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The Importance of Pre-Flight Check before Printing Books

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Publisher Services


One of the services that Publisher Services provides complimentary to our book printing customers is a Pre-Flight check of printer-ready PDF files that have been provided to print book covers and interiors. What exactly is a Pre-Flight check? Pre-Flight is checking your book’s files to make sure they are good to print. Without carefully going over your files and approving them for the printer, there is a greater likelihood that something could go wrong and mistakes will be missed. A Pre-Flight check is just the kind of pre-printing look your files need before they go to print.

When we receive your files, we check to make sure:
  •  The trim size specifications match the print order. For example, if you’re ordering a 6×9 books, the page size shouldn’t be set up for 5×8.
  • The cover file (and the interior file, if necessary) is properly set up with the proper bleed. If the pages and/or cover are not set up correctly, images or text could get cut off when trimming the book to size.
  • Files do not have the fonts, graphics, and other inserted elements, properly embedded into the PDF. If we receive a file that contains fonts we don’t have here, the book may not print correctly, for example.
  • Color elements are not saved in CMYK color mode. Most graphical programs have the RGB setting as the default. Printing is a four-color (full-color) process. Make sure you’re using CMYK.

After we check your book, we will do the following free of charge:

  •  Convert to PDF from MS Word. While this will ensure that your fonts are embedded, we may not have custom or purchased fonts. If this is the case, we’ll let you know.
  • Convert the cover and inside pages to CMYK if needed.
  • Add your bar code to your back cover.
  • Crop your pages down to the proper trim size. If your margins aren’t set for the right page size, though, we may not be able to crop. We’ll let you know if we can’t do this.
We will also alert you to any other items we find that will impact the printing of your book.
However, there are a few things that we don’t check for. As you are your own publisher, you want to be confident to have looked over the following very carefully before getting to the stage where you are providing print-ready files for a print job:
  • All editing should have been checked, double-checked, and corrected before submission. One thing that tends to help is to print your manuscript and look at it that way instead of on your screen. You might catch things you didn’t see before. We also provide a printed proof copy prior to completing your full print run. You’ll have a final chance to check your printed proof for any last minute and missed errors, but you really should be confident that the editorial integrity is wholly intact.
  • Page numbers match the Table of Contents. Changing up more than a few sentences inside the book can throw off whole paragraphs and pages. Check them over and correct them before submitting your files for printing.
  • Images are matched to their appropriate captions, figure titles, etc.Another step that should be completed before submitting files for printing.
Publisher Services is pleased to provide a Pre-Flight process for every print job where we haven’t designed the files. You can be assured we’re looking to catch problems and help you fix them before a printed proof is created for your final review. We want to help you publish and print the best book you can. We appreciate your printing business!