook conversions or design assistance)
  • Shipping Selection (e.g. expedited shipping)

To find out how much your book will cost, visit our Cost Calculator for an instant book printing quote.

Some authors want to incorporate dark black or gray pages with white text/graphics into their designs. While we can print a few pages in your book this way, we strongly recommend having us print them as color pages (make the background a build of CMYK, and have the page printed on our color press) to get the best quality and prevent the toner from scratching or bleeding or smudging onto other pages.

We cannot print an entire book in this "reverse mode" due to limitations with our printing equipment.

Depending on the specs of your order, if you have more than a few pages that are reversed in this way, we may require that they be removed or that they print on our color press or dark black press.

Our covers are always printed in full color. You can choose whether to print the inside pages in black-and-white, full-color, or a combination.

Yes, we can print photos in your book. Black-and-white photos on the inside and full-color photos on the cover are FREE. For full-color photos on the inside, simply indicate how many pages of full color you'd like when you fill out your order.

Since your books are printed digitally, black-and-white photos on the inside pages will be printed as halftones at 106 lpi. Full-color photos are printed as continuous tones and are near photographic quality.

Yes. As long as you order a minimum of 10 books of each binding type, we offer the option to "convert" some books on a single order to a different binding type. Your total quantity of books won't change.

For example, order 50 perfect bound (paperback) books and convert 25 to hardcover. You will receive 25 perfect bound books and 25 hardcover books.

You can convert as few as 10 or as many as you'd like for $10 per book.

Let our customer service team know how many books you'd like converted to hardcover and they will adjust your order details and total after the order is placed.

If you'd like additional options or if you require different interior pages for each binding type, you must place two separate orders - one for each of the different binding types.

Note: Hardcover books have a standard production time of 5 business days.
Your perfect bound books will be completed first and shipped as soon as they are ready. Your hardcover books will arrive later in a separate shipment.

Yes, we do offer lay-flat lamination. All of our hardcover books are laminated, and for perfect bound (paperback) books, it is an option. However, please keep this in mind: all lamination will curl. "Lay-flat" simply means it curls less than standard lamination. With laminated covers, you have two different substances: a PAPER cover glued to a NYLON laminate. When they are exposed to any change in climate (temperature or humidity change), the two substances will expand and contract differently, causing the cover to curl. We use materials that are designed to minimize curl, but it can't be eliminated entirely. Our standard UV coating is embedded into the paper, and therefore curls less than the lay-flat lamination. The drawback, of course, is that it doesn't provide the protection and durability that a laminated cover does. For hardcover books (case bound), because the cover is wrapped around a cover board and glued down with end-sheets, there are no curling issues, so lay-flat lamination is standard. It provides a sturdy, durable finish.

It's easiest to use our new Cover Size Calculators

Simply click the appropriate button (Perfect Bound (paperback) books on the left, and Hard Cover books on the right.) A PDF Calculator will be downloaded to your computer (probably in your "Downloads" folder). This is a PDF form, so it will only work in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. If you use a different program to view PDFs, the calculator won't work. You can also call us and give us your dimensions, and we'll give you the proper size for your cover.

If you don't want to use our calculators above, here are basic instructions that work for Perfect Bound book covers:

Make your cover slightly larger than the book itself, to account for bleed (when the printing goes all the way to the edge). Since it's a wrap-around cover, it needs to be TWICE the width of the finished book, plus the spine. To determine the width of your spine, divide number of Pages (not SHEETS, but PAGES) by 440. For example, if your book was 120 pages, the spine would be 120 / 440 = 0.27 inches.

So, for a 5.5 x 8.5 book that is 120 pages long, the cover should be 8.5 tall, and 11.27 wide (5.5 front + 5.5 back + .27 spine = 11.27). And for a 8.5 x 11 book that is 200 pages long, the cover should be 11 tall, and 17.45 wide (8.5 front + 8.5 back + .45 spine = 17.45).

Of course, if your artwork is going to BLEED (go all the way to the edge), you'll need to have it extend 1/8" BEYOND the edges on top, bottom and sides. Include your title and author name on the spine so when your book is on a bookshelf, the title and author name read from top to bottom.

For Coil Bound books or Saddle-Stitched booklets, since there is no spine, simply send us a front cover and a back cover, the same size as your book pages. Remember to include a 1/8" bleed if your artwork is intended to bleed off the edges.

Please Note: We do not print on the inside of the front or back cover. Under special circumstances, we can print on the inside cover, but there are additional costs involved.

Yes, we can help you format your Microsoft Word files. For most standard book files, the reformatting charge is $125. If you have special requirements (large files, many graphics or charts, etc.), we'll analyze your files for free and let you know up front what the reformatting cost will be.

Most files fall under our three basic levels of reformatting:

  • Economy ($125): For books that are 200 pages or less and have up to 10 graphics, charts, or tables
  • Standard ($250): For books that are 201-399 pages, and/or have 11-50 graphics, charts, or tables
  • Custom ($500): For books that are more than 400 pages and/or have more than 50 graphics, charts, or tables

All reformatting services include re-sizing of files to desired book size and basic adjustments to margins, fonts, page numbering, and tables of contents for consistency throughout. Reformatting service typically adds 5-10 days to your wait time for a PDF proof.

Learn more about book formatting.

Yes, we offer PDF conversion at 48 Hour Books for a $50 charge. We can convert your files to PDF for you, but we recommend you do it yourself for best results. (Opening a Word document on another computer can sometimes cause unintended formatting changes.) If any formatting work is needed on your file, instead of the $50 PDF conversion fee, reformatting fees would apply.

If you choose to convert your files to PDF yourself, the process can be simple. Look for the File menu in your word processor and select the Save As command, then choose “PDF file” as your file type. On a Mac, choose the Print command, then “Save as PDF” option.

You can also run a program such as doPDF to perform the conversion for you. Install doPDF, then select doPDF as a virtual printer when you choose the “Print” command in your software. Change the graphic resolution to 600 dpi and make sure the “Embed Fonts” selection is turned on.

Be sure to check your PDF file carefully before sending it to us for printing. Any errors on your PDF will show up on all of your books. If you have questions, call us.

You have several options for designing your book’s cover.

Our Create-a-Cover service costs $100 and gives you a professional-looking book cover for a fraction of the price of other services. Choose a template that you like, choose a color combination, and then send us your photos, graphics, and type. We'll put them all together according to your instructions then send you a PDF proof. We even include one set of changes or corrections for free.

Our 'Custom' Cover Design starts at $500 for a bespoke option. One of our graphic designers will give you a call to discuss your book cover. We'll get your input then create a couple of rough drafts. With your feedback, we will refine the drafts to reach a cover design you’ll love.

For more complex requirements, we recommend hiring the services of a local graphic designer, who can meet with you one-on-one to discuss your needs.

We can print custom sizes for no additional cost. Select the next larger size from our list of book sizes, then write the actual book size in the COMMENTS section of the order form. For example, a 5"x7" book would be priced like a 5.5" x 8.5" book and a 7"x10" book would be priced like an 8.5"x11" book. Be sure both the width and the height of your book will fit within the book size you select.

Resolution refers to the density of pixels or dots in an image. DPI stands for dots per inch, a printing term that indicates how many dots of ink per inch make up an image. Higher resolution and higher dpi mean a better quality image. Low-resolution, or “low-res” images, are of lesser quality and tend to be blurry or pixelated.

High-resolution images make your book look much more professional, and it’s worth the extra time and effort to get a great looking final product.

Here are a few formulas to help you find your image size and dpi:

Pixels ÷ inches = dpi
Pixels ÷ Desired dpi = Maximum Size in Inches
Inches x dpi = Width in Pixels Needed

A great resolution suitable for printing is 300 dpi at finished size. In a pinch, 200 dpi may be adequate.

In Photoshop: Open the file to see the pixels and size in inches.

On a PC: Right-click on the file and select “Properties.” Then select the “Details” tab.

On a Mac: Right click on the file and select “Get Info.”

Be sure to check your converted PDF file carefully before sending it to us for printing. Sometimes, content can shift during PDF conversion.

We can help you create high quality PDF files from almost any program:

How to Convert to PDF from Microsoft Word or other Windows programs:

You may be able to select "File > Save as PDF." If so, you should see the option here:

Optimize for Printing

Be sure to select "Optimize for Standard Printing and Publishing" and make sure that "Minimum size" is NOT selected.

If saving as PDF is not an option, we recommend using the free PDF converter called "doPDF" (available here) if you are using a Windows computer. Once you have the converter installed on your computer, go to File > Print. Make sure you choose "doPDF v7" as your printer, and then click on the "Properties" button.

Print Options

Another window will open up and in the bottom left corner you will see a drop-down menu labeled "Graphic resolution (dpi)." Change the resolution to 600 dpi and hit "Ok." Then, press the "Print" button.

Properties Window

Very Important >> In the next window, be sure the box for "Embed fonts" is checked. You'll also want to pay attention to where you are saving this PDF file. It's usually easiest to save it to the Desktop, and give it a unique name like "48Hr inside" with today's date. This way, it won't get confused with previous versions.

Embed Fonts

How to Convert to PDF from Adobe software:

Choose Export and Adobe PDF (Print). When the window opens, choose Press Quality.

Export Adobe PDF

If you'd like to adjust the settings on your own, go to the "Compression" options on the left-hand side, make sure all elements are set to "Do not downsample" and "Maximum" quality. Then, click "Export."

Export Adobe PDF Compression Options

How to Convert to PDF from Open Office

Under the "File" menu at the top, choose “export as PDF” and then change the resolution to 600. Make sure to choose “Lossless compression” or JPEG quality “100%.” Then, click "Export," choose a location on your computer to save the file, and click "Save."

Export from Open Office

How to Convert to PDF from Pages

Go to File > Export to > PDF. A window will pop up with some options. Make sure "PDF" is selected in the top left corner, and under "Image Quality" use the drop-down menu to make sure "Best" is selected.

Export From Pages

Then click "Next," choose a location on your computer to save the file, and click "Export."

Microsoft Word: To change your book size in Microsoft Word, click the Page Layout header. From here, either select the proper size from the list or select custom size, and type in the proper width and height. Next, choose the proper margins. We recommend 0.75" of margin on all four sides. This ensures that none of the text runs too close to the edge of your final book.

Microsoft Publisher: After opening Microsoft Publisher, select the "Blank Page Sizes" option and choose the size that you would like your finished book to be. Next, on the left-hand column, select "Change Paper Size ...". From here, you can adjust the page size as well as the margin guides. We recommend 0.75" of margin on all four sides. This ensures that none of the text runs too close to the edge of your final book.

Adobe InDesign: To change your book size in InDesign, select "File > Document Setup ..." and adjust the width and height to be the size that you would like your finished book to be. Next, select "Layout > Margins and Columns ..." and adjust your page margins. We recommend 0.75" of margin on all four sides. This ensures that none of the text runs too close to the edge of your final book. Include 0.125” of bleed on all four sides of your page if you have artwork that you’d like to print right to the edge.

Learn more about book formatting and free book templates.

Yes, but it's not recommended. Your books will not lay flat, meaning that some of the image that spreads across the two pages will be pulled into the binding of the book. How much of the image is visible will vary and will depend greatly on how much pressure you put on the book when opening it.

For this reason, there's not a definite rule for setting up cross-over images. However, we've found that many people get the best results following the instructions below:

  1. Split the image into two pieces
  2. Push the left side of the image left 0.0625 inches
  3. Push the right side of the image right 0.0625 inches

This will cause a portion of the image to be duplicated in the gutter (middle, binding side) of the book. The duplication should be mostly hidden in the binding, though if the book is pressed all the way open, it may be visible.

We do not recommend having text spread across two pages or important imagery (such as the middle of a person's face, as shown in the example below).

You should order a printed proof ($40) to review before we print your full order, so you can be sure you're happy with how your cross-over images appear in your final product.

Cross-over images

If you want your cover artwork to extend all the way to the edge of the cover (so it "bleeds" off the cover), you'll need to extend that artwork BEYOND the edge of the cover at least 1/8".

Some programs will create a bleed for you, but if you're not sure how to do it, simply create a page size that is 1/4" wider (1/8" added to the right, and 1/8" added to the left), and 1/4" taller (1/8" added to the top, and 1/8" added to the bottom).

Make sure you keep any type at least 3/8" away from the edges for your cover files, and at least 3/4" away from the edges for inside pages.

There's a big difference between "pages" and "sheets." The front and back of a sheet count as two pages. If you've got 60 sheets 2-sided, that equals 120 pages, so make sure you enter "120."

Just about all computer programs will tell you how many pages are in your file, but if we are going to reformat your files, the final number of pages in your book may change. In that case, just enter your best guess at the number of pages and we'll let you know exactly how many there are after it's been reformatted.

Download our ISBN Application Form (USA), fill it out, and email it back to us. (Canadian customers should get their ISBN through CollectionsCanada.)

A single ISBN & barcode is $125, a block of 10 ISBNs & barcodes is $450 ($45 each), a block of 100 ISBNs & barcodes is $2,000 ($20 each), and a block of 1,000 ISBNs & barcodes is $4,000 (just $4 each).

Be sure to order your ISBN before we set up your cover artwork, and don't approve your cover artwork if your barcode isn't on it. If your cover is printed without a barcode, we can issue you stickers with the barcode on it to be added later.

Note: All purchases of ISBNs are final. Once an ISBN has been purchased, it cannot be returned, and there are no refunds. After you send us your completed ISBN application, it can take about 24 hours for us to receive your ISBN.

Learn more about ISBNs.

"Rush" and "SuperRush" production options are available.

"Standard" service for perfect bound books or saddle stitched books means we ship your books 2 business days after your artwork approval. For hardcover or coil bound books, we ship your books 5 business days after your artwork approval.

"Rush" service decreases production time by one day. "SuperRush" service decreases production time by two days. This means for perfect bound books, we can ship your books the same day as long as your artwork is approved before noon EST and SuperRush is still available for that day. For hardcover and coil bound books, we can ship your books as soon as 3 days after your artwork approval.

You'll be able to select your production speed when placing your order. If there's a particular date that you need your books, please be sure to notify our customer service team as soon as possible. We'll keep an eye on your order to make sure: (1) that it's possible to meet your "need-by" date and (2) that you approve proofs and pay on time. We'll also help determine the least expensive upgrading options if needed.

You'll be able to select expedited UPS shipping (Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, etc.) when you place your order.

Note: some upgrades such as Diamond 3D, Foil Stamping, and special order coil colors can add to the production time of your order. Please contact us to confirm that we've got production time available for a Rush or SuperRush that day.

Read more about production times and shipping schedules.

To order reprints of your book, log into your account, locate the book you would like reprinted, and click the "Re-Order" button. You'll then be asked whether you would like an "Exact Reprint" or a "Reprint with Changes." Click the corresponding link and you will be directed to the appropriate order form.

"Reprint with Changes" refers to ANY changes that need to be made to your previous order: the inside pages, the book cover, or the finishes of the book. We may be able to make the changes for you, or you may need to submit a new file. Note your corrections in the "comments" section of your order, send us an email with a list of changes, or call us anytime if you're not sure how to proceed.

Learn more about ordering reprints.

Digital PDF proofs of your book are free. If you would also like a printed proof sent to you via UPS Next Day Air, respond "Yes" to Printed Proof when you place your order. The price for a printed proof is $40 and shipping is free.

If you chose printed proof, you’ll first receive a PDF proof to approve. Once it’s been approved, we'll print, bind, and ship a printed proof to you. Additional printed proofs may be an additional charge.

Each order we receive is assigned a graphic designer who performs any necessary prepress work. Even if your files are "print-ready," our techs do a number of things to make sure everything will print correctly. We'll check to make sure fonts are embedded, page size is correct, margins aren't too narrow, bleed is set up if necessary, images are high resolution, the cover will fit, and more.

We may make the following adjustments to your files:

  • reduce or enlarge your file to fit the page size you selected,
  • add or remove blank pages where we think it is helpful,
  • adjust your margins,
  • add or change your page numbering, or
  • move elements on your cover art slightly

We will not perform editing work such as spelling, grammar, or typo corrections.

Please review your PDF proofs carefully. If you're not sure about something, send us a note or give us a call!

We provide a detailed list of proofreading instructions with your PDF proofs. You can review those instructions here.

The most important thing to do when reviewing your proofs is to ask questions. Please don't make assumptions about your proofs. We do our best to make sure you'll be happy with your final product, but there are a lot of factors that play in to the creation of a book. Every book we do is different, and every one of our clients has unique needs and expectations. Feel free to ask us if you're not sure about something -- we're happy to help!

We don't require you to use high resolution graphics, but we do recommend it. We want you to be happy with your final product, so we may send you a warning when we find something that may not print perfectly. We won't hold up your order and will continue working on your files as they are unless we hear from you. When previewing your PDF files, zoom in to about 200% of the original size. This will give you an idea of how images or text will look when printed. If you’re OK with the way everything looks at 200%, chances are you’ll be happy with the way it prints. (Of course, the only way to be sure you're happy with the quality is to order a printed proof with your order—we highly recommend this).

Sometimes graphics lose quality when you’re creating a PDF file, so the first thing you'll want to double check is the quality of your graphics in your original document. If everything looks good in your original document, take a look at how you are saving the file.

The settings to avoid losing quality vary depending on which program you’re using to create your book. As long as your image was high quality to begin with, you’ll be able to create a PDF without losing any quality; it may just take some experimenting to get the options right. A good rule of thumb when saving as a PDF is to check every “options” or “properties” window that appears when saving to make sure nothing is compressing the file. (“Print” quality is always better than “Web” quality and a larger file is usually better than a smaller file)!

PLEASE NOTE: Even though the program may allow you to do it, simply changing the dpi of an existing image to 300 will NOT improve the way your image prints. We wish it were that easy!

Contact Us if you need help checking the resolution of your images.

A solid line indicates where your book cover will fold around the spine. These guide lines will NOT print. They are simply to show you where your text and artwork will be printed to ensure they are centered and are what you intended. If your book is hardcover: A thin dotted line indicates where the crease is on your cover. If you have a dust jacket: A thick dotted line indicates where your dust jacket flaps will fold.

When you are finished proofreading, log into your 48 Hour Books account and either “Approve” or “Reject” your proofs. Even though the cover and inside pages are separate files, you’ll only approve if BOTH proofs look correct.

Please remember, once you sign off, your books go into print immediately. You won’t be able to make any more changes.

To make corrections or send new files, REJECT your proofs -- you won't hurt our feelings! We want your books to be perfect. After rejecting your proof, all corrections must be submitted in writing and sent in a single email or order note. If they are OUR mistakes, we will correct them for free. If they are YOUR mistakes, we may be able to make minor corrections and save you the $50 cost of sending revised files. If we can’t, we’ll tell you what we need.

Please do not directly edit the proof files we send you -- we won't be able to print them!

48 Hr Books uses UPS to ship all orders with the exception of shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, which are sent via USPS Priority Mail. If you’d like to use a different shipping service, you're welcome to make alternate arrangements -- we'll provide you with the ship date, number of boxes, and weight once the order is approved for printing (we can estimate these beforehand if needed).

All books are shrink-wrapped in groups (typically 5-10 books, depending on the thickness of your book) and packaged in boxes that exceed UPS's recommended guidelines. Individual shrink wrapping is available for an extra fee, and may delay your ship date.

Contact our customer service team for more information!

In addition to faster Rush and Super Rush production times, we can also expedite your shipping. All orders are shipped from one of 48 Hour Books’ two production facilities — from Akron, Ohio or Las Vegas, Nevada. It is up to 48 Hour Books’ discretion to determine the appropriate production facility for each order.

Check out the UPS shipping map below to see how long UPS Ground will take to get to you. If you need your books faster than that, you may want to select Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, or 3 Day Select as your shipping method. However, it's usually less expensive to upgrade the production time (Rush or Super Rush) than to upgrade the shipping. We can help make sure that your books get delivered on time. Just give us a call, but be sure to do it before you give final approval of your artwork.

Yes, we can split ship. We can ship to up to 4 different locations for each order.

Example: suppose you order 200 books, but want 50 to go to New York and the rest to go to California. No problem. Just let us know exactly how many go to each address, and we'll take care of the rest. You'll be asked to designate one address as the "priority" address. Don't worry -- all of your shipments are a priority! Our customer service team will simply use the priority address to help determine the best methods to upgrade the order if needed to meet a specific deadline.

Yes, blind shipping is available and we don't charge extra for it. Blind shipments are sent in plain brown boxes, without our name appearing anywhere. Your company is listed as the shipper.

Placing your order is the same - no special instructions.

Our shipping charges now include:

  • GST (Goods and Services Tax) and
  • Brokerage Fees (for getting the shipment through Customs).

There is no additional charge upon delivery, and there should be no delays going through Customs.

We do not offer overseas shipping. We ship only to the U.S. and Canada. A shipment to other countries can be difficult to track, expensive to ship, and hard to guarantee by a certain date.

If you need your books shipped to a different country, we recommend that you coordinate a pickup of your books at our offices with your preferred carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, Post Office, etc.). We'll print, bind, package, and have your books ready for pickup.

Delays in shipping can occur (especially during high-volume shipping times, such as December). While rare, sometimes a delay does occur. When a delay occurs we recommend that you contact UPS directly. Your tracking number should be listed in your exception notice but is also conveniently listed on your order details page.

To find your tracking number, log in to your account and click on the "details" button. Your tracking number will be listed on the order details page. UPS likely won't be able to speed up the package if it's delayed, but they can help you update the delivery to a different address if needed, or have the package held at a UPS hub so you can pick it up.

You can also use UPS’s “My Choice” feature to help streamline all of your incoming shipments or call UPS at 800-PICK-UPS (800-742-5877). Be sure to have your tracking number handy!

While our conversion team takes extra time to replicate the look and feel of your original file, the layout of your book may not be exactly the same. eBooks have certain limitations that other files do not.

  • Fonts will change based on the reader’s personal choice
  • Text will flow differently depending on the size of the device and the font and font size that the reader has chosen. The layout is not static like it is in a printed book. If you need the layout to be static, you need a fixed layout eBook, which we do not provide at this time.
  • Images will be centered between paragraphs instead of showing up with text wrapping around them.
  • Background images or colors will not show up.
  • If you have call outs or text boxes in your book separate from the main text, we recommend removing them prior to having us convert the file; otherwise they will be inserted as images (and centered between paragraphs).
  • We do not include any index in the file. An index in a printed book refers to specific page numbers. In an eBook, the page numbers vary based on device and font selection. We do include a linked table of contents, which links to each chapter.

We can convert your book to an eBook for you. The process usually takes 2-5 business days. Word files are the best, but we can also convert other word processor files, InDesign, and PDF.

We'll provide you with two different formats: a MOBI file (that works on Amazon's Kindle devices), and an ePub file (that works on iPad, Nook, iPhone, and virtually all other eReader devices).

Our conversion pricing is based on a few factors: number of pages, number of footnotes or endnotes, and number of images.

Economy eBook Conversions are $200. In order to be considered Economy Conversion, your book must:

  • be less than 200 pages (when set in 12 point Times in Microsoft Word)
  • not contain footnotes or endnotes
  • contain 10 or fewer images (pictures or charts)

If any of these three conditions are not met, then your book may be suitable for a Standard Conversion, which is $350.

To qualify, your book must be:

  • less than 400 pages (when set in 12 point Times in Microsoft Word)
  • contain fewer than 100 footnotes or endnotes
  • contain fewer than 50 pictures, graphics, and charts

If any of these three conditions do NOT apply, then your book will be a “Custom” Conversion.

If you’re not sure which your file qualifies as, please send us your file and we can provide a quote for you.

We can make an eBook from scanned material, but it will not read like a traditional eBook. You will not be able to re-size the text or search within the text on the eReader. Basically, the scanned pages will appear as though they are images of each page. We don’t recommend that you create eBooks from scanned materials, but we can do it if you’d like.

All proofreading and editing should be finalized before you send us your files to convert. We do not recommend editing .epub files on your own.

If necessary, we can make edits for you at a rate of $75/hour.

We can only guarantee that the files will be valid and that they will display properly if you do not edit them yourself. You are welcome to make changes to the files if you find a program on your own that allows it, but then the files are out of our hands permanently.

Most ePub sellers require an ISBN. Technically, Amazon says you don't have to have an ISBN, but it's probably still a good idea to have one for the MOBI version as well. Each format of your book requires its own ISBN number. So if you've got some perfect bound books, some hardcover books, an ePub version and a MOBI version, you'll need 4 ISBNs total.

You will not be able to open the files that we send you on your computer. These files are formatted specifically for eReader devices, not computers. If you absolutely cannot access an eReader device (Kindle, Nook, iPad, tablet) to view your files, there are two free preview programs that can be downloaded to preview your files, but they will not be very accurate representations of how your eBook will look on an eReader.
- For .epub files - Adobe Digital Editions
- For .mobi files - Kindle Previewer

The file we provide you will be validated and ‘Upload Ready’ for any of the major online vendors. We cannot upload the file to eBook vendors for you.

Note:We do not include any DRM (digital rights management), password-protection, or encrypting of the file. This means that the files can be copied and shared as many times as you'd like. If you do want protection included in the file, this is something that can be added when you put your book up for sale on Amazon and other sites. You'll need to check with the specific site for details.

48 Hour Books is a high-end printer, and we print bookstore-quality books in the quantity you request. You can order more at any time, and we can print books within 48 hours of your approval (or even same day, if needed). We are not a vanity publisher, which often provides low-quality books in particular quantities.

In addition to quality print jobs, we have many tools to help self-publishers, including a team of knowledgeable customer service staff.

Learn more about self-publishing a business book.

A business book can:

  • Justify your claims of being an industry leader
  • Establish credibility in your field
  • Increase revenue
  • Attract attention and publicity
  • Help you gain new clients and retain old ones

Read more about why you should consider printing a business book.

Sharing your book with customers and colleagues is a great way to gather testimonials, which people often use as they’re deciding whether to buy.

Testimonials will demonstrate your book's effectiveness, enhance your credibility, and prompt more people to buy it because they know that others have found it helpful.

Begin to compile a mailing list. Once you have a list of names, you can send newsletters on a regular basis to communicate information related to your book and your business expertise.

Use social media to your advantage as well. Highlight your book on your social channels by offering tidbits of information, along with a link to where they can purchase the book.

Consider offering a contest or giveaway to help drum up engagement. You can offer to provide an incentive for people to like, share or comment on the post related to your book. This is a great way to reach more people.

With so many options available for binding a book, our customers often wonder, “What’s the difference between hardcovers and paperbacks?”

A hardcover book uses the case binding method, in which trimmed blocks of pages are gathered and glued together, then cased in with a stiff cardboard cover.

Paperback books, also known as softcover or perfect bound books, may also be trimmed and glued, but they use a “perfect bound” binding method. Perfect bound books use a soft, flexible cover that wraps around the pages and is glued in place to the spine of the book.

While a perfect bound, softcover book is the right option when you’re looking for an economical alternative, nothing beats a hardcover book for durability and elegance. Choose a hardcover book if you need to ensure a premium presentation. Hardcover books are the right choice if you want:

  • Long-lasting wear resistance
  • Abundance of style options
  • Heirloom quality
  • Unique appearance that stands out
  • Timeless appeal
  • High page count

Perfect binding is the style of binding used for softcover or paperback books. Softcover books are a great choice for workbooks, activity books, fiction, and other book genres, and they can be customized with special effects like Diamond 3D Foil.

Spiral coil binding, or coil bound books are available in soft covers only. They are bound using a plastic coil that loops through the pages, allowing them to turn easily and the book itself to lay perfectly flat.

A saddle-stitched book is created by trimming and gathering pages, then stapled down the center to attach the pages to each other to a soft, flexible cover (such as paper stock). Saddle-stitched books are typically short, slim, and small — just 36 pages or less, and no bigger than 7” x 9”. Saddle-stitched books are a great option for manuals, programs, pamphlets, and magazines.

If you’d like to see sample of your hardcover book before ordering a large quantity, you can! For a one-time charge, we can print a retail-ready copy of your book, so you can see the quality of the final product for yourself before we complete the full run, or full print order. This is called a printed proof, and can be requested when you place your order for at least 10 books.

48 Hour Books prints yearbooks quickly. We can print paperback yearbooks in 48 hours.

Hardcover yearbooks take five days to print. Hardcovers provide the best durability. Paperbacks can be more economical and are also a good option for smaller yearbooks.

Learn more about school yearbook printing

48 Hour Books can print as little as 10 school yearbooks at a time. We can print any larger quantity as well. Order 100 or more and receive 25 additional books for free!

Learn more about school yearbook printing

When creating yearbook files, ensure there is enough space to between copy, photos, and the edge of the paper. Photos, backgrounds etc. can “bleed” off the edge, but if you have information or images you don’t want cut off, leave at least 1/4” to 1/2” between them and the paper edge.

Also, if setting up a center spread with an image, remember the middle will get pulled slightly into the binding, so try to avoid having faces or important text in this area. You can compensate for that by adding a quarter inch of duplication in the middle. If you have questions, our customer service team is happy to assist.

Learn more about school yearbook printing

For a hardcover yearbook, 48 Hour Books recommends our standard 100 lb. gloss text cover, with a high-gloss laminate or matte laminate coating. For paperback or softcover yearbook covers, we recommend a 10 pt. cover with high-gloss or matte laminate coating.

For inside pages of yearbooks, we recommend a coated paper (since most yearbooks are photo heavy), like our 80 lb. or 100 lb. silk or gloss text.

Learn more about school yearbook printing

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