Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about book printing and general questions of interest. If you don’t see your FAQ here, please ask us!
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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions: We care about the quality of books we print and want to answer your questions.
Authors and self-publishers want books that are printing to their specifications. We try to exceed those expectations!
Photographers want great color. We work with many photographers who need color to be as close to their original photo as possible. Also, we can provide press proofs at an additional cost. SPB includes one round of physical color proofs, digitally output, in the Asia quotes. USA proofs are sometimes black and white, with just a few pages of color.
More FAQs …
Publishers demand the best possible book at a reasonable cost, and expect quality. Publishers realize the value of our many years of book manufacturing experience. They have marketing and distribution concerns too. Having top quality books is one less thing to worry about when printing with us.
Graphic designers expect their file to print correctly. We do that — and also guide the designer through the process, and gladly answering a FAQ or more. We can advise on file preparation, but do not give InDesign lessons.
Illustrators expect that the color they so carefully choose for their illustrations, will reproduce accurately.
Read more frequently asked questions below!
Our book printing services are for those who need better quality or more custom options than print on-demand. We offer higher quality and more options. SPB provides accurate color reproduction and well-bound books. You will like that we cater to self-publishers, photographers, artists, chefs, writers, and authors who want to keep all profit.
There are no standard sizes at Star Print Brokers because every book we print is custom. We print books as wide as 11.8″. Common book sizes for coffee table books and photography books are 11.8″ x 11.8″, 8″ x 10″ portrait, or 10″ x 8″ landscape. A book cannot exceed 13″ in length. The smallest book is 4″ x 4″. Because our book sizes are custom, you’ll need to ask for a quote.
Most self-publishers require fixed-layout ebooks in epub and mobi. This means that the ebook will be almost like the print book. But, it contains code, and is not just a PDF. A novel flows from page to page. However, photography books have photos and captions. Cookbooks have recipes and photos. Text and images need to be on the same page. Solution: fixed-layout ebook.
That depends on the book specifications. We do not do POD books, so all of our quotes are custom depending on the self-publishers needs.The cost is reasonable and the offset printing and binding quality is excellent.
Self-publishers prefer to print their books with us to ensure top-quality offset printing on press, and sell the the books on Amazon. If you do your own fulfillment, you will pay about 15 percent to Amazon for the exposure. They expect a substantial discount off the retail price, so price accordingly. Amazon drives the most traffic, and sells 90 percent of books in the marketplace. But, we provide much higher quality.
Print with Star Print Brokers; sell on Amazon.
If you use a POD provider and have your own ISBN that you purchased directly from ISBN or an authorized ISBN provider, you are in the database. That does not promise books in physical bookstores. Most new authors find it more cost effective to contact bookstores directly to promote titles.
We can sell a single ISBN. You will be the publisher of record. If you need ten or more ISBNs, go to isbn.org. We are an authorized agent and you can make your single ISBN purchase here.
Visit the United States Copyright Office. They have all the forms and information for authors. On the copyright page which it the first left-hand page after the title page, use the copyright symbol, year of the copyright, and the entity or person who owns the copyright.
An example: © 2022 (Your Name, Publisher or Company) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted or stored by any means, electronic or mechanical, including recording, photocopy, photography, or information retrieval without permission of the (company, publisher or author.) You are the publisher, not Star Print Brokers.
Yes, we offer text and cover book design options. Nancy Starkman and her team design books. Nancy wrote the book Book Design: Simple & Professional. It is printing by Star Print Brokers and is available on Amazon. Request a book design quote using the link to this form. Call us at (844) 603-1777 in Bellevue, WA to discuss book design as well as book printing options.
Do your homework. See similar books in bookstores and check the copyright years to make sure it is a recently printed book. The book should be about the same size and page count, and bound like your book.
Be aware that if you use a book distributor, it is common for them to charge 55 percent of the retail price. Be sure to price your book to allow for this cost. If you are not using a distributor, sell your book on Amazon. They charge about 15 percent and you fulfill your book orders. However, they expect a deep discount off the retail cost, so make sure the book pricing is in line with reality. You can always put your book on sale. But raising the price after it in print, will mean purchasing a new barcode, as well as stickers to cover up the old barcode.
Self-publishers do most of their marketing, even if they are with a publisher. Have a website with an order form and / or a link to Amazon, a Facebook page, and any other social media sites. Send press releases. Join Facebook or LinkedIn to participate in groups. Market actively! The benefit of having a publisher is that they front the cost of book printing. The drawback is that you only get royalties. Those small businesses who market themselves as “publishers” have limited budgets and time for book marketing, and you are likely paying them for it anyway.
Hint: Are they saying that they are “now accepting manuscript submissions?” The big 5 traditional publishers — if you are lucky enough to land a contract — have limits on budgets for new, unproven authors. In any case, they expect authors to market their books.
Books need to be printing in CMYK. There is a very important difference between CMYK and RGB. RGB stands for red, green and blue, and is the mode in use for monitors and television. Images for the web only need to be 72 to 96 ppi. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These are the four inks in use to make process color printing on offset presses. Images have to convert to CMYK in Photoshop. Check our pre-press guide for instructions. Also, scan at 300 ppi (or higher) and at the approximate dimensions the image will be in print (or larger).
Please see our prepress guide. The Making PDFs Guide is helpful too. The graphic artist should have a basic knowledge of InDesign. We can also design your book. The cost is in addition to printing.
Some POD providers say they provide press proofs, but don’t understand the term. A press proof prints on an offset press using 4 trays of ink: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK. Plates are made of every signature (not single pages). We print an entire book and send it to the author for approval … for free. Then we break down the press as we need it for other jobs. We wait for the author to approve. When any changes are made, we make new plates and print … again.
PODs output pages one at a time from an output device. This device prints smeary toner or fuzzy inkjet … not ink on fine paper. At SPB, we include 1 full set of color digital proofs in your quote. They are also output from a digital output device, but we never call them press proofs because they are not. But, we offer real press proofs. We charge significantly for them, but press proofs are seldom necessary. That is because of our guidance in setting up files correctly, and great production teams with many years of offset book press experience. We watch color closely on our digital proofs, so they are acceptable for most photographers, art galleries, and museums.
High-quality printing is always on sheetfed offset presses. POD quality just won’t do. Minimums are higher on press. When we add all costs in, we found that it is best to set the minimums as follows: 1,000 hardcover books, 2,000 soft cover books, 1,000 board books. We seldom print in the USA anymore as the quality is not as up to our standards and the cost is much higher. If that ever changes, we will print in the USA once again.
Ocean shipping with inland delivery to door is in our quotes, as is duty. We handle all customs. Cost depends on quantity, book weight, and zip code for delivery. We include all foreseeable costs in quotes. SPB quotes book orders as DDP, “Delivered Duty Paid”.
If you compare a quote that is FOB or CIF, it does not contain all foreseeable costs.
USA printers often charge extra for delivery. It is usually not in the quote. SPB addresses delivery in written quotes. We don’t like “surprises” and know our clients don’t either! Books are put into cartons that we custom manufacture for their particular title. The maximum carton weight is 40 pounds. Cartons are put on pallets and shrinkwrapped for ocean shipping. Books should arrive in good shape. If something ever goes wrong, know that we insure books to the door.
That is another of our frequently asked questions. You need to know how to make PDFs and package your files for prepress. Please see our prepress guide for instructions.
Place the files on DropBox and “share” with us, via email.
You can email PDFs if they are not too large for the server.
You can burn files to DVD and CD, and send files to us.
The book files can be put on our FTP site. Contact us for our FTP address, user ID, and password.