7 December 2023

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

By Ronald Smith

Discover the steps to transform your eBooks into tangible printed books with this easy-to-follow guide. Ideal for self-publishers and authors.

Designing an ebook involves paying close attention to the details. As you concentrate on crafting a flawless cover and text for the digital world, have you considered how it would translate into a printed format? Although online books are beloved, physical books continue to be enjoyed by many. The aesthetic qualities that are successful in a digital format may not always come across the same way when printed on paper.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

When you want your ebook to look good in print, it brings many benefits. No matter how people read it – on their devices, printed at home, or in a professional print version – it will always be attractive.

If you design your ebook to work well in both digital and print formats, you can share your work in different ways. This gives you a better chance to reach more readers and potentially earn more money.

By making a few adjustments to your ebook design, you can make it look amazing when you print it out. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep it Short and Simple

When it comes to writing an ebook, the number of words you choose to use might not seem like a big deal, but it can actually make a difference. More words can make the book longer, especially in print. So it’s important to review your content and try to keep it as concise and clear as possible. Doing this can even improve the overall quality of your writing. It’s also worth noting that relying solely on automated spell checkers is not always a reliable option.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

I have learned that reviewing my content multiple times is important to ensure correct spelling and grammar. This is especially crucial during the editing process when I am moving, adding, and subtracting ebook design elements to find the right look. However, it can be easy for me to overlook something important in the process. Sometimes, I forget to maintain consistency with fonts, colors, heading sizes, shadows, and other small details that may have changed in some areas but not in others.

Although this may not be as noticeable in the digital space, when several pages of an ebook are printed out and the fonts suddenly change in size or consistency, it becomes quite obvious. It’s important for you to double-check these points to make sure you’ve been consistent throughout the entire ebook.

3. Color Matching

When you’re trying to match the colors on paper to what you see on your screen, it can be quite tricky. The way colors look can be different because of various color settings in design software, digital files, and printers. This can make the final appearance of your design change.

Even though a lot of designers and photographers like to work in RGB, most digital and home printers use CMYK. If you want your design to match the colors on these printers, you may need to convert it to CMYK and make some adjustments to get the colors just right.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

When it comes to designing an ebook, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure that your digital creation translates well into a printed format. One important aspect to keep in mind is how your monitor calibration can affect the appearance of your design colors. To get a better understanding of how your monitor impacts your design and how it will look when printed, I recommend printing a test image and comparing it to what you see on your screen. This will give you valuable insights into any potential disparities.

Another crucial consideration is the quality of the images in your ebook. It’s advisable to save your ebook PDF with a resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch). While lower resolutions may work fine for online viewing, high resolution is essential for achieving clear and detailed printed images. This is especially important if your ebook includes photos, intricate illustrations, or any other visuals that require precise rendering.

If you’re uncertain about the resolution to use, I recommend saving your file at the highest resolution available. It’s always easier to reduce the size later if necessary, but once a file is saved with a lower resolution, you can’t add more detail to it.

Additionally, you should be mindful of the limitations of home and office printers. Certain printers may have restrictions on the size and quality of the printed output. To ensure that your ebook can be printed effectively, consider the capabilities of the printers that your target audience is likely to use. By understanding these limitations, you can make informed decisions about the design and formatting of your ebook, maximizing its accessibility and impact.

Did you know that home and office printers are not quite as versatile as professional printers? It’s true! While professional printers can handle all sorts of different paper sizes, home and office printers are generally limited to a few common options. Typically, these printers can only handle inkjet or laser paper, and they usually come in standard white, letter, or legal sizes.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

By the way, when you print something, the printers don’t go all the way to the edges of the paper. They leave a space, usually about a half an inch, around the edges. This is called a margin. It’s something you need to keep in mind when you’re designing an ebook to be printed.

6. What are Bleeds, Crop Marks, and Cutting Tolerances?

Printing things professionally can be a little more complicated. The printers expect you to know about bleeds, crop marks, and cutting tolerances when you’re setting up your design.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

Crop marks are those little lines that tell the printer where to cut your pages. They show exactly where to trim, so you get a neat and tidy finished product.

When printing, a bleed happens when the ink goes beyond the trim lines. These extra bits get cut off during the finishing process. It’s like the printer goes outside the lines a bit to make sure everything looks perfect.

Cutting tolerance is just a fancy term for the small differences that can happen during the trimming process. No two cuts are exactly the same, so there might be some tiny variations from one sheet to another.

It’s really important for you to know your printer’s cutting tolerance and set the right bleeds and crop marks. Different printers have different requirements, but most of them will ask for 1/8″ bleeds. And good printers have a cutting tolerance of no more than 1/16″. That means they can trim your pages really accurately.

7. Get Someone Else’s Opinion

Take a moment to review and revise your work. Then, it’s time to get a second opinion. Ask someone else to give it a look. Sometimes, we get so caught up in a project that we miss mistakes. Fresh eyes can catch things we might overlook. Make sure they review both the online and printed versions so you can get the best feedback.

8. Picking the Right Paper & Binding

Your choice of paper and binding will have an impact on how your printed ebook looks. Coated paper has a smooth surface that resists dirt and moisture. Its satin-like finish affects the way ink settles on it, making it great for sharp images. On the other hand, uncoated paper is rougher and absorbs ink more, which can cause the ink to spread.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

When it comes to binding, there are several options available for printers, including saddle stitch, wire coil, and spiral binding. Each option has its own limit in terms of the number of pages it can accommodate. To ensure you make the right choice, it’s important to have a discussion with your printer about the best paper and binding method for your book.

Step 9: Test Print Your Ebook

Before you go ahead and send your ebook for professional printing, it’s a good idea to print a test copy yourself. This will allow you to see how your ebook will actually look when it’s printed. All you need to do is print it on regular paper, trim it if necessary, and fold it to mimic the appearance of a saddle stitched book. By doing this, you’ll get a real feel for your work and be able to make any adjustments to your design if needed.

Once you’ve sent your ebook design to the printer, they will usually provide you with a digital proof for your approval. It’s important to print this proof and trim it to its actual size. While the colors and paper quality may not be an exact match to the final product, it will give you a clear idea of what your book will look like when it’s printed.

Now, listen up, because once you give the go-ahead for the proof, it’s gonna be tough to make any changes to the final design. So, pay attention!

10. Get Yourself a Physical Proof

When it comes to getting your ebook professionally printed, digital proofs are a handy and cost-effective option. However, if you want to be absolutely sure about the quality of the print, you gotta ask for a physical proof. This is especially important if you’re using fancy paper materials or if it’s your first rodeo in the world of ebook printing.

10 Tips for Converting Your Ebook into a Print Book

If you want to make sure your specific brand colors are matched perfectly, getting a physical proof can be really helpful. There’s typically a fee for each proof because of the setup required, but it’s a small price to pay for getting it right.

Once you or your client is happy with how the ebook looks, it’s time to prepare it for printing. You’ve made sure it will look good when printed at home and you’ve done everything you can to ensure a successful professional print job. By following the tips mentioned earlier, you should end up with the printed ebook you had in mind.