Before you submit your manuscript using our Sample Design Request Form, please review the following checklist. Think of these as helpful “to-do” items in preparation for your submission.
[ ] 1. Prepare Your Manuscript
Submissions should be in a Microsoft Word document, with all content included that you intend to have in your final, printed copy. That includes an Interior Title Page, Copyright Page (with ISBN/s), Table of Contents (if applicable), Front Matter (such as a Dedication, Introduction, or Preface), Main Body Text, and any Back Matter material (such as Resources or an About the Author). If your manuscript needs editing, is out with an editor, or you are waiting to receive additional materials for inclusion, please hold off on your submission until you are ready to begin. If you do not have a Microsoft Word document for your manuscript, please feel free to contact us to discuss alternative submission file types. It is reasonable to submit a PDF of your manuscript if you feel the designers would benefit from seeing a mock-up version of your book. However, the final submission should be in Word, unless other arrangements have been made.
[ ] 2. Prepare Any Interior Images
If your manuscript contains images, there are a few special considerations to make note of. While you are welcome to submit an initial draft that includes images so that we can see where you would like them to be placed (a PDF version is helpful for this, as described above), ultimately, we will need the images to be stripped from your Word document and replaced with image tags. These tags should appear as follows
[INSERT IMAGE 001
Caption Text: _____
If you would like to supply specific instruction on placement, you could also include the following:
[INSERT IMAGE 001
Caption Text: _____
INLINE/WRAP RIGHT/LEFT/FULL PAGE
The instruction to “wrap right” or “wrap left” means that an image will be wrapped to the text instead of placed INLINE. Inline placement means that the image will be placed between paragraphs of text, with space above and below. Inline placement is the easiest, whereas wrapping images can increase design costs. You may also specify whether an image should take up a full page.
All of the images meant for inclusion in your final book should be supplied to us as individual files. They will need to be
- JPG, TIFF, or PNG files
- 300DPI Resolution
- sized appropriate to your trim size
- named sequentially (001, 002, 003, etc.) to match the tags in your document, and
- submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org via a file sharing utility, such as Dropbox.
Don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure what some of these things mean! We can help you prepare your files if you’re not quite sure how all this works. Once we begin the full design process, we’ll handle the rest of the image preparation. That means if you are printing in black and white, we will handle grayscaling any color images. If you are printing in color, we will make sure that your images are CMYK. It is also not necessary to complete this step if you’re just submitting for an initial estimate. We’re happy to take a look at what you have and guide you along the way.
ABOUT INK SATURATION LIMITS: Did you know that many printers, including IngramSpark, have specific requirements when it comes to color printing? They indicate that CMYK total values should not exceed 240%. Any RGB images must be converted to CMYK, and body text should be 100% black. Many authors are uncertain about how to meet these requirements. We will take care of it for you, but please be aware that this means certain rich or highly saturated colors used for your interior images or cover will need to be adjusted (desaturated) during your design process. Please feel free to talk with us if this is a concern to you, and we will help you to prepare for this image change.
Need some extra help?
If you feel uncomfortable with the notion of stripping out the images from your document and preparing them, we can do this for you! There is an additional cost for this service as a pre-formatting charge. We can go over all of this with you in advance as part of the free initial estimate or formal free sample and quote. Just let us know whether you need help with this part of the submission process, and we’ll get you set up!
[ ] 3. Prepare Your Book Cover Files
If you are submitting for cover assistance, please be sure to fill out the Cover Evaluation Form. Please submit one form per cover type. For instance, if you are printing both a hardcover and paperback version, you would want to submit one form for the hardcover and one for the paperback. If you plan to submit to more than one printer, please note that each publisher/printer has their own cover requirements. You will need to indicate this to the designer so that they can supply you with cover files that meet the needs of EACH printer you plan to use.
You may submit the images for your cover as 300DPI JPG, TIFF, or PNG files. If you have a cover that has been designed by someone else but find it’s been rejected by your printer (or perhaps it needs updating), we’d be happy to provide a free evaluation. In that case, you would want to submit your cover as a PDF or PSD version. Images submitted will also be evaluated for the 240% ink limit indicated above, and highly saturated images may need to be adjusted.
[ ] 4. Final Details
If you would like more detail on specific Author Tasks that should be completed ahead of the design process, we encourage you to check out the Author Tasks section of our Free Publishing Guide. This section includes details on the following:
1. Writing a Book Blurb for the back cover
2. Writing an Author Bio
3. Choosing an Author Photo (optional)
4. Including an Imprint Logo (optional)
5. Choosing your printer and print details (in case you have not yet decided)
6. Copyright Registration
7. Acquiring your ISBN, PCN, or LCCN
The Free Publishing Guide includes detailed information on every step of the publishing process, so if you are up for a little extra reading, we recommend checking it out!
That’s it! You should now have all the tools you need to submit. If you find that you need assistance with any step of this process, please feel free to Contact Us. We’re happy to help you prepare your submission.