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link to p3 software
I'm new to printing and self publishing, where do I start?

The first place to start is to decide on the details of a printing specification. This includes: quantity required, size of your book, number of pages, paper type and thickness for the internal page
s, paper type and thickness for the cover, finish required on the cover (for example matte or gloss celloglaze/laminate), delivery deadline, delivery location. Once these variables are decided, we can begin your proposal.

I don't understand what all of the printing specifications mean?

The FAQ and resources section of this website is updated on a regular basis so chances are you will find most of the information here, if there is anything you are not sure of we will be more than happy to assist you further.

If this is your first book project please consider the popular sizes previous clients have worked with below:

Book Size
A4 (297x210mmn) or A5 (210x148mm) ***Portrait or Landscape Orientation***

Book Cover
300-400gsm Coated Stock (with matte or gloss celloglazed finish on outside cover)

Internal Pages
Text Content: 80-100gsm Uncoated Paper Stock
Picture or Picture & Text Content: 115-170gsm Matte or Gloss Coated Paper Stock

I have typed my manuscript in Microsoft Word, is this OK for printing?

No, the file must be converted to a "Print Ready PDF file" for printing purposes, which we can do for you at a set hourly rate. Some common issues caused by MS Word include: colour & greyscale conversion, font embedding, justification, leading & kerning, page size, page margins, page numbering, page bleed, gutter size.  The preferred program for typesetting your book is the industry standard Adobe InDesign which easily creates "Print Ready PDF files".

What exactly is a (print ready) PDF file?

This is a PDF (Portable Document Format) file that is created by Adobe Acrobat software to comply with printing industry standards of design, layout, quality and technical specifications. It covers a wide and complex range of variables and technical requirements. Below is a list of the minimum requirements for the most common issues in a "Print Ready" PDF file, although there are many more not listed here.

Image resolution

300dpi (dots per inch also known as "ppi" pixels per inch)
A lot of the time images are below this resolution and cause the prints to be "blurry" or "pixelated" (the actual square pixels are perceived by the eye when viewing the print) e.g. if you have used images from the internet they are likely to be only 72dpi

Colour Space

CMYK (cyan/magenta/yellow/black)
These are the real colours interpreted and used by the printing machine. A lot of the time files are supplied in RGB (red/green/blue) this is the default colour space of Digital Cameras, Clip Art, Scanners, Website Graphics/Images.  RGB gives false indication of colours when your document is viewed on screen, usually the CMYK print result will be less saturated and less bright.

Bleed & Crop Marks
All pages of the book (cover & internals) must be supplied with 5mm bleed and crop marks. See explanation of bleed below in the FAQ's

All fonts must be "embedded" in the PDF file.  This means that when your PDF file is created you must instruct the program that you created it in to copy all of the fonts used in your document from your computer and embed them into the PDF file so that they can be accessed and replicated by the software at the print production stage.  If this is not done the font may be automatically "replaced" by a default font which more than likely won't be the font you had chosen.

Blacks & Greys
If your book is to be printed in black or shades of grey e.g. black and white photos, borders, tables etc. These must be supplied as black "K" artwork only.  Sometimes text, images & graphics are supplied as full colour (usually in RGB (red/green/blue) or "Rich Black" even though they appear black/greyscale on screen.  Because the printing machine is setup to print in black ink only, problems can occur during the conversion from RGB to K (black) only artwork. e.g. white backgrounds of cropped images may turn a light grey colour, shadow areas may go darker or greys may appear warm or cool looking in colour instead of neutral.

Can I just save my Word document as a PDF file?

No, If you save your file as a PDF from Microsoft Word, the resolution of your images will be reduced (down-sampled) to 150dpi. The minimum resolution of images for sharpest reproduction is 300dpi.  Also Microsoft word will only save images and text in RGB colour mode, not the required CMYK or K (Black only) for printing. There are two options to fix these issues.

a) Create a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat software


b) Give us your word document and we can convert it for you.
This will require you to make some changes to your Word options.
See steps below (based on MS Word 2010) to follow before sending your file.

Step 1 - Go to: File /



Step 2 – Go to the Save Tab and tick on “Embed fonts in the file”
Make sure that the other two boxes below
“Embed only the characters used…”
“Do not embed…” are Not ticked


Step 3 – Go to the Advanced Tab and tick on “Do not compress images in the file”
and make sure “Set default target output to:"
is set at 220ppi

Step 3 – Re-save your document with these new settings.


Do you have templates I can use?

Yes, you can download the template examples below.

Outside Cover Template


Internal Pages Template


What does it mean when "Bleed" is required?

If you have any images or colour objects in your book (front cover or internal pages) that go right to the edge of the page they need to be setup with 5mm BLEED. This means that your image or object must extend pass the edge of the page by 5mm so that It can then be trimmed off at the Guillotining stage to give a neat, clean edge. e.g. Your book is A4 size (297x210mm) so the objects or images must extend to a size of 307x220mm.


What size should I print my book?

Printing your book in the standard sizes of A4 (297x210mm) or A5 (210x148mm) will ensure easy shipping, marketing, readability, and minimize potential technical or artwork issues as well as guarantee the most economical print price. However if you have a special size specific to your project we are more than happy to quote on custom sizes.

What is the best typeface and font size to use?

Firstly have a look through other books you have on your shelf at home. The best font for "readability" is a "serif" style font e.g. Times Roman. Typical font sizes for books range from 9pt to 12pt, but ultimately it is up to personal preference and the intended use of the book.

What is the best kind of binding to use for my book?

Now with a mix of traditional & modern production techniques there are quite a few options when it comes to binding your softcover book. Some factors taken into account when deciding include: book content, page count, run length, book longevity, cost, logistics, production technique, intended use, read-ability, and personal preference.

Common binding styles for larger books & run lengths

Notch Binding
• Lock Binding
• Burst Binding
• Section Sewn Limp Bound

Common binding styles for smaller books & run length

• Online Perfect Binding
• Offline
Perfect Binding
P.U.R. Binding

How can you guarantee the book will be high quality?

Paradigm works closely with a number of specialty book printing suppliers both locally and offshore.  We employ a rigorous and tightly controlled multi-stage approval process and have a 100% success rate with all of our books. Our attention to detail and personal service always ensures a great result.

Do you offer editorial & proof reading services?

Here at Paradigm, we a specialists in the "book printing" component of publishing and only provide technical file setup and editing limited to producing a print ready PDF file.  We have industry partners that we are happy to refer you to for editing, proof reading and professional type-setting.

How do I get my digital files to you?

The best method is to use a Managed File Transfer (MFT) provider. Your files are sent over the internet through a web page portal. We recommend the MFT service providers.


How long will it take before I get my book?

This is dependent on a number of factors which include; Quantity printed, Initial "print readiness" of supplied artwork, local or offshore production, clarity of communication for revisions, number of revisions, multiple proofs required etc. In our experience the most time-consuming aspect of a book printing project involves getting the artwork to a "Print Ready" stage. This includes multiple typographical revisions, last minute changes/editions, multiple proofs, adjustment of page numbering, margins and formatting, and lengthy back and forth communications. Below is a general guide to turnaround times. Digital printing is faster than offset printing. Local printing is faster than offshore printing. Small quantities are generally faster to print than larger quantities.

Initial consultation: 30min

Proposal: 1-3 days

Manuscript/Artwork preparation: 1-4 weeks (depends on complexity)

Hard Copy Proof: 1-5 days

Printing: 5-10 days

Binding: 3-5 days

Shipping: 1-20 days


Quantity: 2500
Size: 55mm x 180mm
Full Colour x 2 sides
310gsm Hi-Bulk Coated Artboard
Delivered to 1 Australian Street Address
Price: $299 (inc GST)

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