Common Questions

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Let's be honest here. Book Design? File Preparation? It's all a big pain, isn't it. If you're reading this FAQ and it's in one ear, out the other, then it might be worth checking out our Free File Assessment where we can check over your files, tell you what's wrong and help you fix it. Easy as pie.


What file format should I supply my files in?

We love working with PDF files so if you can send us yours in this format, we'd be super grateful. Check out our new Print Ready PDF option in quote calculator if your files are ready to go with the correct set up needed for printing!

Our pre-press designers can also work with Word or Adobe InDesign files. Please note that we are unable to accept file in Apple Pages and will need it converted to PDF before you send it to us.

If you're still stuck on how to supply your files then click here to find out what we recommend (or give us a call if you're really stuck).

How do I calculate the size of my book spine?

This one's easy. Use our simple spine calculator and that'll work it out for you. 

What is 'bleed' and when do I need to add it?

This is a bit of a longer one. The basic idea is this. If you try to cut out a picture in a magazine, even if you're suuuuuper good at cutting, there is going to be a tiny bit of space outside the picture left when you're done. Either that, or you will have to cut some of the picture off.

The same happens when we're trimming your book. We either have to cut some of your picture off the edge, or you're left with a little white border (which is really ugly). The bleed is this part of the picture that we cut off. Just make sure your page is 2.5mm bigger on every edge and we will do the rest.

Here's an example if you're better with numbers. If you want an A4 sized book (210 x 297mm) in portrait orientation with artwork going to the edge of the page, you will need to adjust the width of your document:

  • 210mm + 2.5mm (for the left side) + 2.5mm (for the right side) = 215mm.

You will also need to do the same for the height of your document:

  • 297mm + 2.5mm (for the top) + 2.5mm (for the bottom) = 302mm.

We will take your file, print it off and cut 2.5mm off each edge, leaving just the 210 x 297mm you want to keep.

This is tough so don't be put off if you're not quite getting it. You can either use our free file assessment and we'll let you know if you need bleed, or you can give us a call to get another explanation.

How big do my book margins need to be?

Paperbacks, hardbacks and coils? Make your outside, top and bottom margins 18mm, with your inside edge at 21mm. Booklets? You can get away with 10mm on every edge. Still aren't sure? Download one of our book templates to make it easy.

How do I send my foil artwork?

Please supply a background file & foil file separately.
Exception: It is possible if a single file sent is an InDesign (indd) file or Illustrator (ai, eps) file that hasn’t had its layers flattened.

You can find more specific foil guidance on our Foiling Set Up page.

Background files can be sent as PDF, any image file (jpg, jpeg, tiff, png), Or as a Word doc, pdf, psd, indd, ai, eps etc, even PowerPoint. So long as it is the right size and includes bleed.

Where the size is different or the file doesn’t include bleed we can resize or try to add bleed but this will incur a cost and can affect the integrity and look of the finished product.


If FOILING is just text, we can accept PDFs, word documents, PowerPoint, psd, indd, ai, eps, notepad, and pages. If we don’t have the FONT we may need you to supply this to us.


If there are images involved as part of the foil we have two options.

  1. Please supply us with an indd (indesign), ai, eps(illustrator) or psd (photoshop) file, that is not flattened and is editable, from here we can change colour and setting easily so that it is readable by the Minolta. 
  2. If you do not have the native (original) file where the image was created in an editable format and can only provide a flattened pdf, jpg, tiff, png or an image pasted in Word, we (design) will need to take this image into illustrator and turn into a vector graphic.
    This process is not precise and can vary with results, the more complex the image the less likely it will look as the you would like, In this instance, we would ask customers to understand that the final product will vary from what they envisage.

How do I send you my file?

We offer a free file assessment service, before you even place an order, so you can upload your file here! You can also send your file as an email attachment to your dedicated account manager. For larger files, we recommend the free We Transfer website.